The Knights (11-15, 3-12) refused to give up when Rutgers (10-18, 4-11) opened up a 15-point lead midway through the second half.
Sparked by a monster dunk by Tristan Spurlock, the Knights rallied late to stun the Scarlet Knights at the CFE Arena on Wednesday night. Spurlock and Sykes combined for 18 of 28 of the Knight’s final points, with Sykes scoring nine of his 14 points in the final five minutes.
Spurlock had a total of 23 points, including shooting 3-5 from long range to go with five rebounds and two steals. It was only the third win for the Knights in the talented American Athletic Conference, which has four teams ranked in the top 25.
“We’re learning how much toughness you need to win in this league, how to get some stops defensively to finish games and not just hang around. We did that tonight,” Head Coach Donnie Jones said after the game.
Tristan Spurlock is hoping that this comeback win will help the team’s maturity as the season progresses.
“We’ve had a lot of late-game slip ups this season and this was a great way to show our fans that we’ve had enough and learned from our mistakes,” Spurlock said.
Myles Mack led Rutgers with 19 points and Junior Etou scored 14 for the Scarlet Knights in the losing effort. The Knights are back in action on March 1, when they travel to take on fellow AAC member SMU.