February 11, 2008

Speculation ensues over Lady Vols win

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Nicky Anosike sank two free-throws with two-tenths of a second left after a controversial call to give No. 1 Tennessee a 59-58 victory over No. 5 Rutgers. Video replays showed that the clocik paused for a brief second before Anosike was fouled. Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer voiced her frustration after the game.

Continue reading "Speculation ensues over Lady Vols win" »

Lady Vols win thriller on last second FTs

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- For 59 minutes Nicky Anosike could hardly get anything to fall, with 0.2 seconds left she gave Tennessee a 59-58 lead over Rutgers and one of the biggest wins of the season.

Continue reading "Lady Vols win thriller on last second FTs" »

Anosike makes both with 0.2 seconds left

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Nicky Anosike's two-free throws with 0.2 seconds left gives Tennessee a 59-58 lead.

Anosike fouled as time expires

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Tennessee's Nicky Anosike was fouled just before time expires as Rutgers holds a 58-57 lead. Anosike will go to the line for two shots and a chance to win the game.

Bjorklund's 3 gives UT the lead

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- For 30 minutes Tennessee couldn't hit a 3-pointer, in the last 45 seconds they've hit two. Freshman Angie Bjorklund knocked down a 3 with 47 seconds left to give Tennessee a 57-56 lead over Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have the ball.

Rutgers holding on to lead

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Epiphanny Prince and Matee Ajavon have helped keep Rutgers up 52-51 on No. 1 Tennessee.

Candace Parker has tried to give the Lady Vols the lead single-handedly scoring Tennessee's last six points. She has 27 points and nine rebounds so far. There is 2:47 left and Kia Vaughn is going to the line for Rutgers. Parker fouled her hard underneath the basket.

Parker's jumper cuts Rutgers lead to one

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Candace Parker's turn around jumper helps Tennessee cut the Rutgers lead to 50-47. It was only the second basket for the Lady Vols in the half.

Rutgers Epiphanny Prince has played a strong second half and hit an off balanced shot to give the Scarlet Knights a three-point lead.

Bobbitt called for technical

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Tennessee point guard Shannon Bobbitt was called for a technical after getting fouled by Rutgers' Matee Ajavon. Rutgers made both of their free throws and Bobbitt only made one. Rutgers leads 46-44 with 6:20 left.

Rutgers lead as Lady Vols struggle to score

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Rutgers has built a 44-41 lead behind strong defense and a struggling Tennessee offense. The Lady Vols have only two made field goals in the last 22 minutes of action, a jumper from Angie Bjorklund and a layup from Candace Parker.

Tennessee has been able to get to the free throw line, but has been unable to make jumpers. The Lady Vols are 1-of-15 in the second half and are shooting 26 percent for the game.

Both teams have players with four fouls. Epiphann Prince, Rashidat Junaid and Myia McCurdy have four For Rutgers. Bjorklund and Alexis Hornbuckle have for Tennessee. There is 7:15 left in the game.

Rutgers ties it up

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-Epiphanny Prince's layup tied it up for Rutgers at 37-37. The Lady Vols have been ice cold in the second half going only 1-of-14 from the field, the lone basket being a jumper from freshman Angie Bjorklund.

Rutgers has really stepped up the defense and is forcing Tennessee to only shoot long jumpers and 3-pointers. Tennessee hasn't made a 3 since early in the first half, missing 11 straight.

Rutgers' quick run cuts Lady Vol lead

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Rutgers has started the second half on a 8-0 run to cut Tennessee's lead to 34-31. The Lady Vols have struggled from the outside and Rutgers has been able to get points in the paint in the first three minutes.

Lady Vol fans routinely stand and clap at the begininng of each half until Tennessee scores and they have been standing for over three minutes so far.

Parker helps build halftime lead

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Candace Parker's knee is fine and the Lady Vols have built a 34-23 halftime lead over Rutgers. Parker has scored in almost every way early on as she has 17 points and seven rebounds at the half.

Continue reading "Parker helps build halftime lead" »

Fouls picking up for Rutgers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- No. 5 Rutgers is having foul problems early on and No. 1 Tennessee is taking advantage of them. Five Rutgers playres have two fouls each including Kia Vaughn, Epiphanny Prince and Matee Ajavon. The Lady Vols have turned those fouls into a 12-of-12 performance from teh free-throw line.

Tennessee leads Rutgers 32-21 with 1:55 left in the first half.

Parker scoring at will early on

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Candace Parker has 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting early on for No. 1 Tennessee. The Lady Vols hold a 26-19 lead over No. 5 Rutgers with 7:51 remaining in the first half. The Lady Vols have cooled off a bit shooting. Parker, Angie Bjorklund and Alex Fuller are 8-of-12 shooting, but the rest of the team is a combined 1-of-7.

Rutgers has three players with two fouls each including seniors Kia Vaughn and Matee Ajavon. Essence Carson and Epiphanny Prince each have seven points to lead Rutgers.

Lady Vols hot early on

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- The Lady Vols have used some strong shooting to jump out to a 19-10 lead over Rutgers with 11:42 left in the first half.

The Lady Vols are shooting 58 percent from the field so far and have hit 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Angie Bjorklund has eight points to lead all scoreres.

Rutgers has one of the best defenses in the country and is only giving up 50 points a game for the season, but Tennessee has hit their jump shots early on. Essence Carson leads Rutgers with five points.

Lady Vols jump out to early lead

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Candace Parker and Angie Bjorklund have Tennessee out to a 9-6 lead over Rutgers. Parker hit her first two shots and Bjorklund has knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Lady Vols the lead.

Rutgers center Rashidat Junaid has been a problem for Tennessee inside and has two rebounds early on.

