Collins helps South Florida beat Rutgers 67-65South Florida forward/center Augustus Gilchrist (24) shoots in front of Rutgers forward Gilvydas Biruta (55) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday Jan. 1, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Anthony Collins had a key three-point play, Ron Anderson Jr. scored 15 points and South Florida beat Rutgers 67-65 on Sunday.
Collins, who scored on a layup, was fouled on the play, and made the ensuing free throw to make it 67-65 with 12.7 seconds remaining. He finished with seven points and 10 assists.
It was the first Big East Conference win for South Florida (8-7, 1-1), which had opened league play on Wednesday, losing 60-57 to No. 9 Connecticut.
The Bulls rallied in the final minute after Rutgers took a one point lead. After South Florida got a 3-pointer from Shaun Noriega, Eli Carter scored in the lane to give Rutgers a 63-62 lead with 1:24 left.
Carter had 23 points for Rutgers (8-6, 0-1), which was coming off an 85-83 double overtime win over No. 10 Florida on Thursday night. He missed a potential game-tying jumper in the final seconds.
Carter had a career-high 31 points in the victory over Florida. Rutgers dropped to 2-15 in Big East openers.
Rutgers started the game off slow, missing its first eight shots, falling behind 6-0. Carter stopped the dry spell on a 3 with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
Augustus Gilchrist scored eight points to pace South Florida to a 29-22 halftime lead. The Bulls, keyed by Noriega's long-range jumper, scored the first half's final seven points. South Florida made just 4 of 9 free-throw attempts during the opening 20 minutes. Rutgers converted its two chances.
The Scarlet Knights opened the second half on a 7-2 run as Gilvydas Biruta scored four points and Carter connected for a 3 to get Rutgers within 31-29.
Anderson's 3-point play put South Florida ahead 45-40 midway through the second half.
Carter made a layup and added a free throw to get the Scarlet Knights even at 55-all with 5 1/2 minutes remaining.