PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (Ticker) -- The road may be unfamiliar for Rutgers, but the opponents have not been.
Ricky Shields scored 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting as Rutgers advanced to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament with a 72-60 triumph over Villanova in a battle of Big East Conference schools.
All three of the Scarlet Knights' NIT wins have come against teams they defeated during the regular season. A 76-71 victory over Temple was followed by 67-64 triumph over West Virginia, another Big East rival.
Shields' 3-pointer midway through the first half put Rutgers ahead for good, 22-20, and sparked a 16-5 burst. The Scarlet Knights (19-12) led 43-31 at halftime and never let the advantage slip below double digits thereafter.
Shields hit six 3-pointers while Quincy Douby added 18 points and Herve Lamizana had 13, nine rebounds and eight blocks for Rutgers, which faces the Marquette-Iowa State winner on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Curtis Sumpter scored 15 points and Allan Ray had 14 for Villanova (18-17).