National Championship rematch in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Candace Parker will start tonight as No. 1 Tennessee and No. 5 Rutgers square off in a rematch of last season's national championship game in Cleveland, Ohio. After wondering about the status of the All-American for days the Lady Vols got word that she wascleared to play by trainer Jenny Moshak.

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February 05, 2008

Warrior Knights

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Fourteen people got a hell of a show on CSTV. OK, so the women's hoops blog folks underestimated the amount of viewers that CSTV gets, but our network sure did air a great Big East battle.

No. 1 Connecticut is undefeated no longer and to make matters worse, the loss comes at the hands of their nemesis, No. 7 Rutgers, 73-71, at the RAC

The Huskies played down to Rutgers' speed in the first half and still managed to take a nine-point lead into the break. They extended that lead after halftime to 40-30, but that is when Epiphanny Prince went to work.

"I don't think we doubled her enough," said UConn coach Geno Auriemma in response to Prince's night. "It wasn't like she made easy shots. They were tough shots."

Continue reading "Warrior Knights" »

Unbeaten No Longer

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Essence Carson was just fouled with 6.9 seconds to play. She hit one of two foul shots to make the score 73-69. A four point game means this could be out of reach for UConn.

The nation's No. 1 team looks like it has been beaten. Rutgers does it to coach Geno Auriemma again and the Huskies are unbeaten no longer.

The star of the night was just what her name suggests for Rutgers, an epihany. Epiphanny Prince scored 33 points and the Scarlet Knights, ranked No. 7, upset the previously unbeaten Huskies, 73-71 in front of 8,026 jubilant Rutgers fans.

More to come...

Rutgers' Epiphanny

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Who knew how great a game this would turn out to be.

But with 3:55 left, the score is tied at 61. It's basically the Epiphanny Prince show here at the RAC. The sophomore has almost single-handedly brought her Scarlet Knights back into this game. She has 29 points with no signs of letting up.

C. Viv better hope she doesn't let up.

The lead has now begun changing hands quicker than a cross-over dribble.

Kia Versus Tina

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The game has turned into the Kia versus Tina show.

Tina Charles and Kia Vaughn have traded the last three baskets and with 8:44 to play, Connecticut still leads by three, 55-52.

But, the good news is, this one is going to have a good finish. Or so it seems...

Tie Goes To The RAC

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Epiphanny Prince has taken over.

After my last post, the sophomore continued her great play, hitting a three, making steals and getting to the line for and one's, and has brought the Scarlet Knights all the way back. The game is tied at 46 with 11:42 to play.

Prince has 22 points for Rutgers taking over the game lead from Montgomery, who has 19.

RU Back In The Game

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Epiphanny Prince is responsible for bringing her Scarlet Knights back into this ball game.

The sophomore guard nailed a three and then after Renee Montgomery had her shot blocked, the Knights went down and couldn't convert. But Prince was there to save the day, stealing the ball off the rebound and putting it back up and in, getting fouled on the play.

The Knight's 5-foot-9 spark plug hit the free throw and Rutgers is back to within three, 44-41, with 14:00 to play, sending the Scarlet Knight's crowd into a frenzy.

Continue reading "RU Back In The Game" »

Maya And Essence

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers came out in the second half like they went out in the first. Cold shooting.

They did, however, manage to cut into UConn's lead immediately, but then Renee Montgomery took over. The junior guard scored five points on a free throws and a long-range bomb and the Huskies widened their lead, 38-28, with 17:25 to play.

A developing storyline remains the poor play of Maya Moore and Essence Carson. UConn's Moore is now 0-for-4 for the night with no points and Carson is 0-for-5, also without a point to her name.

It's Hot In Here

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - And I don't mean the shooting, kid.

While the temperature inside the RAC is sweltering, the offense for Rutgers is fizzling. And the No. 1 Huskies haven't been much better.

The Scarlet Knights have actually gotten their way, forcing the Huskies into a slow down offensive scheme and playing great defense so as to not allow them to get easy points. One thing that is certain, none of the points gotten have come easy. For either team.

The problem for the Knights is they just can't put the ball in the basket, either, and so UConn leads at halftime, 33-24.

Continue reading "It's Hot In Here" »

Rutgers Gains Mo

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Epiphanny Prince just ignited the crowd, somewhat.

UConn still leads, 25-20, with five minutes to play, but Prince drove to the right side of the rim, through traffic and put up a beautiful finger roll amid lots of Connecticut height.

The Huskies called time out and the place erupted. A good sign for a team that was just down nine, going on nineteen.

Now, even Renee Montgomery is missing for UConn. See how important momentum is...


Watching Renee

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Montgomery's three pointer is perhaps the smoothest shot in the nation. It looks simply effortless when it leaves her hands. She stops and pops better than any woman I've seen.

And she's so quick on the perimeter. I'm convinced, if Montgomery played for a team that let her use her scoring talents to the best of her ability, she's be pouring in over 25 a game. She's offense and defense, dribbling, passing and shooting all in one package.

Meanwhile, back within the game, with 7:41 to play, the Huskies continue to lead the No. 7 Knights, 23-14. Maya Moore has two fouls already and is sitting on the bench as I write. The one shining moment for Rutgers to this point.

Continue reading "Watching Renee" »

Where's Kia?

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Where has Kia Vaughn been? The junior is only averaging over nine points and under nine rebounds per game this season.

Where is the 20-point scorer from last season's NCAA Tournament?

The Scarlet Knights need Vaughn, and lots of her, against UConn tonight, and so far, she's delivering. The 6-foot-4 center has six early points - tied for the game-high with UConn's Tina Charles - and has established her position down low.

Continue reading "Where's Kia?" »

Where's Kia?

