Scarlet Knights win seventh straight game

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- After knocking off three Top 10 teams in eight days, Rutgers really impressed coach C. Vivian Stringer by not having a letdown against three lesser Big East Conference teams.

Michelle Campbell scored 20 points and keyed an early 16-0 run that carried Rutgers (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) to its seventh straight win, a 69-33 decision over Georgetown on Thursday night.

"Most teams need an emotional push, a reason and a drive why," Stringer said. "This group is kind of interesting. It's like, 'OK, what do we need to do?' It's not much more than that."

The Scarlet Knights (12-2, 3-0 Big East) forced 25 turnovers and held the Hoyas without a basket for a 12-minute, first-half stretch in its best defensive effort of the season. The 33-points were the fewest allowed by Rutgers this season.

"There were a couple of stretches where the intensity was there," senior Cappie Pondexter said. "We'll be OK."

Rutgers -- which knocked off Tennessee, Texas and LSU in its wins over the Nos. 8, 4 and 1 teams, respectively -- has another tough stretch coming up. It will play at No. 5 Ohio State on Sunday and, after a game with Providence, it will take on Notre Dame (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) and No. 14 Boston College.

Ohio State (16-2) beat Iowa (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) 80-57 on Thursday night.

"This will be interesting," said Stringer, noting her team will be the favorite this time around.

Freshman Matee Ajavon added 18 points as Rutgers handed Georgetown (5-9, 0-3) its fourth straight loss.

Bethany LeSueur had 10 points to lead Georgetown, which needed a 3-pointer by Kristin Heidloff in the final seconds of the first to prevent Campbell from single-handedly outscoring them.

Campbell had 16 points, one less than Georgetown, which hit 5-of-24 from the field and committed 13 turnovers in falling behind 30-17.

The Hoyas got within 11 points when LeSueur scored on a backdoor layup to open the second half.

Rutgers, which didn't make Stringer happy with 14 turnovers, then put the game away with a 16-4 spurt.

"They are on a high right now," first-year Georgetown coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said of Rutgers. "They have some very good wins. They are just a very good team and she (Stringer) has done a very good job."

The Scarlet Knights took command after Kate Carlin hit a 3-pointer to get Georgetown within 8-7 with 15:03 to play in the half.

Over the next 12 minutes, the Hoyas missed 11 shots from the field, 3-of-4 from the foul line and committed nine turnovers.

Chelsea Newton started the Scarlet Knights' run with a layup, and then Campbell took over. The junior forward, who hit 6-of-8 shots in the half, scored three straight baskets for a 16-7 lead.

After Ajavon scored on a fastbreak, Campbell hit a layup and a baseline jumper for a 22-7 lead.

Georgetown tried to use a wide zone against Rutgers and Campbell made them pay for stretching out a little too much.

"Every time the ball was reversed, I was wide open in the middle," Campbell said.

Nikki Jett closed out the run with a jumper.

A free throw by Christine Whitt broke the run with 5:34 to go, but Georgetown didn't get a basket until LeSueur hit a layup with 3:03 left in the half.