PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 20 , 2012) – The Rutgers University women’s basketball team has had a week in-between contests and travels to meet the Temple Owls on Wednesday, November 21 with tip-off at 7:00 p.m. at McGonigle Hall. The game can be heard live on WCTC (1450 AM) with Danny Breslauer on the call as well WRSU (88.7 AM) with Richard Greco and Dominic DiLeo.
Rutgers improved to 1-1 on the year as they garnered a 56-52 home opening win over George Washington Wednesday at the RAC. Senior Monique Oliver posted her first double-double of the year 20 points and 10 rebounds while freshman Kahleah Copper made her RAC debut with 10 points and six boards.
Through the first two games of the season, Oliver leads the Scarlet Knights with 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds. Fellow senior Erica Wheeler is next on the stat sheet with 9.0 points. Wheeler went a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line, including four made attempts in the game’s final two minutes, to help propel Rutgers to last Wednesday’s victory over George Washington.
Head coach Tonya Cardoza begins her fifth season at the helm of the Owl program and is just four wins away from capturing her 100th career victory. Picked to finish fifth in the Preseason Atlantic-10 Poll, the Owls ended last season with a 23-10 overall mark, a second place finish in the A-10, and reached the third round of the WNIT. Temple and Rutgers will become BIG EAST rivals next season when Temple joins the league.
Cardoza’s team boasts much youth as six freshman comprise the 11-woman roster. The Owls do return senior center Victoria Macaulay, who was selected Preseason All-A-10 and to is a member of the Preseason A-10 All-Defensive squad.
Macaulay led Temple with 7.5 rebounds per game last season and was third on the squad at 9.7 points per contest.
Temple is currently 3-1 overall with wins over Montana (55-41), Seton Hall (54-38), and most recently Northeastern (63-59) on Saturday. The Owls suffered a 64-39 setback to Nebraska.
Macaulay leads the team averaging 17.5 points through the Owl’s first four games, along with 11.0 rebounds per game. She registered a career-high 27 points and 10 boards in the Owl’s victory over Northeastern. Sophomore guard Rateska Brown is averaging 8.3 points, while rookie forward Sally Kabengano is pouring in 5.8 points and 6.5 boards per outing.
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. TEMPLE
The Owls and Scarlet Knights will meet for the 12th straight season and 46th time overall. The former Atlantic-10 rivals and soon to be BIG EAST opponents when Temple joins the league next season, have played yearly since the 2001-02 season. Rutgers snapped a two-game losing streak to the Owls last season in a 71-50 victory. The Scarlet Knights are winners in four of the last six match-ups.
LAST TIME VS. TEMPLE
Rutgers picked up its seventh win en-route to eight straight victories to open up the 2011-12 season in a 71-50 victory over Temple back on November 30, 2011 at the RAC.
Three Scarlet Knights scored in double-figures, led by a game-high 19 points from former guard April Sykes. Former guard Khadijah Rushdan added 16 points, while Monique Oliver chipped in 15. The trio eclipsed the double-digit scoring mark in the first half, helping the Scarlet Knights to a 46-30 advantage at the break.
Rutgers scored the game’s first six points, a pair of jumpers from Sykes and a basket by guard Erica Wheeler. The Scarlet Knights continued to build on the lead, extending it by as much as 18 points with 4:31 to play in the first half. Sykes had 12 points with Rushdan and Oliver pouring 11 in the opening period as RU shot 65.5 percent from the field (19-of-29).
The Scarlet Knights continued to roll in the second half, turning their 16-point lead into a 22-point advantage with 2:09 left to play.
NAISMITH WATCH LIST
Senior forward/center Monique Oliver has been selected as one of 50 candidates in the running to become the 2012 Naismith College Player of the Year.
The 50 player watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2012-2013 college basketball season. The Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year presented by AT&T will be awarded on April 8, 2013, in New Orleans, La.
In late February, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors will compile a mid-season team of the top 30 players in the nation. In March, the Naismith Trophy voting academy will vote to narrow the list to the four finalists.