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Where has Kia Vaughn been? The junior is only averaging over nine points and under nine rebounds per game this season.

Where is the 20-point scorer from last season's NCAA Tournament?

The Scarlet Knights need Vaughn, and lots of her, against UConn tonight, and so far, she's delivering. The 6-foot-4 center has six early points - tied for the game-high with UConn's Tina Charles - and has established her position down low.

Continue reading "Where's Kia?" »

That's What I Thought

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - After five minutes of play here at the RAC, it is safe to say that this game is turning out just how I expected.

Rutgers came out fast and forced UConn into two consecutive turnovers, taking a 4-0 lead. Then UConn regrouped, stormed back and now lead the Scarlet Knights, 9-6, with 15:06 left in the first half.

Right now, Rutgers is being successful in getting UConn to play a slower paced game, however, they were sloppy with the ball at the top of the key, which led to a Renee Montgomery pick and lay up.

The Huskies have been missing their shots, however, and might have a big lead if one or both of Montgomery's missed three-point attempts went in.

Feel The Love

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It's almost tip time and the RAC isn't even full. What gives? Come on people, this is the biggest women's basketball game on the calendar. Come and support.

It's safe to say that the Rutgers faithful hate UConn coach Geno Auriemma with a burning passion as hot as a blazing inferno.

When the coach set foot on the court for the first time, the place erupted with boos and jeers that filled the room. It was like venom was in the air. Then they announced his name, get outta here, you couldn't hear "Auriemma" over the boos.

Rutgers-UConn: Round One

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Ahh, Jersey, I remember you fondley.

And No. 1 Connecticut remembers Rutgers as well, but none too fondley. The last time these two powerhouses met, the Scarlet Knights upset the Huskies to win the Big East tournament.

In what is turning into perhaps the most entertaining and ferocious rivalry in women's basketball - no more Tennessee-UConn, alas - the Huskies have historically owned the Scarlet Knights, but no longer is Rutgers a Big East pushover. They are national title contenders through and through.

On their home floor at the RAC, the Knights and especially coach C. Vivian Stringer know this is the most important game of their season. A win on their home floor over undefeated UConn and they gain back all the respect they ever had and more.

Continue reading "Rutgers-UConn: Round One" »

December 10, 2007

DID THEY WIN OR LOSE?

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Where do you draw the line between Rutgers winning tonight's game at the Rutgers Athletic Center and the California Golden Bears losing it?

To start each half, the Bears started hot, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the first and outscoring the Scarlet Knights 16-7 to open the second. Cal, who falls to 8-2 on the season, even started the second half shooting 8-for-10 from the field.

Rutgers went into the half up 30-20, and Cal came all the way back to take a lead after shooting 80 percent to start the second. The Bears showed fight, heart and determination. But that didn't make up for all the missed shots.

What started at 80 percent plummeted to 42.9 percent as the Bears finished the night making just four of their final 18 shots to lose the game 56-51 in front of 2,911 screaming Rutgers fans.

Continue reading "DID THEY WIN OR LOSE?" »

RUTGERS PULLS IT OUT

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Cal Bears missed out on a big opportunity tonight at the Rutgers Athletic Center, finishing the game on a 4-for-15 run after starting the second half hot and losing to the No. 6 Scarlet Knights, 56-51 in front of 2,911 fans.

Cal falls to 8-2 with the loss and Rutgers moves to 7-2.

BACK FOR MORE WITH POSTGAME RECAP AND QUOTES...

HOME STRETCH RUN

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - An Alexis Gray-Lawson three just made the score 47-45 Rutgers with 6:30 to play. Before that, it looked like Rutgers would be able to coast to victory paced by their strong D.

Give Cal a lot of credit. They are scrappy, they play tough and they have some excellent talent on the floor. A 100 percent healthy Devanei Hampton and I am not sure Rutgers would have a two-point lead right now.

Kia Vaughn has woken up offensively for Rutgers and now has a double-double to help the Knights gain back the lead after Cal had taken it shortly. With 6:00 to play, coach Stringer pulled Vaughn for a breather. One has to wonder if this isn't the wrong time, but Vaughn needs a bit of a rest anyway.

Continue reading "HOME STRETCH RUN" »

RUTGERS MISSING ESSENCE

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - With 11:59 to play, the score is Cal 40, Rutgers 39.

Looks like we might get a close finish tonight afterall.

For Rutgers, their problems might be stemmed from finding Essence Carson. The senior forward is playing, but not like her usual self. She has three fouls to go with two points and two rebounds on 1-for-8 shooting. Ouch.

On the other side of the ball, Ashley Walker, Cal's leading scorer and rebounder is doing what her Bears teammates expect of her. Namely 13 points, because she only has three boards. Walker looks very athletic for someone standing 6-foot-1 and playing the post. She has beautiful Crystal Langhorne-like footwork down low.

CAL HEATING UP

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Cal team that started the first half is back at the beginning of the second.

All of a sudden, the Bears are putting up baskets in bunches, going on a 14-5 run to start the half.

Ashley Walker and Lauren Greif, who hit a three, have been the big second-half contributors thus far and it just seems that to start each half Cal has had some extra bounce in its step.

Hopefully for them, they don't lose it again and let the Scarlet Knights go on another run, because at 35-34 with 15:48 to play, this has gotten good again.

AT THE HALF

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers leads Cal 30-20 at the half.

The first half was a half just like many others I have witnessed here at the RAC at the State University of New Jersey.

Defense. Defense. There was some defense played. And Rutgers played a lot of defense.

Continue reading "AT THE HALF" »

HOLLA AJAVON

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Amidst a 14-0 Rutgers run, this is quickly looking like the type of game everyone here at the RAC expected.

