Second-half tear sends No. 6 Rutgers past No. 3 Maryland

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- With two starters on the bench in foul trouble and Rutgers down 10 points, Scarlet Knights sophomore Epiphanny Prince took over.

Prince had 22 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds and keyed a second-half run to help Rutgers (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) beat third-ranked Maryland 68-60 in the sixth annual Jimmy V Women's Basketball Classic on Monday night.

"Epiphanny did a tremendous job when Matee and Kia went out," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "Unfortunately we didn't. She brought them energy in the second half."

Matee Ajavon added 15 points for the Scarlet Knights (5-1). Essence Carson, who missed Rutgers' victory over Saint Joseph's on Wednesday with a strained hip flexor, also had 15.

Trailing 41-31 with 12:57 left in the game and Kia Vaughn and Ajavon on the bench, Rutgers (5-1) went on a 15-4 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Prince to give the Scarlet Knights a 46-45 lead. It was Rutgers' first lead since midway through the first half.

"She took the shots that were there when we needed them," Carson said of Prince. "She did a great job distributing the ball."

Rutgers extended the lead to 55-50 before Kristi Toliver's 3-pointer made it a two-point game.

Toliver surpassed the 1,000-point mark with another 3-pointer with 1:33 left that made it 61-57, but Maryland could get no closer as Rutgers hit its free throws down the stretch. The junior guard became the third Terrapins player this season to pass the 1,000-point milestone.

Marissa Coleman led Maryland (10-1) with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Toliver added 15 points, but was only 4-for-15 from the field. The Terrapins shot only 21.7 percent (5-for-23) from the field in the second half.

"Credit their defense, contesting every shot," Frese said.

The game featured contrasting styles of play with the uptempo Terrapins against the defensive-minded Scarlet Knights.

For the first 15 minutes, Rutgers had the tempo to its liking. The game was slow-paced and the score was tied at 20.

Maryland then picked up the defensive effort, switching to a zone. The Terps went on a 13-3 run to close the half, taking a 33-23 advantage at the break. Maryland shot 61.9 percent (13-for-21) in the first half.

"I think all the credit goes to Rutgers. They got a low-scoring defensive game and they did a tremendous job dictating tempo," Frese said.

The teams exchanged baskets to start the second half as Maryland maintained its 10-point lead before Rutgers' run.

Crystal Langhorne broke Maryland's rebounding mark,surpassing Vicky Bullet's career record of 968. She need two boards coming in and had seven.

"It's bad that it happened at this game," Langhorne said. "But it's special to achieve that record."

Maryland had already beaten No. 8 LSU, No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 16 Notre Dame and No. 19 Ohio State.

"They were playing the best basketball of any team in the country," Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said. "I'm extremely proud of the way our team played."

Rutgers is no stranger to the Jimmy V Women's Basketball Classic, a cancer-research fundraiser. The Scarlet Knights were blown out by Duke, 85-45, last year in the game.

Before the game, the Jimmy V Foundation announced the start of the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund in honor of the Hall of Fame NC State coach.

New Jersey governor Jon S. Corzine was in attendance, sitting right behind the Scarlet Knights bench, to show his support on the day that Don Imus returned to the airwaves. Imus was fired eight months ago for a racially charged remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team.

"I think it was purely a coincidence he started today," said the Governor, an avid basketball fan. "He has apologized extensively and spent the first hour talking further about his mistakes. I support Rutgers women's basketball and these girls."

This was the first meeting between the teams since 1998, which Rutgers won 81-61.