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No. 9 Miami Women Beat No. 11 Rutgers In OT, 92-81

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MIAMI WOMENS BASKETBALL
AP

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Riquna Williams scored a career-high 36 points, including a pair of 3-pointers to start the second overtime, and the ninth-ranked Hurricanes rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to beat No. 11 Rutgers 92-81 on Monday night.

Shenise Johnson finished with 25 points for the Hurricanes (7-1), who extended their school-record winning streak to 28 games.

Monique Oliver scored 23 points and grabbed 19 rebounds for Rutgers (8-1), which came into the night as one of 15 unbeaten women's teams left in the nation.

The Scarlet Knights got a layup from Erica Wheeler with 1.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and another game-tying shot from Betnijah Laney just before the buzzer and sending it to send it to a second OT.

But Williams took over for Miami in the second OT, and the Hurricanes survived. It was the first time Rutgers allowed 90 points since Jan. 2, 2003, and given the way the first 25 minutes of the game went, no one would have figured that was happening Monday night.

Of course, the next 25 minutes were the ones that told the story – Miami outscored Rutgers 68-41 to end the game.

April Sykes scored 19 for Rutgers, Erica Wheeler scored 13 and Khadijah Rushdan added 10.

Miami trailed for all but 2:35 of regulation, and still had plenty of chances to win before the overtimes. Johnson went 2 for 4 from the foul line in the final 38 seconds of regulation, so the Hurricanes' lead was never larger than two – giving Rutgers life.

The Scarlet Knights took advantage. Taking possession with 10.7 seconds left in regulation, Rutgers got the ball down low to Oliver. She missed a layup, but Wheeler was there for the putback with 1.5 seconds to play in regulation, tying the game at 63.

Stefanie Yderstrom's 3-pointer gave the Hurricanes the lead with 1:47 left in overtime. She appeared to cramp up on the next possession, so Williams simply waited for her chance, connecting from beyond the arc to push the Miami lead to 71-67. And once again, Rutgers rallied – Sykes' 3 with a half-minute to play got the Scarlet Knights to 73-72, and when Laney knotted it, the Rutgers bench leaped for joy.

It was the Scarlet Knights' final celebration of the night.

Rutgers came into the game having allowed only 70 points once – in the season opener – and on a six-game streak of not allowing any more than 52 points. Opponents were shooting 31 percent and committing more than 20 turnovers a game against the Scarlet Knights through eight games, so the Hurricanes knew exactly what to expect.

So predictably, Rutgers' man-to-man gave Miami fits.

But the Hurricanes did little to help their own cause, missing at least nine shots near the rim in a 9-minute span of the first half alone, falling behind 31-22 going into the locker room – after the Scarlet Knights held them to 27 percent shooting. And when Rutgers started the second half on a 9-2 run, capped by a jumper from Sykes, the lead was 40-24 with 17:23 left.

With that, Miami coach Katie Meier called timeout, and something clicked.

The Hurricanes peeled off the next nine points, and when Yderstrom hit a 3 with just under 10 minutes left, Rutgers' lead – massive just moments earlier – was down to 46-44. Williams' layup a minute later tied the game at 48.

With 4:18 left in regulation, Rutgers took another blow, Rushdan picking up her fifth foul for leading with her elbow on a post-up. And from there, the wild finish was just getting started.

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