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Rutgers Falls to South Florida, 0-1 in the Big East

And the frustration of following a young team continues.

After battling back from deficits all afternoon, Rutgers finally took the lead, and held the lead with about 20 seconds left. However, Anthony Collins took the ball coast-to-coast, and as Gilvydas Biruta got position under the hoop, laid the ball in--and the foul. A disputed call for sure, as those plays had been called charges all afternoon. But that's life on the road in the Big East. On the inbound, Jerome Seagears went for the steal on the inbound, instead of trying to slow the ball.

More after the jump...

Ron Anderson was a beast throughout most of the game. Rutgers allowed him to be fed the ball for much of the game, and he took advantage, scoring 15 points off the bench. The Scarlet Knights were able to adjust defensively and slow him, but were unable to get stops in crunch time.

Meanwhile, Rutgers started slowly on the offensive side, but eventually found a groove. Eli Carter is begging to be named Big East Rookie of the Week, dropping 23 points this afternoon. Unfortunately, in the last 12 seconds of the game, Carter should have passed the ball up, either to Myles Mack or Dane Miller, who were both open on the play. Instead, he chose to drive the ball, and missed a forced jumper at the buzzer.

Mack continued his clutch play, and was able to hit a jumper from the foul line to give Rutgers the lead before Collins' final drive. He tallied 14, coming off the bench again.

Most impressive was Derrick Randall, continuing his strong play from the Florida game. He scored 10 points and had another 8 rebounds, and dominated play at times. In the postgame radio interview, Mike Rice stated fans could expect him to be inserted into the starting line-up sooner rather than later.

Kadeem Jack played five minutes and Malick Kone returned from injury as well.

Next up is a big game at the RAC, as West Virginia comes in. A winnable game, and one that could help Rutgers forget the disappointment of this battle.