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Rutgers overcomes slow start, shuts down Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rutgers is off to a 6-0 start, but coach Vivian Stringer isn't satisfied.

"I'm disappointed. We're winning but not executing," Stringer said.

Michelle Campbell scored 21 points and Cappie Poindexter added 16 to lead Rutgers (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) past Providence 58-45 on Tuesday night in the Big East opener for both teams.

Chelsea Marandola scored 14 and Gayle Nwafli added 11 for the Friars (1-6).

Campbell and Poindexter combined for all of Scarlet Knights' points as they charged to a 13-8 lead in the opening minutes.

Allie Gard's 3-pointer at 3:31 capped a 23-10 run that gave Providence a 29-21 lead. The Friars made 12 of their last 18 shots in the first half, including 5-of-12 from 3-point range, and led 31-25 at the break.

"This was not a game for slow thinkers and slow movers and we had a lot of slow movers," Stringer said. "The thing that turned it around wasn't our man-to-man but a half-court press that gave them a different look and a different face."

Campbell and Poindexter combined for 17 of the Scarlet Knights' first-half points.

After Marandola tied the score at 38 with her fourth 3-pointer, Rutgers (6-0) used a 20-7 run in the final 14 minutes to put the game away.

Rutgers finished with seven steals and forced 17 turnovers, including seven in the first seven minutes of the second half. The Scarlet Knights also held the Friars to 37 percent shooting.

"In the second half, they made an effort to get the ball inside," first-year Providence coach Phil Seymore said. "They did a great job with their interior passing and they passed the ball down low real well with two great guards."