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Villanova Collapses In New Jersey, Loses To Rutgers 77-76

Piscataway, NJ (Sports Network) - Jonathan Mitchell's four-point play with 0.8 seconds left capped an improbable comeback and lifted Rutgers to a 77-76 upset of No. 9 Villanova at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

Mitchell finished with a career-high 25 points and six rebounds while James Beatty added 15 points for the Scarlet Knights (13-11, 4-8 Big East), who ended a four-game skid in dramatic fashion.

Rutgers trailed by 13 points with five minutes remaining and was down 10 inside three minutes before regrouping to pull off the stunner and hand Villanova a third loss in its last five games.

Corey Fisher poured in 23 points and handed out 10 assists while Antonio Pena supplied 15 points and eight boards for the Wildcats (19-5, 7-4), who were temporarily denied a school-record seventh straight 20-win season.

"I thought we played well, but the last four of five possessions of the game we didn't do anything right," Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. "Obviously it's a tough way to lose a game, but you have to give Rutgers credit."

Trailing 70-60, Dane Miller and Mike Coburn each made one free throw before back-to-back triples from Mitchell and Beatty trimmed the lead to two with 1:39 remaining.

Freshman James Bell canned two foul shots with 58.8 ticks left before Miller's tip-in with 46.3 seconds to go brought the hosts back within a pair.

After Fisher tracked down his own miss, Bell drained a left-wing trifecta that extended the lead to five with 11 ticks to go only to see Beatty respond with one of his own less than five seconds later to keep the margin at a deuce.

Fisher hit 1-of-2 at the line before Rutgers brought the ball down the floor with no timeouts left. Beatty drove to the top of the key and fed Mitchell, who knocked down the tying three from the right wing and was fouled in the process. Following a timeout, he calmly sank the decisive free throw.

"I always want to take the last shot. I want the game on my shoulders," Mitchell said. "They kicked it back to me, I let it fly and it went in."

Villanova's long inbounds pass to the other end of the floor did not result in a shot, leading the home crowd to storm the floor in celebration.

Mike Poole scored seven straight points for the Scarlet Knights to bring them to within 48-44 with 12 minutes to play. Villanova eventually pushed its lead to 64-51 after an 11-2 spurt.

Trailing 5-4, Villanova went on a 7-2 run to take the lead for all but the final seconds with just over 15 minutes remaining in the first half.

The Wildcats pushed the lead to as many as nine on four occasions and took a 35-28 lead at the intermission.

Mitchell made 8-of-19 shots, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc...Beatty was 5-of-9 from long distance as he and Mitchell accounted for all of Rutgers' makes from three-point territory...Miller totaled 12 points while Poole ended with 11...Fisher moved past Jonathan Haynes into 10th place on Villanova's all-time assist with 453 and joined Scottie Reynolds as the only players in program history to record 1,000 points and 450 assists...Fisher connected on 7-of-12 shots, including 5-of-7 from long distance, while Pena hit 7-of-10... Villanova shot 56 percent from the floor...The Wildcats lead the all-time series, 26-9.