There was just one league team in action on Thursday night as No. 11/11 Rutgers (9-1) rolled over Fordham (5-4) at home 68-48. The Scarlet Knights bounced back from their first loss of the season (at No. 9/9 Miami) and remained perfect at home (5-0).
Senior guard Khadijah Rushdan was the high scorer with 16 points, while junior center Monique Oliver added 14 points, followed by freshman forward Betnijah Laney with 12.
The Scarlet Knights led Fordham 37-25 at the intermission as Rushdan and Oliver each scored eight points to pace the first-half effort. Laney added six points, while senior guard April Sykes chipped in five.
“Everything has to do with maturity as seniors,” Sykes said. “We have freshmen who don’t know what it’s like to lose. We (seniors) got our first loss in our first game. We have Tennessee coming in here and we knew we couldn’t overlook (Fordham). We’ve done it before and we understand as upperclassmen we’ve got to stop to it right now.”
The Scarlet Knights were dominant in the paint, outscoring Fordham 46-6, including a 12-3 mark in second chance opportunities. The Rutgers bench also provided a 27-5 advantage as freshman guard Briyona Canty scored six and fellow classmate Syessence Davis added five points.
After turning the ball over 27 times last game, the Scarlet Knights limited their mistakes with just one turnover in the first half, a feat RU hasn’t accomplished since the second half against Dartmouth on March 19, 2006 – a 63-58 first round win in the NCAA tournament. Rutgers finished the night with eight turnovers, its lowest total since Feb. 24, 2009 when it coughed up the ball six times against Cincinnati.
Rutgers will return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 13, for a highly-anticipated matchup with No. 8/7 Tennessee at 7 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Material from interviews, school websites, the Associated Press wire service as well as league and team sources was used in this report.