Rutgers shocks No. 10 Florida 85-83 in double OT

By Adam Silverstein
December 29, 2011

Thursday’s contest against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights was supposed to be just another game for the No. 10 Florida Gators but instead of an easy win, Florida (10-3) was forced to play hard for 50 minutes and fell 85-83 to Rutgers (8-5) in double overtime at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, NJ.

Scarlet Knights guard Eli Carter led all scorers with 31 points and was supported by a superb performance off the bench by G Myles Mack, who scored 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, was 3-for-5 from downtown and hit a number of clutch shots down the stretch.

The Gators shot a paltry 45.2 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc as junior G Kenny Boynton led the team with 26 points.

Florida junior forward Erik Murphy had a hot hand early, hitting the Gators’ first three shots (two from downtown) to provide his team with an 8-2 advantage that helped them jump ahead 14-5. Rutgers answered with a 7-0 run to cut UF’s lead to two and added a 9-2 scoring stretch to tie the contest at 21 with 8:06 remaining in the first half.

The Scarlet Knights played solid defense on the Gators for the remainder of the half, holding Florida to just two field goals in the final 10:31 of the period. The Gators scored nine of their 13 points over the final eight minutes from the line and took just only a four-point lead into the locker rooms at the break.

[EXPAND Click to expand and read the remainder of the Florida-Rutgers game story.]UF began the second half on a 7-2 run and had a 46-38 advantage after a three-pointer by Boynton, but RU quickly responded with a 15-6 stretch to take their first lead.

Rutgers only led for 52 seconds, however, as Boynton answered with five-straight points including a bomb from downtown to put Florida back ahead four with 4:32 left.

The Gators had a seven-point lead with 2:49 to play and once again with 2:06 left, but a trey by Mack brought the score within four. Consecutive Florida turnovers by Boynton and senior point guard Erving Walker gave the Scarlet Knights two additional opportunities to score, and Rutgers added four more points to complete a 7-0 run and tie the game with 44 seconds remaining.

Walker missed a layup on the ensuing possession, and Mack shanked a jumper at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

The extra period started back-and-forth but sophomore center Patric Young put the Gators ahead one after muscling in a layup and adding a free throw. A scoop layup by Scarlet Knights G Jerome Seagears gave Rutgers the lead back, but Young put UF ahead one point again by converting a layup with less than a minute to play.

After a miss on the other end, RU purposely fouled Young to send him to the line for the one-and-one. He hit both free throws and gave the Gators a 76-73 lead with 31.8 seconds left, but Carter negated that advantage immediately with a big three to tie the game once again and send the contest into double overtime.

Rutgers outplayed Florida from that point on, taking a four-point lead with 1:46 to go before trading threes and regaining that advantage with 58 seconds left. Walker hit a floater to cut UF’s deficit to two but missed an off-balance shot at the buzzer to allow RU to escape with the upset victory.

The Scarlet Knights only turned the ball over 11 times compared to 18 by the Gators; Rutgers also held even with Florida on the boards with each team grabbing 32 rebounds. RU outshot UF from the floor and downtown, registering 18 assists on 35 made baskets.

The Gators, however, were an efficient 18-for-19 from the free throw line, the team’s best work from the charity stripe all season long.

Florida freshman G Bradley Beal was second on the team with 15 points but hit just 4-of-12 shots from the field and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc. He also grabbed seven rebounds but turned the ball over a game-high seven times.

Murphy finished with 14 points and a game-high eight boards, Young added 11 points and six rebounds, and Walker registered nine points with six boards and six dimes but had four turnovers and was also inefficient from the floor (4-of-11, 1-for-5 from three).

UF’s prior two losses this year had been to the now-No. 1 (Syracuse) and No. 2 (Ohio State) teams in the country; both came on the road by an average of 5.5 points. The Gators’ defeat by the Scarlet Knights Thursday was their first regular season loss by an unranked team since Jan. 29, 2010 (Mississippi State).

Florida will look to regroup and end 2011 on a positive note when they host Yale in Gainesville, FL on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will air live nationally on ESPNU.[/EXPAND]

21 Comments

  1. Joonas says:

    Gotta give props to Rutgers for hitting some huge shots. They had nothing to lose in this game and they just went for it.

  2. GatorsAlumLA says:

    I respect Erving Walker, but Erv should not be taking game tying/ winning shots.

    • g8ter27 says:

      I did but have no confidence with him on the floor in tight games anymore. terrible shot selection by him tonight. Amazing that he was the go to guy two years ago and has regressed. Oh well, character builder for march lets hope.

