No. 20 Syracuse survived a valiant effort by the Scarlet Knights, riding a huge disparity at the free throw line, to win 84-80 in overtime Saturday at the Carrier Dome.
Rutgers (13-13, 4-10 Big East) has lost 15 straight to the Orange (22-6, 9-6), and is 1-22 in the series in upstate New York. The Scarlet Knights need to win three of its final four regular season games to ensure a winning record coming out of the Big East tournament.
Mike Coburn put the Scarlet Knights in position to win in regulation when he made a pair of free throws with 24 seconds left in regulation to put Rutgers ahead 70-69.
However, Syracuse tied it 70-70 with 9.9 seconds remaining when Rick Jackson made one of two free throws. Following a time out, Beatty had a chance to win it with a long 3-pointer from the right side, but he was off the mark and the game went to overtime.
"We wanted two high ball screens and Dane (Miller) in the short corner," Rice told reporters afterward. "I wanted a shot. In hindsight, I liked that he was aggressive stepping up but he had a wide open man in the short corner. We wanted him to come off of two ball screens. They took away the slip and it left JB and Dane wide open."
In the extra session, Syracuse got out to a quick 75-71 lead on a two Jackson free throws and a 3-pointer by Kris Joseph. The Scarlet Knights made just 3 of 9 shots in overtime and Syracuse extended its lead to 83-75 with 14 seconds left, but a lay-in by Coburn and a turnover and 3-pointer by Austin Carroll made it 83-80 with seven seconds left before Joseph iced it with a free throw.
Joseph led Syracuse with 21 points while Jackson had 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots. The Orange were 34 of 47 from the free throw line while Rutgers was 9 of 14.
"(The free throws) areis going to be a disparity with our formula," Rice said. "These are Big East referees. They are supposed to be the best in the country and I have to believe that those are the calls. When I look at the film, I'm sure I will see a lot of missed block outs and a lot of fouls that will make me scratch my head. That is part of the game. We just have to do a better job."