PISCATAWAY, N.J. (February 13, 2012) – No. 21/16 Rutgers women’s basketball opens a two-game road trip against West Virginia on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m., at the WVU Coliseum. The contest can be heard live on Rutgers student radio (WRSU 88.7 FM).
The Scarlet Knights (17-7, 6-5 BIG EAST) have dropped four-straight, following Sunday night’s 61-52 loss to St. John’s. RU was led by junior forward Monique Oliver (Las Vegas, Nev.) who posted her team-best fifth double-double of the season. Senior point guard Khadijah Rushdan (Wilmington, Del.) returned to the lineup, helping to lead RU’s second half rally, scoring 15 of her 17 points in the final period. The Scarlet Knights came as close as four with 0:48 remaining on the clock, but were unable to complete the comeback against the Red Storm.
Senior guard April Sykes (Starkville, Miss.) paces the squad in scoring this season at 13.0 ppg, to go along with 5.7 rebounds per contest. Rushdan is averaging 12.9 points and a team-best 3.6 assists. Oliver – who has recorded double-digit points in nine of the last 10 games – is scoring 12.3 points per game and leads the team in rebounds with 8.0.
Rutgers owns a 39-12 series advantage against the Mountaineers, including last season’s 67-58 victory at the RAC, which snapped a two game skid versus WVU.
West Virginia (18-6, 8-3 BIG EAST) is coming off a 65-63 victory over then-No. 2 Notre Dame on Sunday, behind a strong effort by Asya Bussie – the BIG EAST Player of the Week – and a pair of late free throws by Brooke Hampton. Bussie led WVU with 22 points and eight rebounds, while teammates Ayana Dunning and Christal Caldwell chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Mountaineers are holding opponents to a .314 shooting clip – ranking third in the country – and 49.8 points per game – ranking fifth. Offensively WVU is paced by three double-digit scores in Taylor Palmer (12.4 ppg), Bussie (12.2 ppg) and Caldwell (11.5). Dunning is pulling down a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game and 7.4 points.