Through the first two games of the season, Oliver, a Preseason All-BIG EAST selection, leads the Scarlet Knights with 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Oliver has 148 blocks in her career which places her name in a tie for fifth all-time on the Rutgers career blocks leaders list. She is also currently fifth on the Scarlet Knights’ all-time field goal percentage list shooting at a .554 clip.
Last season, Oliver was an Honorable Mention All-BIG EAST honoree and three-time BIG EAST honor roll selection. Averaging 11.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, she led the Scarlet Knights in scoring nine times and rebounding in a team-high 12 contests. She registered 22 double figure scoring games, including six double-doubles. Oliver had 17 multiple block games in 2011-12, including eight games with three or more rejections.
GETTING THE STARTING NOD
The first two starting line-ups of the 2012-13 season included Erica Wheeler, Briyona Canty, Monique Oliver, Betnijah Laney, and Chelsey Lee.
The Scarlet Knights used 11 different starting lineups last season. Each of Rutgers’ five sophomores earned a start last season. Betnijah Laney led last season’s rookies with 11 starts.
LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO...
Freshman guard Kahleah Copper made her RAC debut last Wednesday with 10 points and six rebounds in Rutgers’ 56-52 win over George Washington.
Senior forward/center Monique Oliver captured the Scarlet Knights’ first double-double of the 2012-13 campaign with 20 points and 10 rebounds in last Wednesday’s win over George Washington.
For Oliver, it was her ninth double figure scoring and rebounding effort of her career. The senior Scarlet Knight shot 67 percent from the floor (6-of-9), which included a 16-foot jumper with 1:17 remaining in the game to give Rutgers the lead for good in a game that featured 10 lead changes and seven ties.
Rutgers had 13 double-double performances last season, coming from six different Scarlet Knights. Monique Oliver had a team-best six on the season. Bentnijah Laney had one double-double last season becoming the first freshman to post a double-double in their rookie season since 2008 with 10 points and 10 rebounds vs. Florida.
IMPROVING FROM THE LINE
The Scarlet Knights improved on their free throw shooting from the season opening game at #10/11 Georgia where they shot only 27.3% from the line .
After struggling early from the line last Wednesday against GW, going 6-of-12 in the first half, Rutgers connected on 16-of-17, including their final 10 attempts from the charity stripe, in the second half finish the game at a 75.9% clip.
WELCOME BACK CHELSEY LEE
Chelsey Lee wasted no time in making her comeback known scoring the first four points of the 2012-13 season.
The fifth-year senior had six points on 3-of-4 shooting at the half along with a pair of rebounds against #10/11 Georgia. The second half saw Lee make both her field goal attempts and add another pair of boards. While scoring 11 points total, Lee played just eight minutes in the first half and seven in the second half due to foul trouble.
In the 2012-13 home opener last Wednesday at the RAC, Lee played 30 minutes notching seven points on 3-of-4 shooting, three boards, and a career-tying three steals against George Washington.
Lee missed the 2011-12 season with a shoulder injury.
OLIVER NEARS 1,000-POINT MARK
Senior center Monique Oliver will be looking to become the 32nd Scarlet Knight to join the 1,000-point club needing just 51 more points to join the list.
OLIVER HOSTING BLOCK PARTY
Senior center Monique Oliver moved into a tie for fifth on Rutgers all-time blocked shots leaders list with her lone rejection against George Washington last Wednesday against George Washington. With 148 carer blocks she needs to one more to take sole possession of fifth place and surpass Tammy Sutton-Brown (1998-2002). Tanya Hansen (1988-92) sits in fourth place all-time with 245 career blocks.
This season, Oliver could become just the fifth Scarlet Knight with 200 career blocks and just the fourth Scarlet Knight with over 1,000 career points and 200 career blocks.
Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer has collected 886 career victories, just 14 shy of the 900-win mark. Stringer, who is currently first among active coaches in career win, sits behind former Tennessee head coach Pat Summit (1,098) and former Texas mentor Jody Conradt (900).
Following Thanksgiving, the Rutgers women’s basketball team will host Davidson on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2:00 p.m. at the RAC. The game can be heard on WRSU with Dave Servedio and Dylan MacKinnon on the call. The game will also be available on RVision at ScarletKnights.com.