7:30 PM ET, November 18, 2008
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- As one of only two seniors on a freshman-filled roster, Rutgers center Kia Vaughn knows coach C. Vivian Stringer's mantra better than anyone."Coach Stringer, her motto is 'Defense always,'" Vaughn said. "Offensively we're a different team than we've ever been, but it's still defense first."Rutgers (No. 2 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) exhibited plenty of both Tuesday night in routing Princeton 83-35. Seven different players scored eight or more points, led by guard Epiphanny Prince's 15, as Rutgers (2-0) topped 80 points for the second straight game to open its season.Rutgers also suffocated Princeton (1-1) defensively, holding its instate rival scoreless over the final 10:15 and to 20.8 percent shooting from the field.The 48-point victory matched Rutgers' biggest win since beating Rider 90-42 on Nov. 20, 2004."We're not where we need to be defensively, but I think we've become more of an offensive threat," said Prince, who led Rutgers in scoring for the second straight game. "These first two games I think we've scored in the 80s and I don't think that's happened for a while."Indeed, it's the first time Rutgers has scored 80 or more in consecutive games since midway through the 2002-03 season. The Knights broke the 80-point barrier just once in last year's 27-9 campaign, an 85-42 win over Robert Morris in the first round of the NCAA tournament."It was nice to see the numbers," Stringer said, scanning a stat sheet that showed her team shooting 55.2 percent from the field. "I'm not a big believer in scrimmaging much, so I had no way of knowing how many points we were capable of. But I did know we had depth and people that were athletic enough to give us points and that's the key."Rutgers scored the first nine points and held Princeton scoreless for a span of eight minutes in building a 30-4 lead 12 minutes into the game. The comfortable advantage allowed Stringer to empty her bench, as all 12 Scarlet Knights saw action and 10 different players scored.Rutgers' performance certainly made a believer of Princeton coach Courtney Banghart, whose team dropped its 12th straight to Rutgers in the series."Rutgers is a very good team," said Banghart, whose team lost by only five points to Rutgers last season. "That's definitely a better team than the one we played last year. And you wouldn't know it, but we're better, too."
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||10-48 (.208)||32-58 (.552)|
|3P Made-Attempted||3-17 (.176)||4-6 (.667)|
|FT Made-Attempted||12-17 (.706)||15-26 (.577)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (0/0)||17 (0/0)|