ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The No. 17/18 Rutgers women’s basketball team used 29 points from freshman guard Matee Ajavon (Newark, NJ) to power past South Dakota State (3-1) 68-50 in the opening game of the University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Nov. 25 at UVI’s Sport and Fitness Center on St. Thomas." />
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No. 17/18 Rutgers Defeats South Dakota State 68-50
Scarlet Knights Prevail in Paradise Jam Opener
  • Posted on November 25, 2004 12:00:00 AM
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  • ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS – The No. 17/18 Rutgers women’s basketball team used 29 points from freshman guard Matee Ajavon (Newark, NJ) to power past South Dakota State (3-1) 68-50 in the opening game of the University of the Virgin Islands Paradise Jam Nov. 25 at UVI’s Sport and Fitness Center on St. Thomas.

    The Scarlet Knight offense sputtered throughout the first half, as RU allowed a seven-point lead (24-17, 5:16) to evaporate into a 24-24 tie with 2:42 remaining in the half. Junior forward Michelle Campbell (Princeton, NJ) then scored a bucket, and Ajavon added a free throw and a jumper, sending the Scarlet Knights into the locker room with a 29-26 advantage.

    The Jackrabbits’ aggressive, tight defense resulted in 12 Rutgers first-half turnovers, but RU also shot 11-for-26 (.423) from the field and held South Dakota State to a 16-for-54 (.304) effort. Ajavon entered the break as the game’s only double-digit scorer with 11 points.

    Rutgers turned up its defensive pressure in the second half, and the “55” full-court press as well as more stingy halfcourt play helped the Scarlet Knights score some easy baskets in transition. The Jackrabbits pulled to within three points (35-32) 3:22 into the second half, but SDSU turnovers on three consecutive possessions helped RU put together a 7-0 run (42-32, 14:32), and the lead steadily grew from that point forward.

    Ajavon poured in her 29 points on 13-for-19 (.684) shooting, and scored in a variety of ways – from transition layups to three-point pull-up jumpers to a nifty underhanded finger roll from a halfcourt set. She nearly became the fourth true freshman in school history to record 30 points, and with one more point she would have given Rutgers back-to-back 30-point efforts in the season’s first two games (Campbell, 33 vs. Rider).

    Senior guard Chelsea Newton (Monroe, LA) added 12 points, including 10 from the free-throw line (10-11), while Campbell chipped in with 11 tallies. Campbell shared team-high rebounding honors with freshman guard Essence Carson (Paterson, NJ), as each collected six.

    The Scarlet Knights will be back in action Friday, Nov. 26, at 2:00 p.m. AST (1:00 p.m. AST) against Oregon State at the Paradise Jam. The game will be carried on WRSU 88.7 FM, and a live feed of the broadcast will be available on www.scarletknights.com.

    POSTGAME QUOTES – C. Vivian Stringer
    “(In the first half) we never got a sense of tempo. Our team seemed surprised that South Dakota State played hard and they played well. They played with purpose. I thought that they took it to us defensively. The thing that they did was that they took all switches, which was a new experience for us.

    “I thought that we picked up our defense much better in the second half, which we needed to.

    “I thought that we all seemed disoriented (in the first half). When Matee Ajavon settled down, we were much more calm.

    “I think that Rebecca (Richman) coming off the bench was a factor in our “55” in the second half. I think that Mariota Theodoris played hard. I think she had five rebounds – that was more like it. She got on the floor and got after it. Ajavon finally settled and she was fine. I thought Michelle Campbell best set the tone. She had scored 33 points in our last game, but she didn’t really try to force it tonight.

    “Matee knows how to win. She’s the kind of kid that, when you back her up against the wall, she knows how to play. Obviously, others weren’t getting free, and she just took over. That was good to see.”

    Official Basketball Box Score
    South Dakota State vs Rutgers
    11/25/04 4:30 p.m.AST at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    VISITORS: South Dakota State 3-1
                              TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
    ## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
    32 VOGEL, Megan........ f  3-9    3-6    6-6    0  4  4   3  15  2  4  0  3  24
    42 SCHLAGEL, Shannon... f  3-14   0-3    6-10   6  3  9   2  12  0  4  0  1  32
    52 DeBOER, Sarita...... c  5-9    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   3  10  1  2  1  1  30
    20 SIELER, Heather..... g  1-6    0-0    0-0    1  3  4   3   2  0  5  0  2  23
    30 DICKMEYER, Brooke... g  0-3    0-2    0-0    0  4  4   2   0  2  1  0  2  26
    04 VERDEGEN, Andrea....    2-4    1-1    2-3    1  2  3   1   7  1  3  0  0  19
    10 VANTERPOOL, Isha....    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  1  0  0  1   8
    12 BOLDEN, Stephanie...    1-5    0-1    0-0    1  0  1   1   2  2  2  0  0  19
    50 GRIMSRUD, Courtney..    0-1    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   1   0  0  1  1  0   2
    54 GILBERT, Christina..    1-2    0-0    0-0    2  3  5   2   2  0  0  1  1  17
       TEAM................                         3  1  4
       Totals..............   16-54   4-14  14-19  16 20 36  18  50  9 22  3 11 200
    
    TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  7-23 30.4%   2nd Half:  9-31 29.0%   Game: 29.6%  DEADB
    3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-8  37.5%   2nd Half:  1-6  16.7%   Game: 28.6%   REBS
    F Throw % 1st Half:  9-12 75.0%   2nd Half:  5-7  71.4%   Game: 73.7%   2,1
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HOME TEAM: Rutgers 2-0
                              TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
    ## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
    20 REED, Tudy.......... f  1-4    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   2   2  0  1  0  0  20
    34 CAMPBELL, Michelle.. f  5-9    0-0    1-2    2  4  6   4  11  2  3  1  3  32
    13 JETT, Nikki......... g  3-4    2-3    0-0    0  2  2   4   8  0  0  0  0  21
    22 AJAVON, Matee....... g 13-19   1-2    2-3    1  3  4   3  29  1  7  0  4  30
    32 NEWTON, Chelsea..... g  1-4    0-0   10-11   3  2  5   2  12  3  4  0  3  31
    03 LOCKE, Courtney.....    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   7
    05 CARSON, Essence.....    1-3    0-1    0-0    0  6  6   2   2  1  3  0  1  25
    12 ADAMS, Katie........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
    42 THEODORIS, Mariota..    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  5  5   1   0  1  1  1  0  14
    52 CAHOE, Aquisha......    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  0  0  0  0   5
    55 RICHMAN, Rebecca....    2-5    0-0    0-1    1  1  2   3   4  0  2  2  0  14
       TEAM................                         1  1  2             1
       Totals..............   26-51   3-8   13-17   8 25 33  22  68  8 22  4 11 200
    
    TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-26 42.3%   2nd Half: 15-25 60.0%   Game: 51.0%  DEADB
    3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-6  33.3%   2nd Half:  1-2  50.0%   Game: 37.5%   REBS
    F Throw % 1st Half:  5-7  71.4%   2nd Half:  8-10 80.0%   Game: 76.5%    0
    
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Officials: (R) Barb Smith, (U) Kathy Lonegran, (U) Michele St. Pierre
    Technical fouls: South Dakota State-None. Rutgers-None.
    Attendance:
    Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
    South Dakota State............   26   24  -   50
    Rutgers.......................   29   39  -   68
    
    
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