Media Release March 25
DES MOINES, Iowa – For the second time in as many games, junior Kia Vaughn (Bronx, N.Y.) paced four players in double figures as Rutgers moved to the Greensboro Regional semifinals with a 69-58 win over Iowa State in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship.
Vaughn had a season-best 23 points, topping her previous season high reached versus Robert Morris (22 points) in first round action on Saturday. The center scored 17 points in the first half, including a string of 11 straight.
Sophomore guard Epiphanny Prince (Brooklyn, N.Y.) had 17 points highlighted by a 3-of-5 performance from behind the arc.
Senior guard Matee Ajavon (Newark, N.J.) added 16 points and seven
assists. Senior Essence Carson (Paterson, N.J.) chipped in 10. The
upperclassman combined for 10 of the team’s 11 assists and six of the
squad’s 11 steals.
Junior Heather Ezell paced ISU (21-13) with 19 points, followed by Amanda Nisleit with 15.
The second-seeded Scarlet Knights (26-6) will face sixth-seeded George Washington at the Greensboro Coliseum on Sunday, March 30. The teams met earlier in the season with RU posting a 67-42 road victory on Nov. 18
Tickets for the regional games in Greensboro will be available by calling the Rutgers Athletics Ticket Office at 866-445-GORU. Tickets are $26 per session
Rutgers led 39-31 at the break but ISU cut the lead to four three times in the first six minutes of the second half. They trailed 45-41 following a lay-in by Kelsey Bolte.
Rutgers responded with a pair of three-pointers by Prince, both from the far baseline and each off a feed from Ajavon. The last triple pushed the Scarlet Knights ahead, 51-41 with 12:47 remaining.
A bank shot by Ajavon with 10:33 to go gave RU its largest lead of the second half at 55-44. The Cyclones would not go away, scoring 10 of the game’s next 14 points. A three-pointer by Nisleit off an inbounds possession with 5:00 on the clock cut Rutgers’ lead to five, 59-55.
Ajavon and Carson responded with the next two buckets for RU to push the advantage back to nine with less than four minutes remaining.
After the Cyclones took a 4-3 lead at the 16:17 mark of the first half, Rutgers pieced together an 8-0 run to push ahead by seven. Four different players scored during the spurt for RU. The lead for ISU would be its only of the night. The Scarlet Knights led by as many as 12 in the first half.
Rutgers shot 54.2 percent from the field, including a 55 percent showing in the second half.
Ajavon, Carson and Prince were three of the 40 women’s basketball
players nationwide named as finalists for the 10-member State Farm
Coaches’ All-America Team, it was announced by the Women’s Basketball
Coaches Association on Monday evening.
The All-America squad will be announced on April 5, at 9:45 a.m. in Tampa, Fla.