Knights drop third straight to SJU

<p>Sophomore center Monique Oliver exploded for a 22-point outing
Tuesday in the Scarlet Knights' 51-48 loss to St. John's.</p>

Sophomore center Monique Oliver exploded for a 22-point outing Tuesday in the Scarlet Knights' 51-48 loss to St. John's.

The struggles continued for the Rutgers women's basketball team Tuesday night, as a missed free throw and lane violation proved to be the difference in the squad's 51-48 loss to St. John's.

With two seconds remaining and her team down, 49-48, sophomore guard Erica Wheeler was fouled and sent to the charity stripe for a chance to give the Scarlet Knights (12-9, 5-3) the lead and possibly the win.

The Miami native missed her first attempt, but after sinking the second shot, the Knights were called for a lane violation, nullifying the game-tying shot and ultimately sealing a victory for the Johnnies.

The loss now makes it three-straight for head coach C. Vivian Stringer and her team, making the squad's once unblemished Big East record a distant memory.

Sophomore center Monique Oliver bounced back from a pair of uncharacteristic performances to lead the Knights with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

The Knights also convincingly won the battle on the boards, out rebounding the Red Storm, 38-26, in the losing effort.

But the team shot a combined 34 percent from the field and a lowly 66.6 percent from the foul line.

Behind Oliver, Wheeler was the only other Rutgers player to score in double figures, while junior guard Khadijah Rushdan rebounded from a scoreless first half to chip in with eight points.

It has now been five games since Rushdan scored in double figures, when she dropped 16 points in the Knights' 55-44 win at Cincinnati two weeks ago.

Junior forward April Sykes, the team's leading scorer, went 0-for-10 from the field and ended the game without a single point.

The Red Storm (16-6, 5-4) defensive scheme kept the Knights' go-to scorer in check en route to their fifth conference victory.

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