PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Kadeem Jack hit an off-balance, go-ahead shot in the lane with 11.1 seconds to play and Rutgers rallied from a 15-point, second-half deficit to defeat South Florida 74-73 on Saturday.
Jack and J.J. Moore had 20 points apiece as the Scarlet Knights (11-18, 5-11 American Athletic Conference) snapped a four-game losing streak.
Victor Rudd had 26 points to lead South Florida (12-17, 3-13) but his drive across the lane and layup attempt with about 2 seconds left fell off the rim and John Egbunu could not convert the tip on the rebound. The loss extended the Bulls’ season-high losing streak to six games. Egbunu finished with 12 points and Zach LeDay had 10.
Neither team led by more than four points in the final 12-plus minutes and there were eight lead changes in the last 5:38.
Rudd gave the Bulls their last lead with a step-back jumper in the lane with 32.8 seconds to play.
After a timeout to set up a play, Rutgers worked the ball inside and Jack muscled his way up in the lane and hit his shot from roughly 10 feet.
South Florida rushed the ball upcourt and tried to hit Egbunu with an alley-oop inside. But the play was broken up and the Bulls retained possession with 4.9 seconds to go when Malick Kone stepped on the baseline after collecting the loose ball.
Rudd then drove for the game winner and missed.
The win for Rutgers came less than a week after it blew a 15-point second-half lead on the road against Central Florida. The comeback win was the largest of the season for Rutgers, which is in its first season under Eddie Jordan.
South Florida led by a season-high 10 points at the half and built its lead to 50-35 on a dunk by Chris Perry off a feed by Rudd.
Jordan called timeout and Rutgers, which heard a spattering of boos from the crowd, responded.
Myles Mack hit a 3-pointer to ignite an 11-point run and the Scarlet Knights eventually tied game at 55 on a 3-pointer by Jack and even led 61-57 after Craig Brown hit two free throws with 8:22 left.
Rudd got South Florida within a point with a 3-pointer and the lead swayed back and forth over the final minutes.