Freshman guard Eli Carter scored a team-best 19 points to help the Rutgers Scarlet Knights upset No. 8 Connecticut Huskies, 67-60, in a Big East Conference contest at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, NJ. Freshman guard Myles Mack came off the bench to net 14 points for the Scarlet Knights (9-7, 1-2 Big East), who made 9-of-12 free throws in the last five minutes to help cement the programs first ever victory over a defending national championship.
Before Saturday, Rutgers was 0-11 against such defending champs. The Scarlet Knights also collected their second consecutive victories in as many chances -- nine days ago, Rutgers knocked off No. 10 Florida Gators, 85-83.
"We're a pretty good team when we get out of our own way," said Rutgers head coach Mike Rice after the game (via Matt Sugam). "When we're not pouting and complaining and playing for one another."
Rutgers used a two 8-0 runs in the second half to help earn its first Big East win of the season.
Trailing 30-28 at halftime, Rutgers used a 8-point spurt to take a 36-30 lead. Then, after the Huskies (12-3, 2-2) closed the margin, the Scarlet Knights used a second run to 52-45 lead with 7:32 to go.
UConn cut the lead to three points, but Rutgers cemented its victory by making making its shots from the charity stripe. Huskies sophomore guard Shabazz Napier led all scorers with 23 points.