  3. dp says:

    Irving Walker wide open guy under the basket…what should I do? Hmmmmmm…force an off balance leaning one handed shot or dump it down for a dunk…this guy is nothing but a ball hog…he’ll never make it to the nba.

    • Tractorr says:

      This is the story of both Irv and Kenny. Until the both of them learn to get the ball inside and get Patric going this team is not going to take the next step. I know that Patric is a little rough still but he needs the ball in his hands to improve.

  4. Rocky Dennis says:

    There’s no excuse for Florida grabbing the same number of rebounds (32) as the undersized, much smaller Scarlet Knights. Patric Young only grabbed 6 rebounds which sounds decent but it was in 41 minutes of play (he averages 7.3 rpg in 25.7 mpg – at that rate, his averages translate to 11.6 rebounds in 41 minutes.) Will Yeguete (6.5 rpg, 22.1 mpg) only had 1 rebound in 22 minutes.

  5. Ken (CA) says:

    paltry 45% from the field? that isn’t too bad against a good d… the horrible thing was irv’s first 3, 4 feet behind the arc in transition…it showed he was going to not play within himself, and he was horrid, not doing the assists and getting fouled as should be his role. This was very painful and a horrible loss…237 RPI for rutgers. It should never have even been close, we are now 0-3 on the road and that isn’t the mark of a good team. I still think we can be a final 4 team, but only if Walker gets his head in the game. We finally did a great job on free throws, which is the only thing that kept us in the game. Too many turnovers, too many bad shots. Fortunately we have another 20 games or so to improve. This team is good enough to do it, if they (walker, sometimes boynton) stop being selfish and feel like they have to win it. Of course, if Irv’s early rediculous 3 pointer had made, it would be a huge dagger in Rutgers, but the risk/reward just wasnt there, really dumb shot. Sad thing is he would probably be the hero if that went down and salted the game 5-10 mins in, running into a blowout.

  6. npgator says:

    That was a bad game and now we can see why Rasario transferred – their guard had 31 points!

  7. uf_84 says:

    Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. You just can’t have those turnovers in the last minute of regulation. Hope this one doesn’t bite at tourny time.

  8. mark says:

    Erv needs to start playing less minutes. He is killing this team

    • Tractorr says:

      Every time he misses a basket instead of passing to an open Young he needs to sit. At least Kenny is starting to finish when does that stuff. We have a guy who could be a dominant big man, get him the damn ball.

  9. Gator John says:

    This loss can’t be pinned only on Walker, like most of you seem to be doing. Yeah he made some bad decisions, but the entire team played sloppy for 40 minutes. One good thing tho, they did better at the charity stripe,

    • Ken (CA) says:

      True, it isn’t all walker, but he is the leader out there as the senior PG, he sets the tone. The team as a whole didn’t play that well, but as the PG, especially with 4 years experience, the brunt of the loss goes on him.

  10. Eli says:

    What puzzled me, and continues to puzzle me about the Gators, is their lack of ability to execute plays at the end of a half/regulation/overtime. Mainly, at the end of the second overtime last night, why on Earth was Brad Beal taking the ball out? He should have been the centerpoint of that offense, as he is the most likely to get into the lane and draw a foul, if not make a tough shot. These “improvise” plays with Erving or Boynton just don’t cut it. If we want to be a top-notch team and win close games, we have to work on our late-game execution.

  11. Joe says:

    We need to do what Bama and LSU do. Hire a nobody to coach bball for peanuts and plow the savings into decent football asst coaches salaries. Imagine what we could do with the 3.5 mil Billy is ripping us off for.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Wow…just wow…how to respond to something so uninformed as th at? He as taken us to 2 NC, 3 NC games multiple elite 8 sweet 16, is generally considered one of thde best coaches in the country. And if you think LSU and Bama arent paying to be competetive, just look at Bama’s current coach, and LSU’s new coach..

      wow…

      • Ken (CA) says:

        not to mention he isn’t “bleeding us” for 3.5 mill, not only does basketball on it’s own turn a profit, but overall the UAA turns a profit. They donated 5 mill in profit to the university last year alone…

    • zurbo says:

      you must be drunk.

  12. MAR says:

    BD is worth every penny. UF will be competitive every year he is there. Best team ever in the 04’s in my opinion.

  13. Chizzle1986 says:

    Joe you’re a douche bag. Go be a fan for the team out west.

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