NEW YORK (AP) — Lance Stephenson celebrated being selected Big East Rookie of the Year by making the deciding free throw with 1.8 seconds to play, leading Cincinnati to a 69-68 opening-round victory over Rutgers on Tuesday night.
Stephenson had 13 points — 10 in a 4-minute span of the second half — nine rebounds and five assists to lead the 11th-seeded Bearcats (17-14) to their first ever victory in the Big East tournament and a second-round matchup against sixth-seeded Louisville on Wednesday.
Mike Rosario had 26 points to lead the Scarlet Knights (15-17).
Rosario tied the game at 68 with a 3-pointer with 15 seconds to play.
Stephenson drove to the hoop and was fouled with 1.8 seconds left. He made the first free throw, then intentionally missed the second, not leaving Rutgers with enough time to get off a good shot.
Cincinnati had lost its previous three games in the tournament.