No. 14 seed Marquette vs. No. 6 seed Rutgers
Game 8 – Second Round, March 3, 2012
XL Center – Hartford, Conn.
Monique Oliver tied her season-high with 23 points. She had a double-double (her sixth of the season) with 11 rebounds.
Oliver recorded her second-straight double-digit scoring game, 21st of the season and the 44th of her career. She scored 20-plus points for the third time this season, matching her total from last year. Her team-high 23 points was a career-high for the BIG EAST Tournament, her previous high of 18 came against Marquette in the quarterfinals last season. It also matched her season-high which she has scored three times in the 2011-12 campaign
Oliver finished the night 11-16 from the line, both season-highs for the junior. She recorded four blocks for the second-straight game.
Rutgers had just 16 points in the first half, its lowest output of the season; it also was Rutgers’ lowest point total in a win this year.
The last time RU was held to 16 first half points in the BIG EAST Tournament was against West Virginia (18-16 at the half) in the 2006. The Mountaineers went on to defeat the Scarlet Knights 56-40 in the semifinal matchup.
RU has won five-straight games overall this season and advances to the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament for the 16th-straight season (since it joined the BIG EAST in 1996).
Rutgers, who outscored Marquette 42-22 in the paint last week, owned just a plus-four margin in points in the paint tonight (28-24).
April Sykes hit double-digit points for the fifth time in the past six games, ending the night with 11 points. She exceeded the 10-point mark for the team-leading 22nd time this season and the 54th time in her career.
Khadijah Rushdan pulled down a team-high and career-high 12 rebounds, her third double-digit rebounding game of the season. The senior ended the night with nine points to put herself in a tie for 19th with Essence Carson (2004-08) on RU’s all-time scoring list with 1,262 points.
Rushdan also played in her 133rd game as a member of the Scarlet Knights, putting her in a tie for second on RU’s all-time list in career games played.
Rutgers improved to 10-0 all-time against Marquette and has defeated the Golden Eagles in the tournament for the second straight year.
With the win, Rutgers will play No. 3 seed Connecticut on Sunday at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET. Rutgers is 6-28 all-time against UConn, including a 66-34 win by the Huskies on Feb. 4, 2012 at Gampel Pavilion.