The Cal Bears jumped out to a 6-0 lead with Rutgers starters out, and built upon it shortly after they returned. But once they hit their stride, boy did they hit it hard.

Matee Ajavon has been everywhere, getting offensive rebounds, put backs, and ones, you name it. The senior has 10 points, sophomore Brittany Ray has two threes for a total of eight points and Rutgers leads 24-12 with 7 minutes to play in the half.

RAY OF SUNSHINE

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Halftime score 20-16? Brittany Ray does her best Lee Corso impression, saying, "Not so fast."

Ray hit back-to-back baskets, including a corner three, followed by a layup and the foul by Matee Ajavon and the Scarlet Knights now lead 18-12 with 8:29 left to play.

Now we are on pace for a much more obese score at the break. Maybe something like 28-22.

ON PACE

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - At the 10 minute mark, the score is 10-8 Cal.

That means we are looking at a possible 20-16 halftime score.

Yes, this is a sure fire Rutgers contest folks. And even though the Bears hold the small advantage and look very solid right now, the Knights will find their rhythm if Cal continues to let them dictate pace of play.

RUTGERS STYLE

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - With the normal starters sitting on the bench, No. 11 Cal got out to a quick 6-0 run. Rama N'diaye, who has done a fantastic job in the absence of Devanei Hampton, Hampton herself and Ashley Walker all scored for the Bears.

The crowd yelled for the starters. C. Viv delivered and there was a line change at the RAC, but not before a Katie Adams three cut Cal's lead in half.

Thus far, even with the reserves in, this is a Rutgers style game. Slow, steady, defense and few baskets.

DEVANEI HAMPTON

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Pac-10 Player of the Year last season, Devanei Hampton, is playing in just her second game back from right knee surgery.

After playing just 12 minutes in the first, I found out you can pretty much expect the same minute total tonight, meaning Cal will have to rely on Ashley Walker again.

For Rutgers, this is the second game in a row C. Vivian Stringer has decided to start her reserve lineup of Katie Adams, Rashidat Junaid, Heather Zurich, Myia McCurdy and freshman Khadijah Rushdan.

One Trio Against Another

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The fate of the No. 11 California Golden Bears rests in the hands - and on the surgically-repaired right knee - of reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year Devanei Hampton when they meet No. 6 Rutgers as part of the East Coast swing.

In the first game of their cross-country trip, the Bears defeated Princeton, 68-42, and Hampton saw her first action since her Nov. 9 surgery. In 12 minutes of play, Hampton scored nine points and grabbed two rebounds.

If Cal is to upset the Scarlet Knights at their home at the RAC, Hampton's production in her second game will have to significantly improve from her first.

Continue reading "One Trio Against Another" »

December 06, 2007

Duke scratches and claws for ugly upset

DURHAM, N.C. -- Rutgers arrived at Cameron Indoor Stadium riding one of the nation's most impressive winning streaks, claiming victories over three highly ranked opponents. But that winning streak ground to a halt in fairly unimpressive fashion as Duke edged out Rutgers for a 49-44 victory.

Continue reading "Duke scratches and claws for ugly upset" »

Done deal

DURHAM, N.C. -- Keturah Jackson converted one of two controversial free throws to ice the game and there's nothing left to do except for the home team to celebrate as Duke holds a 49-44 lead with 1.2 seconds left. More to come after the postgame press conferences.

Upset brewing?

DURHAM, N.C. -- Rutgers is killing itself down the stretch. The Knights came up with a stop, forcing Duke into a long 3, but Epiphanny Prince traveled while trying to corral the rebound. Rutgers then committed a foul 30 feet from the basket, resulting in a 1-and-1. Duke made one of two to take a 45-44 lead. On the ensuing possession, Rutgers looked totally out of sorts on offense and had a wild shot blocked in the lane. At some point in the hubbub after Rutgers was forced to foul on the rebound a technical was charged against Rutgers. Abby Waner knocked down both free throws and now lead 47-44 with a 1-and-1 coming and just 10.9 seconds on the clock.

OT Bound?

DURHAM, N.C. -- Essence Carson has had a quiet night, but her 10-footer from the baseline has just knotted the score at 44-44. The offense has been a little more lively in the second half, but with 51.3 seconds left it's far from a sure thing that either team will score again. Either way, this game just has the feel of a contest destined for overtime.

Asleep at the wheel

DURHAM, N.C. -- This game is lulling everybody to sleep. Essence Vaughn stepped to the line and missed her free throw. Everybody -- the Devils on the blocks, the referees -- stood around and watched the ball bounce off the rim. Heather Zurich, seemingly the only one paying attention, picked up the loose ball and put back a layup. The Rutgers bench all had one finger raised indicating it was a 1-and-1 and even the refs weren't quite sure how to call it. But it was in fact a 1-and-1 and a head's up play by Zurich. In a game where points are at a premium, the Dookies will be kicking themselves if they lose because of a mental lapse like that.

Depth charge

DURHAM, N.C. -- If the Blue Devils pull this one out, they can thank their bench. Jasmine Thomas' three from the left wing just resulted in another Rutgers timeout and a 38-37 lead for Duke. The last 11 Blue Devil points have come from Duke's bench. But Epiphanny Price is single-handedly keeping Rutgers in this, drilling a 3 from the corner as the shot clock was expiring to put Rutgers back out in front. Price leads all scorers with 15 points.

Attention scoreboard operator

DURHAM, N.C. -- It took better than 30 minutes but the offenses have finally woken up. Epiphanny Price hit the game's first 3 since early in the first half and Duke responded with a long jump shot of its own. Rutgers answered back with a 3-ball from Heather Zurich. If that keeps up, the Devils might actually have to consider falling out of their zone. Jasmine Thomas made a lovely drive to the hoop and got hacked to electrify the crowd on the other end of the floor. The under 8 timeout interrupted the momentum, but Duke is down just two with the free throw pending.

