CHICAGO, Ill. (February 12, 2013) – The DePaul Blue Demons denied Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer her 900th career victory despite her Scarlet Knights rallying from an 18-point deficit to fall, 60-57, Tuesday night at McGrath-Phillips Arena.
Rutgers, who trailed 37-19 in the opening moments of the second half, outscored DePaul, 38-25, in second half play and failed to get a good look at the basket for a three-pointer to send the game into overtime as time expired.
The Scarlet Knights drop to 14-9 overall on the year and 5-5 in the BIG EAST. DePaul improved to 18-7 overall and 7-4 in league play.
Midway through the second half and trailing by double figures, Rutgers managed a 17-4 run to take its first lead since the opening portion of the game. Freshman Rachel Hollivay (Columbus, Miss.) scored 12 second half points to help lead the comeback, including a short jumper to tie the score at 48-48 with 8:11 left. Nearly a minute later, sophomore Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) gave RU a 50-48 advantage and its first look at the lead since the 17:06 mark of the first half.
After Laney extended the Scarlet Knight to a three-point advantage on a free throw, DePaul rattled off six answered points to regain the lead and held a 57-53 edge with 1:50 remaining.
Sophomore Syessence Davis (Neptune, N.J.) had two straight buckets, including being fouled on a fast break off a steal by senior Erica Wheeler (Miami, Fla.) to tie the game at 57-57. Davis went to the line for the and one with just 47 seconds left to play. Davis missed the free throw and in a scramble for the rebound saw DePaul take possession of the ball.
The Blue Demons inbounded the ball from the baseline underneath their basket twice and eventually got Brittany Hrynko a look from beyond the arc for DePaul to take a 60-57 lead with 10 seconds remaining.
Rutgers had a chance to sent into overtime by was unable to get a good look at the basket. Wheeler tried a shot, but her three fell short.
Wheeler and Hollivay finished the game with 12 points each.
DePaul had three players in double figures led by Katherine Harry with 16 points. Hrynko who collected what would be the game-winning shot finished with 15 points and Jasmine Penny added 12.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 16 against Connecticut. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m. at the RAC. The game will air on SNY.
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Head coach C. Vivian Stringer used the smaller line-up of Erica Wheeler, Syessence Davis, Shakena Richardson, Betnijah Laney and Chelsey Lee for the third-straight game. The line-up suffered its first loss after capturing wins over Villanova and Cincinnati.
Down 19 points, the Scarlet Knights would have captured its largest come-from-behind victory of the season. RU picked up wins over Davidson, Marquette, Villanova, and Cincinnati when trailing at the half this season.
AWAY FROM THE RAC:
Rutgers dropped to 2-8 on the road this season.
RESETTING REBOUNDING MARKS:
Rutgers held a 36-34 advantage on the boards led by Syessence Davis with a career-high nine rebounds. She surpasses her previous high of six collected most recently in RU’s overtime win over Villanova.
POINTS OFF TURNOVERS:
The Scarlet Knights captured 25 points off turnovers thanks in part to a career-high eight steals by Erica Wheeler. Wheeler surpasses her previous high of seven in RU’s final non-conference game against La Salle.
HOME TEAM ADVANTAGE:
Rutgers fell to 5-4 in the all-time series with DePaul. All four Blue Demon wins have come on their home court in Chicago.