Rutgers Roundup

For the third straight year, Rutgers senior basketball player Essence Carson was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year the conference announced at the annual awards banquet on Friday evening.

This is the fourth straight season a Scarlet Knight has won the top defensive league award, as voted on by the head coaches. Carson earned the accolade the last two seasons and Chelsea Newton was recognized in 2005.

Carson, just the second player in the league to win the top defensive honor three straight years, averaged 5.1 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights this season. She grabbed 63 defensive boards in league play, leading Rutgers to the toprated scoring defense (53.3 ppg) in conference only action. Carson is averaging 10.4 points on the offensive side, scoring in double figures in 15 games.

The Scarlet Knights (24-6), are seeded second in the Greensboro Region of this year’s NCAA Tournament and will face Robert Morris in the first round this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The game will be aired live on ESPN2 from Des Moines, Iowa.

Rutgers posted a score of 188.575 to place fourth in a four-team gymnastics meet Saturday night at West Virginia University. The Scarlet Knights placed behind winner and host, WVU with 196.175, Minnesota (195.375), and New Hampshire (193.400).

Rutgers was competing without the services of its top all arounder Laura Sevarino and specialist Prishani Seebadri who was each limited with an injury.

Junior Latara Northcutt recorded a 9.725 on the vault to tie for 11th overall.

On beam, RU placed 14th through 19th as Northcutt posted a 9.625 and Alison Hartiwig was right behind with a 9.575. Northcutt placed seventh in the all around with a 37.575.

Senior Stephanie Pannick had a solid showing on the bars as she was 17th with a 9.550.

Freshman Kiah Banfield led the Scarlet Knights with a 14th-place performance in the floor exercise, posting a 9.700.

Rutgers returns to action tomorrow, traveling to State College, Pa., to face Penn State and Maryland at 7 p.m.