Another drought finally ends

DURHAM, N.C. -- Rutgers endured another extended field goal drought, this time going nearly seven minutes without one. The only thing keeping the Knights in the game was the inside presence of Rashidat Junaid (four free throws) and the equally woeful shooting by the Blue Devils. The streak was only snapped after Kia Vaughn had three cracks from two feet away. Rutgers followed that layup with a hanging, change-of-direction layup by Matee Ajavon to give the Knights a 29-27 lead.

And Duke takes the lead

DURHAM, N.C. -- So far, Stringer's gamble hasn't paid off. The second unit looks even more out of sorts than the starting lineup and Stringer had to call a timeout after a miscommunication led to a turnover and an on-court shouting match. The larger question is, has Rutgers EVER seen a zone before? Duke hasn't slid out of it and the Knights still look completely confused by it. Of course it doesn't help that they can't make a jump shot and extend the defense. Duke is on an 8-0 run right now and Cameron is finally starting to get loud. And the Rutgers starters are still sitting.

Shakeup

DURHAM, N.C. -- Clearly C. Vivian Stringer doesn't like what she's seeing out of her team in the first two minutes after intermission. After going more than 11 minutes without a field goal in the first half the Knights remained sluggish to start the second half. So after a foul on the defensive end, Stringer summoned a fresh lineup, subbing out all five of her players. Despite the move, Duke has crawled back to tie it at 21-21, the first tie since it was 2 all.

The half in a nutshell

DURHAM, N.C. -- All you needed to do was watch the final 10 seconds of the first half to get a sense of how things went in the first 20 minutes. Rutgers rushed the ball up the court for a final shot but threw a sloppy pass that got intercepted by Brittany Mitch in the open court. Mitch broke free up the court but never paid heed to the clock and was still dribbling toward the basket when the buzzer sounded.

Continue reading "The half in a nutshell" »

Rutgers' turn

DURHAM, N.C. -- Now it's Rutgers' turn to go an extended stretch without a field goal. It's been better than seven minutes since their last score from the floor, but Duke has been unable to capitalize. The score was 13-6 when Rutgers last hit a shot and with under 3 minutes to go Duke has managed to only cut the deficit to 17-15.

Zoned out

DURHAM, N.C. -- The Blue Devils have fallen back into a zone and it's working against the cold-shooting Knights. Rutgers has been unable to find gaps or penetrate through the zone and its lone 3 came on a broken play. Rutgers better hope those jumpers start falling because it probably can't count on scoring all its points in transition and still maintain a lead over the Devils who are slowly but surely finding their offense. The Knights are clinging to a 15-13 lead at the under 8 timeout.

Breaking news...Duke scores!

DURHAM, N.C. -- After a drought of nearly six minutes, Carrem Gay knocked down a 15-footer to snap Rutgers' 11-0 run. After another Rutgers turnover, Gay hit another jumper to cut the Duke deficit to 11-6, prompting C. Vivian Stringer to call a timeout of her own. Let's see if these early timeouts can settle these teams down.

Ice cold

DURHAM, N.C. -- Neither team has looked very impressive, but Rutgers still started with a 11-2 run. Duke scored on its first possession and haven't come close since with an assortment of missed layups, errant jump shots and bad turnovers. Rutgers has had a few unforced turnovers as well, but has converted those turnovers into points. The big shot so far was an Epiphanny Price 3 from the left wing with the shot clock expiring following back-to-back Duke blocks. The Devils already burned one timeout before the first media stoppage, but all that led to was another poor entry pass that landed out-of-bounds.

Pre-Game Honors

DURHAM, N.C. -- There was a brief ceremony before the game honoring Wanish Smith, who recently surpassed the 1,000 point mark, becoming the 22nd Blue Devil to accomplish the feat. The jump is coming and Cameron is still half-empty.

Revenge-minded Duke hosts Rutgers

DURHAM, N.C. -- The Cameron Crazies are still fairly subdued (and sparse) with tip-off from Cameron Indoor Stadium about 15 minutes away. Third-ranked Rutgers (5-1) enters Cameron on a roll, having won five straight -- including two victories against top 10 opponents. Meanwhile, Duke (5-3) stumbles into the matchup on a three-game losing streak as coach Joanne McCallie's first season has gotten off to a slow start.

Continue reading "Revenge-minded Duke hosts Rutgers" »

December 03, 2007

Maryland Does Bleed...Scarlet

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Maryland just couldn't hit the big shots at the end of the game when they needed it most and the Scarlet Knights used amazing pressure defense to get the Terps out of their games in the second half to pull away and win, 68-60, in front of 4,181 at the RAC.

The Knights finally got their big win at home.

Back with more...

Instant Heavyweight Classic

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - This one was worth the price of admission. And I got to see it for free. Jealous? You should be, this was one instant classic of a game.

Like a heavyweight battle, Rutgers and Maryland went blow for blow for 40 minutes, and the final was a lot closer than the 68-60 score indicated. But in the end, Rutgers hit hardest and pulled out the win on their home court in front of 4,181 fans who were behind them from start to finish.

This game was all about styles of play. Maryland likes to force its opponents to run, while Rutgers slows you down and forces you to take bad shots. The game featured moments where each team was able to enforce its will. But ultimately it was Maryland who missed one too many shots.

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RU By Five

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Down by five with 3:31 to play, Maryland is playing with a sense of urgency.

