McCoughtry scored 20 points for the Cardinals and handed out the key assist to Candyce Bingham for the decisive basket with 33 seconds remaining in the game.
Rutgers, the No. 5-ranked team in the nation and the national runner-up in 2007, had two chances to win the game after Bingham's layup. But Chauntise Wright rebounded Essence Carson's mis-fired jump shot with 8.1 seconds remaining. Rutgers then got the ball back after a Louisville turnover with 4.4 seconds. Ephinany Prince drove the length of the court but her last second shot was blocked by McCoughtry.
It was a back and forth contest between the Cards and Scarlet Knights. The game featured 29 lead changes and see-sawed back and forth in the game's final moments. Neither team led by more than five points during throughout the game.
Louisville, which downed St. John's 62-47 in the Big East first round, advance to the Big East Tournament semifinals for the second time in the past three years. The Cardinals will face the winner of the USF-West Virginia game in the semifinals.