With the victory Rutgers clinches a berth in the Big East Tournament, where only 12 of the conference's top 16 teams qualify for an opportunity to compete.
St. John's finishes the season at 12-15, and despite continued progress over the previous two seasons, will not advance to the BET being held in New York City. This marks the third consecutive year that the Red Storm have missed the Big East tournament.
In Gary Waters' final regular season game as Head Coach of Rutgers (17-12, 7-9), his squad displayed intensity and produced a surprisingly efficient offensive outburst to the tune of 50-second half points.
Much of the outburst was due to Jr. G Quincy Douby (12-20 FG, 36 points) whose ability to score from anywhere on the court proved decisive. In addition to continuing to lead the conference in points per game, Douby also demonstrated just how far he has come as an all-around player, by stepping in the passing lane twice on a crucial second half posession, knocking the ball out of bounds once and securing the steal and ensuing fast break layup the other time.
Douby's characteristic effort, however, may not have been sufficient had Jr. C Frank Russell not put forth the kind of productivity lacking from the Knights' big men for a majority of this season. Russell added 9 points to go along with 5 rebounds (all offensive), including a slam dunk off an offensive rebound and a 3-point play that helped RU build the lead when the contest was still in doubt.
Russell and Inglis combined for 19 points and 9 rebounds, on a day when the Rutgers frontcourt outmanned the St. John's frontcourt.
For the women, the story had the same result, although RU handled Villanova with greater ease in moving past the quarterfinals round of the BET. Senior All-American Cappie Pondexter scored a game-high 24 points in leading #1 Rutgers past #8 Villanova, 60-37.
An offensively challenged first half of play saw both teams combine for a mere 30 points. Rutgers led by only a 17-13 margin at the midway point. The second half, however, saw Rutgers put up 43 points in winning handily, 60-37. BE POY Cappie Pondexter scored six straight points in a 60-second span early in the second stanza. Her spurt enabled Rutgers to take a 27-17 lead, and Villanova would not threaten the rest of the way.
Rutgers outrebounded Villanova by a whopping 45-19 margin. Fr. C Kia Vaugh had a game-high 14 rebounds, including 13 in the second half, to go along with three blocked shots, while So. G Matee Ajavon chipped in 10 points.
The Rutgers women advance to face #12 West Virginia Monday night at 6:00 p.m. WVU defeated #4 St. John's 55-49, in an earlier BET quarterfinal match.
The Rutgers men will be seeded #10 in the upcoming BET tournament and will be paired with intrastate rival #7 Seton Hall for a 7:00 p.m. Wednesday evening matchup.