SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Kia Vaughn had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead No. 23 Rutgers to a 68-40 victory over Syracuse on Wednesday.
It was the 11th win in 13 games for Rutgers (16-7, 9-3 Big East), which moved into a tie with No. 21 Marquette for second in the conference. Syracuse (8-17, 2-10) lost its eighth in a row and fourth straight at home, and dropped into a tie with Georgetown a game ahead of cellar-dwelling Villanova.
Matee Ajavon finished with 13 points for the Scarlet Knights to boost her career total to 1,008, and Essence Carson had 12 points and six rebounds. Vaughn, who had her eighth double-double of the season, added four blocks to boost her season total to 69. She leads the Big East in blocks.
Vaida Sipaviciute had 17 points and five rebounds, and Nicole Michael added 13 points to lead the Orange.
Syracuse, coming off an embarrassing 98-50 loss at No. 17 Louisville, set the tone early by missing their first nine shots and falling behind 12-1 in the first 6:11 of play.
Vaughn, who had 13 points and nine rebounds in the first half, scored the first seven points of the game, and her presence inside helped limit Syracuse to 23.3 percent shooting in the period. Sipaviciute, Syracuse's second leading scorer at 13.4 points per game, missed her first five shots. The Orange went 0-for-8 on 3-pointers before the break.
Ajavon, who finished with seven assists, hit a 3 from right wing 7 minutes into the game and her pullup jumper in the lane midway through the half moved her past 1,000 points and gave Rutgers a 19-6 lead.
Sipaviciute finally got going and finished the half with 10 points, but she had little help. Fantasia Goodwin, averaging 12 points per game, and Michael each had only four points before the break, and Syracuse trailed 33-20 at halftime, to match its second-lowest first-half output of the season.
Syracuse cut the lead to 41-31 on Michael's driving hook in the lane at 13:45 in the second half, but the Scarlet Knights scored the next nine points, Ajavon's 3 from the left corner boosting the lead to 50-31 with 8:40 left.
Rutgers limited Syracuse to 1-for-13 on 3-pointers and the Orange's point total was their lowest of the season. The Scarlet Knights have held eight of their last 12 opponents to their lowest points totals of the season.