Jan. 7, 2012
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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) - Rutgers Freshman Eli Carter continued his scoring streak with 19 points and Rutgers beat a top ten team for the second time this season, defeating No. 8 Connecticut 67-60 on Saturday before a crowd of 7,011 at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
Freshman Myles Mack added 14 points for the Scarlet Knights (9-7, 1-2 Big East), who beat then-No. 10 Florida 85-83 in double overtime on Dec. 29. It's just the second time Rutgers has ever beaten two top ten teams in the same season. The Scarlet Knights beat UCLA and West Virginia in 1981-82.
"After 26 years in the Big East you know you can get anybody anytime any night," Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun said. "This Rutgers is a hungry young basketball team that played with a sense of purpose. They'll lose some more and win some more."
The win snapped Connecticut's 10-game winning streak against Rutgers and it was just the Scarlet Knights' second in 19 BIG EAST regular-season meetings with the Huskies. Rutgers' last win over Connecticut was on Jan. 30, 2002.
"They more than earned the victory," Calhoun said. "Especially when you consider they are one of the younger teams in the country."
Rutgers used a 10-0 run in the second half to take the lead for good. Mike Poole and Mack both hit a 3-pointer in the run that gave the Scarlet Knights a 52-45 lead with 7:29 to play.
Connecticut (12-3, 2-2), which lost in New Jersey on Tuesday night to Seton Hall to snap a seven-game winning streak, could never get any offense going, especially from the perimeter against Rutgers' zone defense and the Huskies finished with a season-high 20 turnovers, well above the 13.9 they average for the season.
Sophomore guard Shabazz Napier (Roxbury, Mass.) had 23 points for the Huskies, while freshman center Andre Drummond (Middletown, Conn.) had 10 points, 12 rebounds and seven turnovers, including two passes from the post that went into the stands on the fly.
Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut's leading scorer with an 18.9 average, finished with eight points on 4-of-9 shooting, including missing all four 3-point attempts.
"Our backcourt was not very good tonight," Calhoun said. "Overall Rutgers ground it out, back and forth and back and forth. We didn't complete the task and lost a basketball game."
Carter entered the game averaging 24.3 points over the last three games. He hit a 3-pointer in the Scarlet Knights' 8-0 run to open the second half that gave them a 36-30 lead.
Connecticut closed within four points three times in the final minute but Rutgers went 8 of 10 from the free throw in that span.