- The Washington Times - Monday, March 31, 2008

GREENSBORO, N.C. — In a game in which little was clicking offensively for Rutgers, Essence Carson carried the Scarlet Knights to another rematch with Connecticut — though this time with a Final Four berth at stake.

Carson matched her career high with 25 points yesterday to help Rutgers beat George Washington 53-42, sending it to tomorrow’s Greensboro Region championship for a third meeting with its Big East rival.

“Essence played extremely well,” Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said. “She probably realized that not too many people were on. In fact, nobody else was on.”

Epiphanny Prince added 12 points for the second-seeded Scarlet Knights (27-6), who handed the Huskies their only loss in early February. Connecticut, the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, avenged the 73-71 defeat by winning the rematch by 20 points earlier this month.

Rutgers struggled to put away the sixth-seeded Colonials (27-7), who had lost to Rutgers by 25 points in November.

“We understand that we didn’t play our best basketball today,” Carson said. “Even though we won, we have expectations for ourselves. If anyone doesn’t have those expectations, they don’t have the understanding of what it takes to play and win at a championship level.”

Carson went 9-for-15 while pulling down seven rebounds for Rutgers, which shot 51 percent.

GW shot 32 percent for the game.

“It was a tough, physical, hard-nosed game just like we expected,” Colonials coach Joe McKeown said. “When we got it down to four … I thought we had chances, but it just didn’t happen.”

Jessica Adair scored 16 points to lead the Colonials, who fell to 1-3 in regional semifinal games in the tournament. GW hasn’t won in the round of 16 since upsetting top-seeded North Carolina in 1997.

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