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Scarlet Knights open Big East play with victory

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rutgers, coming off three straight upsets over Top 10 teams, routed St. John's 64-49 in its Big East Conference opener on Saturday.

The win was the fifth straight for the Scarlet Knights (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP), who beat then-No. 8 Tennessee, No. 4 Texas and No. 1 LSU during the streak.

Matee Ajavon led Rutgers with 17 points, Essence Carson had 16 and Michelle Campbell added 15 for Rutgers, which led 35-20 at halftime and shot 52 percent overall.

Angela Clark was the only double-figure scorer with 16 points for the Red Storm (12-2, 1-2), which opened the season with a school-record 11 wins.

St. John's made only 8-of-23 shots in the first half and finished at 42 percent.

The Scarlet Knights (10-2, 1-0) opened an 11-2 lead at 13:33 behind a pair of jumpers by Campbell. The Red Storm responded with an 8-2 run as Kati Kurtosi and Clark each had four points.

Carson scored five points in Rutgers' 11-2 run to build a 24-12 advantage at 6:01.

After Clark's jumper got St. John's to 26-16, Ajavon came off the bench and hit three straight 3-pointers to give Rutgers a 15-point lead at the break.

Rutgers led 43-24 early in the second half, and St. John's got no closer than 11.

The win marked the 12th straight over St. John's.