LOUISVILLE, Ky. (January 8, 2013) – The #15/13 Louisville Cardinals needed overtime to pull out a win over the Rutgers women’s basketball team, 66-57, on Tuesday night at the KFC YUM! Center. The Scarlet Knights led by as many as 11 points in the second half.
RU falls to 9-6 overall and 0-2 in BIG EAST play. The Scarlet Knights were making their first appearance on the road in conference play. Louisville meanwhile improved to 13-3 overall and 1-1 in BIG EAST action.
Tied at 52-52 at the end of regulation, the Cardinals outscored the Scarlet Knights, 14-5, to take the victory. It was the second straight overtime contest between the two squads.
Down 7-2 to start the game, Rutgers proceeded to take 15-0 run to take a lead well into second half play. Sophomore Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) was responsible for seven points during the run which held the Cardinals scoreless for a period of seven and a half minutes. Senior Monique Oliver (Las Vegas, Nev.), who helped RU to 20 first half paint points, went inside to give the Scarlet Knights an 11-point lead, 22-11, with 7:05 on the clock. Louisville, however, would close the gap by the half.
The Cardinals outscored the Scarlet Knights 11-6 over the first half’s final seven minutes to pull to within four at the intermission. While a pair of free throws by Louisville’s Monique Reid minimized the Cardinal deficit to two, 26-24, RU came back down the court for the half’s final possession. While senior Erica Wheeler’s (Miami, Fla.) three-point attempt hit the rim, classmate Chelsey Lee (Miami, Fla.) captured the put back to put Rutgers ahead, 28-24 ,heading into the locker rooms,
Second half action started with a 9-2 run by RU and the Scarlet Knights led by as many as 11 points. Oliver once again forced her way to the basket to give her team a 37-26 edge with 17:22 left in regulation.
The Cardinals used a 9-2 run of their own to close to within four, 39-35. Laney drained a three on the next trip down the court for the Scarlet Knights, but Louisville would hold RU scoreless for the next seven minutes and retake the lead for the first time since the 15 minute mark of the first half. The Cardinals meanwhile captured 11 unanswered points to go ahead, 46-42, with 6:37 remaining in the second half.
The final two minutes of the game saw four lead changes and two ties. With Louisville up by four, Wheeler responded with four quick points to return the Scarlet Knight advantage. Wheeler drained a three-point from the left corner and followed with a fast break as RU led, 49-48, with 1:50 on the clock. A pair of free throws by the Cardinals’ Bria Smith gave Louisville a one point edge, but Rutgers took back the lead, 52-50, as sophomore Syessence Davis (Neptune, N.J.) sank a three as time expired on the shot clock with just 27 seconds to go. Louisville’s Shoni Schimmel tied the contest up with six seconds left. Although a turnover gave the Cardinals one last attempt to win the game with two seconds left in regulation, Louisville was unable to get off the shot and the game went into overtime.
Four Scarlet Knights finished in double figures led by Wheeler with 18. Laney added 12 points, while Oliver and Lee both recorded 10 point games.
Louisville got 21 points from Schimmel and 18 from Reid off the bench. Bria Smith and Antonita Slaughter each contributed 10 points apiece in the win.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team returns to the hardwood on Sun., Jan. 13 at 3:30 p.m. at #2/#3 Notre Dame. The Scarlet Knights and Fighting Irish will battle in front of the ESPNU television cameras with Jim Barbar and Krista Blunk on the call.
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ALL-TIME IN THE BIG EAST:
The Scarlet Knights now stand at 194-87 all-time in the BIG EAST and 84-57 in regular season conference road games.
HOME TEAM GETS THE WIN:
Rutgers fell to 4-6 in the all-time series with Louisville. At four RU victories have come at the RAC with the Scarlet Knights still looking to pick up a win with the Cardinals in Kentucky. Four of the six Louisville wins were on the Cardinals homecourt with two other wins coming in neutral site action at the BIG EAST Tournament.
POINTS AT THE HALF:
After scoring just 13 halftime points against Tennesee and Stony Brook and only 14 points against St. John's in their last three outings, Rutgers had 28 points against Louisville at the intermission. It was the most points by the Scarlet Knights heading into the locker room since netting 32 against Stony Brook back on Dec. 21.
FOUR IN DOUBLE FIGURES:
The Scarlet Knights had four in double figures - the third time this season RU has done so. Other games with four in double figures include a loss at then #10/11 Georgia and a victory against Stony Brook.
DISPARITY FROM THE LINE:
The Scarlet Knights went to the free throw line only twice on Tuesday against Louisville where they went 2-of-2. The Cardinals, meanwhile, had 30 attempts from the line making 21 free throws.