Player of the Night (12/29): Eli Carter (Rutgers)

Eli Carter/nj.com
By Paul Seaver (TheArenaPulse)

This post is part of The Arena Pulse’s Player of the Night feature.

Each morning throughout the 2011-12 season, The Arena Pulse will select and name its “Player of the Night” from the previous evening’s action.

Florida’s trip to New Jersey on Thursday night was set to mark the return of former Rutgers guard Mike Rosario.

The game turned into a double-overtime thriller, ending in favor of Rutgers thanks in large part to a dominate performance from one of their new back court representatives.

The winner of The Arena Pulse’s Player of the Night (12/29):

Name: Eli Carter
School: Rutgers
Class: Freshman
Position: Guard

Stat Line: 31 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal

Under second-year head coach Mike Rice, Rutgers has the makings of a young, but dangerous team.

Both qualities were on display on Thursday night, as the heavily-relied upon freshman class led the way for Rutgers in an upset victory over Billy Donovan and the Florida Gators.

From the RAC in Piscataway, New Jersey, Thursday’s contest between Rutgers and Florida needed double-overtime to decide a winner. The Scarlet Knights held off the Gators, 85-83 in the tightly contested affair.

In a game-high 46 minutes, Rutgers freshman Eli Carter stole the show, converting on countless baskets as the game progressed. Carter, a 6-foot-2 guard, led the way with 31 points, a new season and career-high for the talented freshman.

Florida junior Mike Rosario had a fantastic start to his collegiate career at Rutgers before making the decision to transfer after two seasons. Last night’s victory represented a turning point for the Scarlet Knights’ program as their newcomers look to give the school an even brighter future in the years to come.

In addition to his 31-point performance, Carter also was credited with a team-high seven assists to go along with seven rebounds.

Rutgers (8-5) will take its season-high four game winning streak on the road this weekend, as the Scarlet Knights begin Big East play at South Florida (7-7, 0-1). The game will tip at noontime on Sunday from St. Pete Times Forum.

*Photo: Eli Carter *Credit: nj.com

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