PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Cappie Pondexter had 18 points and Rutgers upset a ranked team for the third time in less than a month, defeating previously unbeaten No. 16 Virginia Tech 56-43 Wednesday night." />
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Rutgers Hands #16 Virginia Tech First Defeat, 56-43
  • Posted on January 07, 2004 12:00:00 AM
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  • PISCATAWAY, NJ – In its BIG EAST opener, Rutgers (8-4, 1-0 BIG EAST) played stifling defense all night as it won its fifth consecutive game, and third in a row over a Top 25 team, with a 56-43 victory over No. 16/15 Virginia Tech (12-1, 1-1 BIG EAST) Wednesday night at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.

    Junior Cappie Pondexter (Chicago, IL) led the way for the Scarlet Knights with 18 points and five assists, while senior Dawn McCullouch (Long Beach, CA) chipped in with 13 points, shooting three-for-four (.750) from three-point range.

    Rutgers never trailed in the second half and held the Hokies to a season low of 43 points, while forcing the visitors into a season-high 23 turnovers. The Scarlet Knights took an eight-point lead on a McCullouch three with 6:03 remaining in the game and never looked back as they built their lead to as much as 15 (56-41) with 43 seconds to play.

    The Scarlet Knights limited Virginia Tech’s Ieva Kublina, a unanimous Preseason First Team All-BIG EAST selection, to six points, all from the free-throw line. Dawn Chriss led the way for the Hokies with 14 points.

    RU led 27-24 at the end of a tightly-contested first half in which it forced 11 turnovers and scored 12 points off of those miscues. Down 20-18 with 2:19 to play, Rutgers took control with a 9-4 run to end the half as Pondexter scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting to lead the Scarlet Knights.

    The Scarlet Knights will head to Villanova to play their first conference road game of the year on Friday, Jan. 9. Tip-off against the defending BIG EAST Champion Wildcats is set for 8:00 p.m.

    POSTGAME NOTES

    WITH THE WIN
    Rutgers improves to 8-4 on the season with its fifth consecutive victory and third win in a row when facing a ranked opponent.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY
    Cappie Pondexter celebrated her 21st birthday today by scoring in double figures (18) for the 11th consecutive game this season. The only game in which she failed to score in double figures came in the season-opening blowout-victory over St. Peter’s.

    RUTGERS VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS
    RU evened its record at 3-3 versus Top 25 teams this season and has played against more ranked teams (six) than any other team in the BIG EAST. The Scarlet Knights own victories over No. 16/15 Virginia Tech, No. 18/17 Ohio State and No. 19/19 TCU, while falling at No. 7/5 Texas Tech, No. 2/2 Tennessee and No. 18/21 LSU. The victory over the Hokies marks the second time this season that Rutgers has handed a Top 25 team its first loss of the year. The Scarlet Knights beat 6-0 TCU 73-65 on Dec. 14.

    LET THE GAMES BEGIN
    Rutgers is now 6-3 all time in BIG EAST openers and 6-1 when opening its conference slate at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Tonight’s game marks the second time that the Scarlet Knights have opened their BIG EAST schedule against Virginia Tech. They defeated the Hokies 61-53 on Dec. 6, 2000, in Piscataway, NJ.

    HOME SWEET HOME
    Virginia Tech became the latest team to leave the RAC with a loss as Rutgers improved its home record to 7-0 on the season. RU has led at halftime of each of those victories and now owns a 299-67 (.817) all-time record at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Rutgers also improves to 4-0 against Virginia Tech at home and has limited the Hokies to 53 points once and 43 points three times in those four wins.

    UP NEXT
    The Scarlet Knights will play their first conference road game of the year when they head to Villanova on Friday, Jan. 9, for an 8:00 p.m. tip-off against the defending BIG EAST Champion Wildcats.

    Official Basketball Box Score
    Virginia Tech vs Rutgers
    01/07/04 7:30 p.m. at Louis Brown Ath. Center; Piscataway, NJ
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    VISITORS: Virginia Tech 12-1, 1-1
                              TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
    ## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
    14 KUBLINA, Ieva....... f  0-7    0-1    6-6    0  6  6   2   6  0  5  1  0  35
    32 GARDIN, Kerri....... f  3-6    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   5   6  1  5  0  1  20
    54 GIBSON, Erin........ c  5-10   0-0    1-3    2  7  9   2  11  2  1  1  0  38
    23 CHRISS, Dawn........ g  6-9    0-0    2-3    3  3  6   5  14  1  2  0  3  35
    24 MASON, Carrie....... g  0-3    0-2    0-0    0  2  2   2   0  2  7  0  1  31
    05 COPELAND, Kirby.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  1  0  0   7
    10 RECCHIA, Fran.......    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   2  0  0  0  0   8
    25 ANDERSON, Britney...    2-7    0-0    0-0    2  0  2   0   4  1  1  0  1  19
    45 FINNERTY, Megan.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    1  1  2   1   0  0  0  0  0   7
       TEAM................                         4  1  5             1
       Totals..............   17-43   0-3    9-12  12 22 34  18  43  7 23  2  6 200
    
    TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  9-21 42.9%   2nd Half:  8-22 36.4%   Game: 39.5%  DEADB
    3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  0-2   0.0%   2nd Half:  0-1   0.0%   Game:  0.0%   REBS
    F Throw % 1st Half:  6-8  75.0%   2nd Half:  3-4  75.0%   Game: 75.0%    1
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HOME TEAM: Rutgers 8-4, 1-0
                              TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
    ## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
    00 HURNS, Shalicia..... f  3-6    0-0    0-2    4  2  6   2   6  1  2  0  1  36
    34 CAMPBELL, Michelle.. f  4-5    0-0    0-0    1  3  4   4   8  0  0  1  1  25
    25 PONDEXTER, Cappie... g  5-12   0-1    8-12   1  3  4   0  18  5  3  0  2  37
    32 NEWTON, Chelsea..... g  2-7    0-0    0-2    0  1  1   1   4  3  1  0  2  35
    35 McCULLOUCH, Dawn.... g  5-13   3-4    0-0    0  1  1   0  13  1  1  0  3  33
    03 LOCKE, Courtney.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  1  0  0   3
    13 JETT, Nikki.........    1-1    0-0    1-1    0  0  0   1   3  1  1  0  0  12
    52 CAHOE, Aquisha......    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   2  0  0  0  0   4
    55 RICHMAN, Rebecca....    1-2    0-0    0-1    0  2  2   2   2  0  1  1  1  15
       TEAM................                         1  3  4
       Totals..............   22-47   3-5    9-18   7 16 23  11  56 12 10  2 10 200
    
    TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-25 52.0%   2nd Half:  9-22 40.9%   Game: 46.8%  DEADB
    3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  0-2   0.0%   2nd Half:  3-3  100 %   Game: 60.0%   REBS
    F Throw % 1st Half:  1-3  33.3%   2nd Half:  8-15 53.3%   Game: 50.0%    5
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Officials: Kathy Lynch, Jack Riordan, Tina Napier
    Technical fouls: Virginia Tech-None. Rutgers-None.
    Attendance: 1842
    Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
    Virginia Tech.................   24   19  -   43
    Rutgers.......................   27   29  -   56
    ID-242397
    
    Points in the paint-VT 26,RU 22. Points off turnovers-VT 8,RU 27.
    2nd chance points-VT 8,RU 8. Fast break points-VT 8,RU 6.
    Bench points-VT 6,RU 7. Score tied-4 times. Lead changed-4 times.
    Last FG-VT 2nd-00:03, RU 2nd-00:43.
    
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