HARTFORD, CT - The seventh-seeded Rutgers women’s basketball team (20-10, 10-6 BIG EAST) recovered from a 17-2 deficit to upset second-seeded Notre Dame (19-10, 12-4 BIG EAST) 51-45 in the BIG EAST Championship’s quarterfinal round March 7 at the Hartford Civic Center. With the victory, the Scarlet Knights advance to the tournament semifinals, where they will face No. 6 West Virginia (20-9, 10-6 BIG EAST) Monday, March 8, at 8:00 p.m." />
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Rutgers Upsets Notre Dame, 51-45, to Advance to the Semifinals of BIG EAST Women's Championship
  • Posted on March 07, 2004 12:00:00 AM
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  • HARTFORD, CT - The seventh-seeded Rutgers women’s basketball team (20-10, 10-6 BIG EAST) recovered from a 17-2 deficit to upset second-seeded Notre Dame (19-10, 12-4 BIG EAST) 51-45 in the BIG EAST Championship’s quarterfinal round March 7 at the Hartford Civic Center. With the victory, the Scarlet Knights advance to the tournament semifinals, where they will face No. 6 West Virginia (20-9, 10-6 BIG EAST) Monday, March 8, at 8:00 p.m.

    The game will be shown live on the Madison Square Garden (MSG) Network, Fox Sports Net Florida, the New England Sports Network and WHME-South Bend, and will be carried live on WCTC 1450 AM and WRSU 88.7 FM. A live stream of the audio will be available on www.scarletknights.com.

    The Fighting Irish stormed out to the early 17-2 lead (10:54), but RU steadily chipped away, twice cutting the ND advantage to four (20-16, 1:42; 23-19, halftime) in the first half. The Scarlet Knights scored the first four points of the second half to force their second tie of the game, and first since the 19:15 mark of the first half. Sophomore Courtney Locke’s jumper with 12:39 gave RU its first lead (29-28), but the Irish responded with a 7-0 run, jumping back out to a 35-29 advantage with 10:13 on the clock.

    Rutgers then scored six unanswered points, capped by a pair of Cappie Pondexter (Chicago, IL) free throws, to again tie the game (35-35, 8:40). Notre Dame’s next possession was indicative of Rutgers’ second-half defensive pressure. It took the Irish five attempts, including two timeouts, to get the ball inbounded, and when Notre Dame finally did it resulted in a turnover. Two more free throws by Pondexter put RU ahead 45-43 with 1:30 to play, a lead the Knights would not relinquish. Notre Dame did score a basket with seven seconds to play, cutting the Rutgers lead to 47-45, but Pondexter put the game out of reach with her two free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining in the game.

    Pondexter scored a game-high 24 points, making all 12 of her free throws (10 in the second half). She also led RU with seven rebounds and three steals, and tied with redshirt junior Nikki Jett (Columbia, SC) for the assists lead (four). Senior Dawn McCullocuh (Long Beach, CA) added 15 tallies.

    Rutgers, competing with just eight players, shot only 37.0 (17-46) percent from the field and was outrebounded 34-29. But, the Knights made 16 of 18 (.889) free throws and scored 23 points off of 22 Irish turnovers. RU also held first-team all-BIG EAST selection Jacqueline Batteast to just six second-half points, this after she scored 16 of her team’s 23 tallies in the first half.

    The win marked Rutgers’ 20th of the season, giving the Knights their 20th 20-win season in 30 years of competition. McCullouch also drew closer to the 1,000-point plateau, and needs just two more tallies to become the 23rd Scarlet Knight to reach that milestone.

    Official Basketball Box Score
    Rutgers vs Notre Dame
    3/7/04 6:00 p.m. at Hartford Civic Center  Hartford, CT
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    VISITORS: Rutgers (20-10)
                              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  1-3    0-0    4-4    1  3  4   2   6  2  2  2  2  38
    34 CAMPBELL, Michelle.. f  2-3    0-0    0-0    1  2  3   4   4  0  2  0  0  25
    13 JETT, Nikki......... g  0-3    0-2    0-0    2  1  3   1   0  4  4  0  0  25
    25 PONDEXTER, Cappie... g  6-17   0-4   12-12   1  6  7   3  24  4  5  0  3  39
    35 McCULLOUCH, Dawn.... g  7-15   1-5    0-2    0  3  3   0  15  0  1  0  1  40
    03 LOCKE, Courtney.....    1-3    0-2    0-0    0  1  1   0   2  0  0  0  0  10
    52 CAHOE, Aquisha......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  1  0  0   3
    55 RICHMAN, Rebecca....    0-2    0-0    0-0    1  5  6   5   0  1  1  0  0  20
       TEAM................                            2  2             2
       Totals..............   17-46   1-13  16-18   6 23 29  16  51 11 18  2  6 200
    
    TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-26 30.8%   2nd Half:  9-20 45.0%   Game: 37.0%  DEADB
    3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-7  14.3%   2nd Half:  0-6   0.0%   Game:  7.7%   REBS
    F Throw % 1st Half:  2-4  50.0%   2nd Half: 14-14 100 %   Game: 88.9%    3
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HOME TEAM: Notre Dame (19-10)
                              TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
    ## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
    21 Batteast, Jacqueline f  9-23   1-2    3-4    3  5  8   1  22  1  3  1  1  37
    41 LaVere, Courtney.... f  3-8    0-0    2-4    3  0  3   2   8  1  4  1  0  25
    04 Severe, Le'Tania.... g  2-7    0-0    1-1    1  1  2   4   5  2  3  0  2  36
    13 Duffy, Megan........ g  0-4    0-2    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  2  0  3  35
    23 Hernandez, Monique.. g  0-1    0-0    0-0    0  4  4   1   0  2  2  0  1  15
    05 Joyce, Jeneka.......    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   7
    12 Borton, Teresa......    0-0    0-0    2-2    1  1  2   2   2  0  1  0  0  14
    32 Gray, Breona........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   0   0  0  0  0  0   4
    33 Flecky, Katy........    3-6    1-1    1-3    3  4  7   1   8  1  4  0  0  23
    34 Erwin, Crystal......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  3  0  1   4
       TEAM................                         1  5  6
       Totals..............   17-50   2-6    9-14  12 22 34  13  45  7 22  2  8 200
    
    TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  9-26 34.6%   2nd Half:  8-24 33.3%   Game: 34.0%  DEADB
    3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-4  50.0%   2nd Half:  0-2   0.0%   Game: 33.3%   REBS
    F Throw % 1st Half:  3-5  60.0%   2nd Half:  6-9  66.7%   Game: 64.3%    3
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Officials: Dennis DeMayo, Kathy Lynch, Denise Brooks-Clauser
    Technical fouls: Rutgers-None. Notre Dame-None.
    Attendance: 9722
    Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
    Rutgers.......................   19   32  -   51
    Notre Dame....................   23   22  -   45
    2004 BIG EAST Championship
    Quarterfinal Round game --  #2 Notre Dame versus #7 Rutgers
        RU advances to Monday's second semifinal at 8:00 p.m. against
    winner of Villianova-West Virginia game
    
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