Freshman PG Anthony Collins scored the game winning basket with 12 seconds left as the USF Bulls (8-7, 1-1) grabbed their first conference win of the year as they beat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8-6, 0-1) 67-65 in a thriller today at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
The last 4 minutes was amazing to watch, with 8 lead changes and both teams making huge shots. After Myles Mack gave Rutgers a 65-64 lead with 17 seconds left, Collins drove the length of the court and made a tough layup after drawing a blocking foul from Gilvydas Biruta. AC calmly made his free throw to give the Bulls a two point lead and left Rutgers one more chance to tie or take the lead.
Rutgers' Eli Carter led all scorers with 23 points, but missed what would have been the game tying jump shot as time expired. Ron Anderson Jr. had 15 points to lead the Bulls, and did a great job defending Carter on the final possession. Anderson switched off with Hugh Robertson after a Gilvydas Biruta screen, and Ron was able to keep the much quicker Carter in front of him before his contested 17 footer glanced off the rim and gave USF their first win of 2012.
A couple of thoughts from the game:
- While you hope his turnover numbers won't be high, it was another solid game by Collins tonight. Anytime your point guard can dish out double digit assists, you have to be impressed. The fact that he had no fear taking that shot at the end shows to me that his confidence is improving each game. Hope he continues his strong play against Maalik Wayns Thursday.
- Hugh like always quietly goes about his day and ends up with 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists.
- I'm not looking forward to seeing Mack and Carter for the next three years. Those two are going to be tough to beat as they continue to improve.
- While its not Dominique Jones, its great to see the foursome of Jawanza Poland, Robertson, Shaun Noriega, and Collins each give USF the lead in the last 4 minutes. Hopefully its a sign of things to come in late game situations.
- Ron was a monster in the post, but he HAS to get better shooting free throws. 1-6 from the charity stripe is horrible.
- All nine scholarship players scored for USF today. Can't remember the last time that many players scored in a non-blow out.
USF will now hit the road for a two game road trip starting with Villanova (7-7,0-2) this Thursday at 8:00 PM. You might see a certain YouTube between now and tip-off. #CraterTime