Rutgers has completely taken over the momentum of this game thanks to Epiphanny Prince, who has 10 of the biggest points that Rutgers has scored tonight, including the Knights last four, to make the score 53-48.

Langhorne is on the line right now shooting two, but Maryland needs to get back into its offense if they hope to not get upset here tonight at the RAC.

The Terps are still shooting 20 percent on the half and they are turning the ball over as well, with 19 on the game, compared to RU's nine.

RU Has A Lead

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers is a team on a mission right now and the crowd is backing them on their journey.

With 7:20 to play, Epiphanny Prince hit her second 3-pointer in a row to give the Scarlet Knights their first lead since about 16 minutes left in the first half.

Rutgers had cut the lead down to 42-40, but Marissa Coleman responded with a huge three, making it a five-point game. But that's when Prince went off for her back-to-back trifectas. The sophomore guard has 15 points to lead all scorers.

Maryland is shooting just 20 percent in the second half. After shooting 62 percent in the opening stanza, that is a big reason the Terps have let the Knights back in.

Just A Two Point Game

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The lead is just two.

With 10 minutes to play, you could tell the Rutgers fans were ready for their Knights to make a run. And the Knights responded.

Rashidat Junaid, not usually a big contributor, hit a lay up with 9:15 to play to cut the lead to two, 42-40, sending the crowd and the Rutgers bench into jubilation and forcing Maryland to call a 30 second timeout to regroup.

Chants of, "R, U!" have been going back and forth between sides of the arena for almost the entire timeout. The RAC is rocking right now.

Getting Closer

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers doesn't know how to quit.

You know you will get heart and determination from Rutgers and the Scarlet Knights won't let this game slip away.

Down by 10 again, the Knights got back-to-back baskets by Matee Ajavon and backup center Rashidat Junaid - Ajavon hit a three in the corner - to cut the Maryland lead in half.

With 11:34 to play the score is 41-36 Terps.

Kristi Toliver is being blanketed by Epiphanny Prince out there and is visibly frustrated that she cannot seem to shake loose.

Every single time Rutgers has made a run in this game, Maryland has answered. Let's see what the Terps do next. Or will the Knights continue to get back into this game?

Swinging Mo'

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The second half started with Maryland unable to connect from the field for over two minutes and Rutgers used a 4-0 run to get back to within six.

Crystal Langhorne came out of halftime and seemed to regress, looking ugly on a travelling call in the lane and then compounding that by airballing her next shot from the free throw line.

But a big three pointer from freshman Marah Strickland and Kia Vaughn going out of the game with four fouls already has given the Terps back some momentum and they continue to lead, 36-29.

Terps By 10 At The Half

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - After one half of action, this game is pretty much everything you would have expected.

Epiphanny Prince hit a shot at the buzzer into halftime. OK, it was after the buzzer and didn't count. Pretty much sums up the first half for the Scarlet Knights, who trail No. 3 Maryland 33-23 after one.

The Scarlet Knights' defense is devastating, but they seem to be a step behind the Terps' offense, which is one of the best and most efficient in the nation - if not the best.

The Terps can be prone to turnovers, yes, but when their offense clicks it is a wonderful thing to watch.

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Maryland's Gem

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Maryland holds an 18-16 lead with 7:26 to go in the first half and they have Jade Perry to thank.

Perry has come off the bench to provide a needed spark for the Terrapins as Rutgers has been able to slow them down a little late.

Perry has hit three big buckets for Maryland for six early points to lead the team and the Terps have shot almost 67 percent from the field - compared to the Knights' 38 percent - to take the lead.

Essence Carson has been very good tonight thus far for Rutgers and has six points of her own on 3-for-5 shooting.

Fast-Paced Terps

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Is the Tide turning?

Maryland may be missing some shots early and making some early mistakes and turnovers, but they are inflicting their own style of play on Rutgers and forcing the tempo to be a lot quicker than the Knights would like.

Maryland has grabbed the lead, 14-12, at the 9:20 mark in the first half and got a big boost from Jade Perry off the bench. Perry doesn't look it, but she was able to hit on an acrobatic layup in the lane and then immediately followed that with a nice jumper from the free throw line.

Rutgers With Fire

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers came out with a lot of fire in the opening minutes of this one. But one very amusing thing happened before the ball was even tipped.

During the Maryland team announcement, Maryland's Crystal Langhorne was introduced. She ran onto the court and did a chest bump with Jade Perry. Langhorne came down awkward and lost her balance, falling on her backside. The senior got a big laugh, as did her teammates, as she got up embarassed and hugged Perry after.


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Back At The RAC

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Back once again at the State College of New Jersey for another big-time matchup between Top 10 teams, this time for the Jimmy V Classic.

It's the No. 3 Maryland Terrapins who venture north to the Garden State in search of a victory over last year's national runners-up.

Maryland comes in undefeated at 10-0, including big wins over LSU and Oklahoma, and the Terps are hungry to prove they can win on the road.

Rutgers, on the other hand, comes in 4-1, having lost only to then-No. 7 Stanford on their home floor at the RAC. The Scarlet Knights need to prove they can protect their house.

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November 25, 2007

All-American Defense

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - If you watched these two teams play last year in Cleveland at the Final Four, you pretty much got the gist of what happened when No. 7 Rutgers and No. 6 LSU met at the RAC Sunday.

Defense, defense and lots of defense.

And shoddy shooting.

And turnovers.

And that was just LSU's All-American 6-foot-7 center Sylvia Fowles.

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Coming Up On The Home Stretch

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - With 7:13 to play and the score tied at 40, this is the final stretch of the game.

This is big time. This is where one team will win it and one team will lose it. Who's it going to be?

