Brooks sets record, Providence beats Rutgers 75-74
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP)—Marshon Brooks scored 28 points and broke the Big East single-season scoring record with 468 points in his final Providence home game, leading the Friars to a come-from-behind 75-74 victory over Rutgers on Saturday night.
On the game’s crucial possession, Brooks lifted a finger-roll over a Rutgers defender to break a 73-73 tie with 30 seconds remaining. Rutgers guard Mike Coburn missed a foul shot at the other end to seal the victory.
Vincent Council and Gerard Coleman added 15 points each for the Friars (15-16, 4-14). Gilvydas Biruta led the Scarlet Knights (14-16, 5-13) with 21 points.
Having set the Big East single-game scoring record with 52 points against Notre Dame on Feb. 23, Brooks entered Saturday’s game with 440 points in 17 Big East games this season, 22 points shy of Connecticut’s Donyell Marshall’s 462 points in the 1993-94 Big East season.
Providence began the second half trailing 38-33 after Rutgers made 16 of 29 first-half shots (55.2 percent). Brooks made only 3 of his 12 first-half field-goal attempts but counted all six of his free throws to enter halftime with 14 points, nine away from the record mark.
In the second half, a quick 9-2 run, capped by a thunderous dunk by Biruta on an alley-oop pass from Mike Poole, extended the Scarlet Knights’ lead to 12 points. But Brooks responded with eight points in just more than three minutes including the basket that vaulted him past Marshall.
On the record-setting play, Brooks looked off Council and let off a contested 3-point attempt with 9:53 remaining, a familiar shot for the aggressive shooter. When the shot went in for his 24th point of the game, Brooks raised a finger in a “No. 1” gesture, to cheers from the crowd.
Providence still trailed by eight points against a Rutgers team that shot a season-best 31 of 52 (59.6 percent) from the field. But Brooks’ historic basket began a 22-11 run for the Friars, who tied the score at 73 with 1:14 remaining.
On the game’s crucial possession, Brooks took the ball from Council at the top of the key, and with one second remaining on the shot clock, lifted a finger-roll over a Rutgers defender to give Providence a two-point lead. On the subsequent possession, Friars forward Kadeem Batts got in the way of a spin move by Coburn, who was awarded two shots with 1.8 seconds remaining in the game.
Coburn made the first free throw, but missed the second, and Brooks scooped up the rebound to cap the win.