Matee Ajavon gave Rutgers a boost off the bench. She scored 17 points, and Cappie Pondexter led the Scarlet Knights with 22 points and five...

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Matee Ajavon gave Rutgers a boost off the bench.

She scored 17 points, and Cappie Pondexter led the Scarlet Knights with 22 points and five assists to help No. 9 Rutgers defeat 19th-ranked Texas 63-49 Friday night.

Rutgers got a needed win after falling to then-unranked Mississippi in its previous game, two weeks ago.

Ajavon, who was hampered by a stress fracture in the summer, has been used as a reserve.

“In that role, I’m supposed to supply a spark,” she said.

Time and again, either Pondexter or Ajavon would break down the Longhorns and score on a jump shot, runner in the lane or driving basket just before the shot clock expired.

“Their guards are really good,” Texas coach Jody Conradt said. “With the shot clock winding down on certain possessions, you knew one of them was going to take control, and we didn’t do well in stopping them.”

The Longhorns held their own for a while, largely because of Erika Arriaran, who scored 10 first-half points. But a recurring cramp in her right calf affected her play and time on the court in the second half. She finished with 13 points.

The Scarlet Knights (9-1) started distancing themselves in the first half. Ajavon scored three straight baskets, then Pondexter followed with three of her own. They combined for 18 points during a 19-4 run.

The Longhorns (6-4) were down 34-20 at halftime and managed to make it 42-32 with 14:36 remaining on a three-point play by Tiffany Jackson that capped a 10-2 run. But that was as close as Texas got.

The Knights had a 38-25 rebounding advantage.

Other games

At No. 3 Louisiana St. 87,

South Florida 44

Sylvia Fowles contributed 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Tigers (10-0) over the Bulls (10-3).

Fowles shot 7 for 8 from the field and 10 for 14 from the free-throw line, and finished with her sixth double-double of the season and the 18th of her career.

At No. 6 Maryland 92, Furman 58

Shay Doron scored 18 of her 26 points in the decisive first half, and the Terrapins (12-1) cruised to their eighth straight victory, beating Furman (5-6) in the championship game of the Terrapin Classic.

At No. 10 Michigan St. 75,

Central Michigan 50

Victoria Lucas-Perry scored 16 points and Liz Shimek added 14 to lead the Spartans (10-3) over the Chippewas (9-2). It was their 19th straight home victory.

Lucas-Perry also had six assists and four steals.


Gail Goestenkors, coach of top-ranked Duke, was chosen the 2005 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year for her work with the Under-19 team at the world championships this summer.

She is in good company. Past recipients include Van Chancellor, Larry Brown, Jim Boeheim, Nell Fortner, Clem Haskins and Tara VanDerveer. USA Basketball executives voted Goestenkors’ teens 2005 team of the year.