Kia Vaughn had spent a big portion of the second half on the bench with foul trouble, but came back into the game at the 8:44 mark and the score 38-36 RU.

LSU's Fowles then hit a lay up, followed by an Epiphanny Prince jumper on the other side and a Fowles jumper again to tie the score up at 40, where it stands currently.

Fowles now has 13 points for LSU, while Vaughn has 13 of her own for Rutgers.

Lights Out

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Rutgers has actually extended its lead to 38-33 with 11:54 to go in the game, but it is LSU's Quianna don't-call-me-lights-out-'cause-I'm-not-that Chaney who has taken over.

The senior has 16 points to lead LSU and with the score 38-30, she hit a big three pointer with ice in her veins to bring the Tigers back into the game and pump up her team.

Heather Zurich hit a big three prior to that for Rutgers, her first points of the game, and that was quickly followed by a Rashidat Junaid lay in to make the score 38-30 before the Chaney three.

After an Allison Hightower three, however, the Tigers have got the score back within two at 38-36.

Fowles Goes Out

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Sylvia Fowles has just left the game with 15:05 to play.

The senior center looks to have been poked in the eye and spent several seconds on the ground writing in pain.

She walked off the court by herself and is currently being looked at on the bench.

Only one minute after Fowles went to the bench, she's back in the game. It was just a poke in the eye.

Pass The Shoe And Dunk The Ball

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - A very excited few minutes just ensued which involved a missed dunk, a crowd eruption and a player playing with only one shoe.

Let me explain.

First, LSU point guard Erica White spent at least 20 seconds playing defense while holding on to her shoe which had fallen off. LSU then got the ball back, White still didn't put her shoe back on, and the Tigers passed her the ball. She called timeout with the ball in one hand, the shoe in the other.

A few moments later, an LSU fast break ended when Sylvia Fowles - who became the sixth woman to dunk in a college game in the Tigers' last outing - went up for the one-handed slam with authority. The ball clanked off the back iron for a miss, sending the crowd into glorious jubilation at the senior's misfortune.

With 15:42 to go in the game, Rutgers still leads 33-28.

Grinding It Out At Half

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - At the half, this has been a game of miniature spurts and defense, as predicted.

No. 7 Rutgers is putting on a very good show at home after one frame, shooting 45.5 percent from the field to take a 26-24 lead into the half.

LSU was down as much as 19-13 but clawed its way back into the game on the back of Sylvia Fowles and Quianna Chaney. Chaney and Fowles led the Tigers in the first half with nine points apiece.

For Rutgers, they used excellent defense to smother the Tigers down low and didn't allow Fowles to go off, despite her nine points. She had a very tough go inside with Kia Vaughn on her back.

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The D's Gone Crazy

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Told you this was going to be a defensive effort by both teams.

Rutgers is doing what they do best to the music of 16-11 with 10 minutes to go in the first half.

The Scarlet Knights won't let Sylvia Fowles get the ball down low and are denying the passing lanes at the top of the key, getting their hands on every ball that LSU tries to pass.

On the other end, Fowles is a force down low, grabbing rebounds over the smaller Knights and blocking shots and getting her hands on passes that go across the middle of the lane.

Also for the Tigers, senior guard RaShonta LaBlanc already has stolen two balls at the top of the key for fast-break layups to help bring the Tigers back into the game.

But as I type this, Rutgers' E. Carson hit her second three of the game and the Knights lead 19-13.

Early Knights

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - After five minutes of game play, Rutgers is looking like the team to beat this afternoon. The Scarlet Knights came out with some fire on the defensive and offensive end fueled by Epiphanny Prince scoring three early points including an and one.

Essence Carson also hit a big three from the top of the key and the Scarlet Knights lead early, 10-7.

LSU looks a little shaky turning the ball over, but Sylvia Fowles is still a force inside and she has scored three out of the Tigers' seven.

LSU has missed some open shots early and Rutgers has been solid. But the atmosphere here is electric and you can just tell this will be a game of runs.

Sportin' Red

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Talk about a red river, the Rutgers faithful have come out in droves for this Top 10 matchup between the No. 7 Scarlet Knights and the No. 6 LSU Tigers.

I couldn't find a spot in the parking lot it was so crowded, and that isn't usual at the RAC.

And I don't see many purple and gold supporters the building, either. These are all Knights afficionados.

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Final Four Rematch

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Two Final Four teams from a season ago, who both have early-season losses to Top 10 opponents will sqaure off at the Rutgers Athletic Center for Sunday showdown that's a rematch of one of the national semifinals last season.

Last year in Cleveland, it was the Scarlet Knights who absolutely dominated the LSU Tigers, who were making their fourth consecutive Final Four appearance, to the tune of 59-35, for the honor of losing to Tennessee in the title game.

Fast forwarding to this season where No. 7 Rutgers was humbled at home to current No. 4 Stanford and No. 6 LSU was taken behind the woodshed by No. 3 Maryland in College Park in the WNIT Finals, and you have two teams who strongly need a win over a top-ranked opponent.

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November 18, 2007

Rutgers Spoils GWU's Shot at Historic Win

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 -- The stage had been set and the stakes had been laid out. A win for No. 14 George Washington against No. 6 Rutgers would arguably be the biggest regular season win in program history. Well over 3,000 fans, including several hundred boisterous students, came out to the Charles E. Smith Center to see if it would happen. It would not.

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Fans Starting to Depart

WASHINGTON -- With 4:41 to go and a 29 point Rutgers lead, fans are slowly starting to head for the exits.

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Score One for the Kids from G-Dub

WASHINGTON -- I've got to give them credit. With their team essentially out of it, the GW student section has stayed just as loud they were when this was actually a game.

