ATHENS, GA - The fourth-seeded Rutgers women’s basketball team took part in an open practice this afternoon as the Scarlet Knights prepare to take on the 13th seed, Western Kentucky, in the NCAA Tournament first round on Saturday, March 22, at 11:18 a.m." />
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Rutgers Women’s Basketball Begins Its “Dance”
  • Posted on March 21, 2003 12:00:00 AM
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  • ATHENS, GA - The fourth-seeded Rutgers women’s basketball team took part in an open practice this afternoon as the Scarlet Knights prepare to take on the 13th seed, Western Kentucky, in the NCAA Tournament first round on Saturday, March 22, at 11:18 a.m.

    The Scarlet Knights had a light workout and shoot-around, which was open to the public. The team used some five-on-five play to run through offensive schemes while tightening its signature defensive game.

    Rutgers’ time at Stegeman Coliseum culminated with a media interview session, attended by head coach C. Vivian Stringer, senior Mauri Horton and sophomore Cappie Pondexter.

    The Rutgers-Western Kentucky game will be televised live on ESPN2.

    NCAA Women's Basketball
    Athens, Ga. Regional
    Friday, March 21 Pre-Game Press Conference Quotes

    Western Kentucky Head Coach Mary Taylor Cowles
    “This is where we want to be at this point in the season. This is what you work for. We’re very excited to be where we are, and we’re very excited to be here.

    On last year’s struggle surrounding the head coaching position: “Lady Topper basketball is very near and dear to my heart. Last year was a struggle, but good things come to those who wait.

    “Our girls are very excited. The one thing that’s made my job easy is that this team doesn’t get too hyped about anything, and they don’t get too low about anything, either. This group has demonstrated a desire to win and play hard.”

    Western Kentucky Player Shala Reese
    “We all have one goal. We’re not satisfied with just being in the [NCAA] Tournament. We want to win games and go as far as we can. We’ve got the program turned around and we’re headed in the right direction. The NCAA Tournament is our chance to prove at what level we can play.”

    Western Kentucky Player Kristina Covington
    “I think the difference this year [in the level of play] is that we have a coaching staff that cares. We’re not going to take anything less than a victory.”

    Rutgers Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer
    “We’re happy to have an opportunity to participate in the NCAA’s. We started a belief in the summer that we would be here at this particular event, and we are happy to see that come true.

    On offensive challenges:
    “We run four guards on the floor at a time, so somewhere someone is on a mismatch. Our guards go up against strong, physical ladies and Western Kentucky is no exception. We demonstrate more smooth, finesse qualities as a team on the floor.

    On matching up with WKU:
    “These girls have great size and great shooters. Reese inside has good hands, she’s rugged and physical. Our perimeter players will not match up well size wise, so we’ve got to stop transition and block out in order to win.”

    Rutgers Player Cappie Pondexter
    On last two poor games:
    “We’ve had an opportunity to have several days of practice where we’ve gotten back to basics and prepared for the tournament. We’ve improved and worked on defense. Defense wins championships and we’re excited about this opportunity to play.”

    Rutgers Player Mauri Horton
    On WKU’s 14-game winning streak:
    “The winning streak is over. As of now, the start of the NCAA, everyone is 0-0 with a clean slate. They have a couple of good guards, pass the ball well. The key will be who rebounds the ball and gets the defensive stops.”

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