No. 15 Rutgers 74, Boston College 58
Rutgers is playing this young season with newfound
For the second straight game the Scarlet Knights built a big
lead in the second half before it slowly slipped away – yet there
was no panic as they calmly held on for another victory Wednesday
Khadijah Rushdan and Monique Oliver each scored 15 points to
help No. 15 Rutgers beat Boston College 74-58.
”Our energy has stayed up and hasn’t been like that the past
couple years, we’d get down and not know how to handle it,”
Rushdan said. ”We’d stop executing. This year we understand it. We
keep playing hard and can play through anything.”
In their season opener, Rutgers let a 14-point advantage against
Cal slip to two before holding on.
On Wednesday night, the Scarlet Knights (2-0) led by 19 in the
second half before Boston College cut its deficit to five with 8:33
left in the game. Rushdan answered with a 3-pointer to ignite a
12-2 run that put it away.
”I thought they fought, we didn’t change anything we were
running, dug a little bit deeper,” Boston College coach Sylvia
Crawley said. ”We were right in the game. I was proud how they
made that run. They hit one 3 and it deflated our team. Our best
run wasn’t good enough. We can’t back down and need to keep pushing
all the time. We’ll get better with experience.”
Unlike the first game, the Scarlet Knights got off to a quick
start. Rutgers jumped out to a 13-2 lead, a run capped by a
3-pointer from Erica Wheeler. Kristen Doherty hit the Eagles’ (1-1)
first basket a minute later.
Rutgers extended its lead to 20-6 midway through the first half
as Boston College missed 12 of its first 13 shots. Tiffany Ruffin
scored five points during a 7-0 run that pulled the Eagles to
20-13. Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer had five freshmen on the
floor for most of the run.
After a timeout, the Hall of Fame coach put her upperclassmen
back in and the Scarlet Knights went on a 16-2 spurt over the next
4 minutes to regain control.
”I think I got to do a better job of the substitutions than the
way I’m doing it,” Stringer said. ”It’s not fair because it may
not be the right chemistry.”
Rutgers’ talented freshmen class continues to impress early in
the season. Betnijah Laney, Briyona Canty and Syessence Davis all
fueled the late run in the first half. They scored 10 straight
points, including back-to-back layups by Canty. The group has
provided energy, enthusiasm and, most importantly, depth. Laney
followed her 18-point debut with nine on Wednesday night.
”It’s very exciting,” said Rutgers senior April Sykes. ”It’s
great and fun and you can get a sub now. You can play for four good
minutes and come back and do it again.”
Zenevitch finished with a career-high 15 points, while Tessa
Holt added 12 for Boston College, which beat Fairleigh Dickinson in
”I got on Katie at halftime,” Crawley said. ”She’s hard on
herself, too. She had four turnovers and two rebounds at half, I
challenged her in the rebounding area. She asserted herself more. I
was happy with how she responded from the first half.”
This was the 23rd meeting between the teams, with Rutgers
winning 14 of those contests. Boston College won last season’s
meeting, which was the first since 2004.