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Chandler, Coburn help Rutgers pull off second straight upset

Jan 27, 2008 - 3:14 AM PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Corey Chandler and freshman Mike Coburn helped Rutgers pull off its second straight upset in the Big East.

Chandler had 18 points off the bench and Coburn had 14 of his 17 in the second half as Rutgers won for the second straight time over a ranked team, 77-64, at No. 17 Pittsburgh on Saturday.

JR Inman added 12 points for the Scarlet Knights (10-11, 2-6 Big East), who had defeated No. 18 Villanova on Wednesday to snap a six-game losing streak.

"I think it's a great follow up to what we've been trying to build towards," Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. "To come out here and be able to defend and rebound, like we needed to, and then knock down shots again, I'm so happy for these kids."

Pittsburgh (16-4, 4-3) came into the contest with an 11-0 home record and seemed to be in control midway through the second half, leading by nine with under 13 minutes left to play.

But the Scarlet Knights took control of the game, scoring 11 straight points en route to a 20-2 run - capped off by a 3-pointer by Coburn - to take a 58-49 bulge with 6:47 remaining.

"The defensive presence, the rebounding, and then our ability to run in transition is what allowed us to get on that run," Hill said. "We went some zone. We mixed it up with our man. Each and every defense I thought was effective. We did a good job of not letting them get easy baskets in the paint and around the rim."

Rutgers stayed in front by at least seven points the rest of the way, building its lead up to as many as 16 with 1:15 to play.

The Scarlet Knights shot 54 percent (29-of-54) for the game, including 9-of-14 from the arc, to help snap their eight-game losing streak against the Panthers.

"You're going to have games you don't shoot it that well," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "Usually we can still find some ways to win. But we didn't find the ways today and that was really the most disappointing to us."

It was also the first win in Pittsburgh since 1996 for Rutgers, which defeated ranked teams in consecutive games for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign.

The contest was tight for most of the first half and, after Chandler made Rutgers' sixth 3-pointer of the half, the Scarlet Knights had a 30-27 advantage with just over five minutes left.

But Pittsburgh ended the half on a 12-2 run to take its largest lead at 39-32 heading into the locker room.

"We got a seven-point lead going into halftime, so we did some things well," Dixon said. "But in the second half, we got beat by every facet. We got exactly what we deserved and that is what I told our kids."

Rutgers scored the first six points after intermission to close within one point but Pittsburgh answered with eight straight of its own to take a 47-38 lead with 13:30 remaining.

Freshman Gilbert Brown had a season-high 16 points and freshman DeJuan Blair added 14 and seven rebounds for Pittsburgh, which made just 6-of-21 of its 3-point attempts.