Coming off one of its worst outings of the season, Rutgers responded with its best.
Quincy Douby had 19 points and seven rebounds and Ollie Bailey scored six of his 12 points down the stretch as the Scarlet Knights scored the final nine points and beat No. 22 Louisville, 65-56, on Saturday.
The victory comes on the heels of a dismal home loss to Providence on Wednesday night.
“It was an outstanding game played in all phases,” Rutgers Coach Gary Waters said.
“The kids played with enthusiasm and intensity, something that we didn’t do three days ago in the first half. We buried ourselves in the first half and it killed us. Today, I thought we grew up. We kept our composure at the end.”
Rutgers, 13-7 overall and 3-4 in the Big East Conference, ended a three-game losing streak while handing Louisville (14-6, 2-5) its fourth loss in five games.
The Cardinals’ slump, which will probably drop them out of the top 25, comes as no surprise to Coach Rick Pitino.
“I’ve been in the Big East before, gone to the Final Four [in 1987] but this team couldn’t hang with my Providence teams,” said Pitino, whose team is tied for 12th in the 16-team Big East.
“This is a team that’s very young, and I knew from day one this year we were going to struggle. We struggled with Bellarmine College and Southern Indiana, two Division II teams, in exhibitions.”
Louisville’s youth aside, it could not detract from the joy of the Scarlet Knights, who posted their first win over a ranked team since defeating No. 25 Providence, Jan. 10, 2004. It was also their first win against Louisville in five tries.