No. 15 Rutgers 74, Boston College 58

Rutgers is playing this young season with newfound

confidence.

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

night.

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

its opener.

”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.