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Born to Run

WASHINGTON -- That 11-0 run I mentioned? It's up to 20-0 after an Epiphany Prince basket in the paint. She missed a chance for a three-point play, but I think her team will be OK without it. With the Scarlet Knights in possession of a 34 point lead and just 11:49 remaining, I think we can declare this one all but over.

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This Knight Might Be Done With

WASHINGTON -- Just 19 seconds into the second half, it looked as though the Colonials had improved their woeful outside shooting. After a Sarah-Jo Lawrence three, maybe they had a chance at a comeback after all. Just 20 seconds later, when Matee Ajavon connected on her fourth long ball of the game, Rutgers answered with a resounding "not so fast."

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Mixed Reviews for the Student Section

WASHINGTON -- As go the Colonials, so go there fans.

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Down 17, Only an Outside Shot at Victory for GW

WASHINGTON -- Any way you slice it, a win tonight for George Washington would be an historic one. It would extend its home win streak to 16. It would run GW's record to 4-0. And it would be the first time the Colonials have defeated a team ranked this high (sixth). Now you can add to that list that it would involve a 17 point second-half comeback.

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Adair Struggling

WASHINGTON -- Just four days after scoring a career-high 29 points against Kentucky, the Colonials' Jessica Adair is struggling to find her rhythm.

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RU Pulling Away Early

WASHINGTON -- In the early going, its all Rutgers at the Smith Center.

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Four Points, the Old Fashioned Way

WASHINGTON -- Less than three minutes into the game, with the Colonials leading 5-2, Rutgers senior guard Matee Ajavon fired up a three from the right side of the court. As she released the shot she was bumped by GW's Whitney Allen. The shot dropped, Ajavon went to the line, and converted the four point play.

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Students 'There To Witness History'

WASHINGTON -- A columnist in George Washington's student newspaper The Hatchet wrote in Thursday's issue: "For the last decade, the women's team has been doing its part, so now it is time to do yours. ... Sunday night has the potential [to] be the greatest game ever played at GW -- it would be too bad if you missed it."
With roughly 10 minutes until the opening tip, several hundred students seem to have answered the call.

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Colonials, Knights Set to Battle in the District

WASHINGTON -- The biggest win in George Washington women's basketball regular season history came on Dec. 4, 1999 on their home court at the Charles E. Smith Center. The Colonials, en route to a 26-6 season and a trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament, defeated the No. 7 team in the country, 63-58.
Their victim that evening? The Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

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November 11, 2007

Finish For A Season

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Don't believe in fate? Rutgers does now.

The last time the Scarlet Knights played in a game that was decided by free throws it was in last year's Sweet 16 against then top-ranked Duke. In that game, Duke's Lindsey Harding stood on the charity stripe with .01 seconds remaining, only to miss, sending Rutgers ultimatley into the Final Four.

Fast forward to the first game of the 2007-08 season for No. 3 Rutgers, this time against No. 7 Stanford in the friendly confines of the RAC, and again free throws determined the outcome of the game.

But this time they were made, and not missed, and this time it was Rutgers who must go to bed with that empty feeling of losing their opening game of the year.

Again with .01 seconds on the game clock, All-American Candice Wiggins had the ball for Stanford near her own team's three point line, seemingly resigned to let the game go into overtime, when it happened.

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Down To The Wire

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - This game is going down to the wire.

With 8 mins to play and the score 47-46 in favor of Rutgers - for this moment, at least - the Scarlet Knights will try to hold on.

Every time Rutgers takes a lead though, Stanford answers. The duo of Appel and Pedersen - who are playing with three and four fouls, respectively - has been dominant. Both players have a double double tonight, with Appel sitting on 16 points, 12 rebounds, and Pedersen, 13 points and 11.

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Average Car, Star Player

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - As a consumer motorist I don't know if I'm buying myself a Kia, as a women's basketball writer, Kia is definitely the way to go.

Vaughn is an All-American and Wade Trophy candidate, but as of 13:51 to go in the game, Vaughn had zero points and three fouls in her first game of the new season.

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Ticky Tacky

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The fouls are starting to mount up for both teams as Stanford leads by one, 38-37, with under 18 minutes to play in the game.

First Stanford's Kayla Pedersen, who was leading the team in scoring and rebounding, pikced up her third foul with 19;29 to go in the.

Seconds later, Rutgers' Kia Vaughn picked up her third.

Both centers will need to be careful the rest of the way as both are vital to their team's success. The refs are calling a tough game, not afraid to blow their whistles and the RU crowd - and C. Viv especially - are getting a little testy.

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Scarlet Half

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - After the first half of the first game I have seen live in 2007-08, I can safely say that I am winded already.

What a fast-paced tempo to this game featuring two Top 10 teams. After one frame, Rutgers takes a 37-36 lead on an Essence Carson three with seconds to go.

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Baby Cardinal

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - With 11:14 remaining in the first half, and the score Stanford 15, Rutgers 13, by far the most impressive player on the court thus far is playing in only her second collegiate game.

Stanford's center Kayla Pedersen has nine points and four boards already and has been everywhere for the Cardinal, even hitting a three. Pedersen leads all scorers and rebounders.

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Rings And Things

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Before tonight's game, Rutgers team members, players and coaches who were apart of last year's Final Four run will receive their NCAA Final Four rings.

Tonight also sees the official raising of the new National Finalist banner that now hangs in the RAC next to the Scarlet Knights' 2000 Final Four banner.

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Three Days Old

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - With the season only three days old, already we've seen some top matches across the country.

None can be bigger than what will take place in New Jersey Sunday night when the Pac-10's No. 7 Stanford Cardinal and the national runners-up, No. 3 Rutgers tangle at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, AKA the RAC.

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