PISCATAWAY, N.J. (February 9, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team overcame a nine-point second half deficit to rally for a nine-point victory, 55-46, over Cincinnati on Sunday evening at the RAC.
The win gave head coach C. Vivian Stringer 899 career victories as she tries become just the fourth women’s basketball coach in history to accumulate 900 career wins when the Scarlet Knights take on DePaul on Tuesday night.
The win over the Bearcats improved Rutgers to 14-8 overall and 5-4 in BIG EAST action. The Scarlet Knights have won four of their last five contests. Cincinnati, meanwhile, is still looking to pick up its first BIG EAST victory as the Bearcats fell to 8-15 overall and 0-10 in league play.
Cincinnati had a 30-23 halftime lead and led by nine, 34-25, with 16:22 left in the second half. From there, however, Rutgers proceeded to take a 15-2 run and held the Bearcats scoreless for nearly a 10-minute period. Sophomore Shakena Richardson (Neptune, N.J.) helped to tie the game up at 36-36 as she tore down the court following one of her career-high eight rebounds to feed classmate Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) on a fast break. Laney, who finished with 12 points, would cap the run at the 7:32 mark as the Scarlet Knights led 40-36.
Kayla Cook ended the drought for the Bearcats by knocking down a three-pointer and pulling her team within one, 40-39, but Cincinnati would get no closer. Rutgers followed by racking up eight unanswered points and denying the Bearcats a bucket for a stretch of nearly five minutes.
Down the stretch, Rutgers sunk all six of its free throw attempts over the game’s final 30 seconds for the final margin.
Senior Monique Oliver (Las Vegas, Nev.), who came off the bench for the sixth-straight game poured in 13 points, with nine of those points coming in the first stanza. Laney and Richardson both netted 12 in the RU victory.
Cincinnati’s lone player in double figures, Dayeesha Hollins, captured 20 points going 6-of-12 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the line.
The Scarlet Knights crashed the boards, outrebounding the Bearcats, 45-21, for RU’s largest rebounding margin to-date in BIG EAST play.
Stringer will go for win number 900 in front of the CBS Sports Network cameras on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at DePaul. The game will tip-off at 9 p.m. with Brent Stover and Deb Antonelli on the call.
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With the win over Cincinnati, head coach C. Vivian Stringer is just one win away from career victory number 900. With one more win, Coach Stringer is set to join a club that includes former coaches Pat Summitt and Jody Conradt, as well as current North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell.
Head coach C. Vivian Stringer used the smaller line-up of Erica Wheeler, Syessence Davis, Shakena Richardson, Betnijah Laney and Chelsey Lee for the second-straight game. The line-up is currently 2-0 with wins over Villanova and Cincinnati.
Rutgers improved to 11-1 at home this season. The Scarlet Knights have won three straight at the RAC since suffering a 48-44 setback to St. John’s on Jan. 6.
RESETTING REBOUNDING MARKS:
Sophomore Shakena Richardson, who stands at 5-4, reset her career-mark in rebounds with eight against the Bearcats. She hauled in seven boards in the Knights’ last outing against Villanova to average 7.5 rebounds in RU’s last two games.
Monique Oliver led RU in scoring for the ninth time this season and 26th time in her career. Since coming off the bench, Oliver has averaged 11.7 points per game.
Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer
On the second half defense:
“We stepped it up. We were trying something different in the first half. For whatever reason, we didn’t seem to be able to move as quickly as we needed to.”
“I think what changed to throw them off rhythm was the ¾ court press. I don’t know if they expected that or not, but we were ready.”
On the game:
“Maybe the difference [between this game and Seton Hall] was that we did play Seton Hall, so all we had to do was say Seton Hall and remember that. We looked like we were dazed from the beginning, and there was no indication of that based upon warm up or the practices we’ve had. It was a little surprising we were a little more stagnant at the beginning. I think, probably, the game with Seton Hall helped us to avoid that pitfall.”
On being one win away from 900:
“I am so excited. I appreciate the many administrators, outstanding payers, and coaches who volunteered at Cheney [State] because we didn’t have anything. You have a school with 3,000 students, and we ended up playing for the national championship; we went to the Final Four with Tennessee, Maryland, and Louisiana Tech.”
“It’s not about what you have, it’s about the heart you have and knowing where you’re going.”
“With great fans, the administrators, and the support of the university and coaches… and now as I stand here with my coaches who are all former players … I feel particularly blessed because they could have been, and they have been, all over the country. We’re just trying to do some special things here. The number doesn’t matter … it’s not about the numbers. It’s about trying to change lives and make a difference, and to try and use basketball as a life changer and to go on to see these women become something special. So that’s what I think about that [900-win game].”
On Coach Stringer Going For Win 900:
“Ever since I got here I’ve been grateful to play for such a passionate coach. I’ve learned so much here, so to be able to be a part of history is amazing. I’m proud of all of us.”
On Coach Stringer Going For Win 900:
“It goes on to recognize all the people that came before us. This is a tribute to them too, because it’s not just us that have accomplished this milestone for Coach Stringer.”
On running the offense:
“I’m just trying to stay as consistent as possible, and do anything I can do to help my team. If that involves rebounding, making plays, it’s whatever. I’m just trying to stay consistent.”