No. 6 Rutgers Survives Princeton, 53-48

Rutgers was without Essence Carson, who is out indefinitely because of a foot injury

Dec. 12, 2007

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) -After her team played its fifth game in 10 days, Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer wasn't looking for style points, she just wanted to get in and out of Princeton with a victory.

"The idea was to get it done, and in this case I'll accept that (effort)," said Stringer after Epiphanny Prince scored 17 points and sparked the decisive run to lead No. 6 Rutgers to its third straight win, 53-48 over stubborn Princeton on Wednesday night.

"I'm just glad to get out of here," said Stringer, whose team now is off for seven days. "All credit to Princeton. They took advantage of the things they could do. They shoot well from the outside, they screen for each other, they ran everything like we knew they would. They weren't generous in giving us second and third opportunities on the boards."

Kia Vaughn added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Scarlet Knights (8-2), Stringer kept most of her regular starters out of the opening lineup for the third straight game, using four reserves for the first 6:29.

"We have to decide about that," Stringer said. "It wasn't bad. If I didn't do that I probably would have played the starters longer, which would have been to our detriment. We just can't go 40 minutes like that now, we don't have the substitutions.

"The starters know they're not playing 40 minutes. So they get a chance to see what's going on. If the other group can impress me longer, we'll just keep it going for as long as we can. The only problem is, it takes (the regulars) a little longer to get their legs warmed up and get in the flow."

Princeton (3-8), which dropped its 11th straight to Rutgers, got 20 points from Megan Cowher and 10 from Addie Micir.

The Knights were without starting forward Essence Carson, who is out indefinitely because of a foot injury.

The Tigers scored 10 straight in the second half to rally from a 40-30 deficit, and a 3-pointer by Princeton's Ali Prichard tied it at 45-45 with 5:18 remaining. Prince then hit a jumper and 3-pointer to start a 7-0 run for Rutgers, and the Tigers got no closer than four in the last 3:30.



Princeton first-year coach Courtney Banghart was pleased with her team's effort. "We wanted a shot to win," Banghart said. "That wasn't a fluke tonight. We didn't care how highly touted these kids were or what programs or high schools they came from."

Heather Zurich was the lone regular in Rutgers starting lineup until Stringer put the remainder in with 13:31 remaining and Princeton holding an 8-4 lead.

For the next six minutes the Tigers held their own and led 20-14. Rutgers appeared ready to blow it open with a 12-0 run before two buckets by Cowher cut it to 26-24 at halftime.

Rutgers could not pull away in the second half due to cold shooting, as the Knights converted only 37 percent from the field.