PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 24, 2012) – The Rutgers University women’s basketball comes back from a brief Thanksgiving break to host the Davidson College Wildcats on Sunday, November 25 with tip-off at 2:00 p.m. at the RAC. The game can be heard live WRSU (88.7 AM) with Dave Servedio and Dylan MacKinnon on the call. The game can also be seen on RVision on ScarletKnights.com.
Rutgers improved to 2-1 on the season with a 66-50 win over Temple on Wednesday night at McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia. Senior Erica Wheeler led the Scarlet Knights with 13 points on 6-of-15 shooting along with four assists and four steals. Sophomore Betnijah Laney added in 13 in the victory along with a team-high seven rebounds and three assists.
Senior forward/center Monique Oliver leads the Scarlet Knights at 12.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.0 rebounds per game. Although she did not play at Temple with a strained Achilles, Oliver was dressed and available to play.
Classmate Erica Wheeler, who has led RU in scoring in two of its three games, is second on the stat sheet at 10.7 points per game. Fellow senior Chelsey Lee is pouring in 9.0 points per game as the Scarlet Knights’ third leading scorer.
Rutgers is currently on a two-game win streak following its season-opening loss to #10/11 Georgia. The Scarlet Knights are currently 1-0 at home and have won their last three contests at the RAC dating back to last season. RU’s last loss at home was a 61-52 setback to St. John’s on February 12, 2012.
LAST TIME OUT - AT TEMPLE
The Rutgers women’s basketball team went on a 23-2 run and kept the Temple Owls scoreless over a period of seven and a half minutes in the first half en-route to a 66-50 win Wednesday night at McGonigle Hall.
The Scarlet Knights were able to capitalize on 24 Owl turnovers leading to 29 points. Fourteen of those 24 Temple turnovers occurred in the opening stanza, resulting in 20 of Rutgers’ 31 first half points.
After starting the game shooting just 1-of-7 from the field with only two points in the game’s first four minutes, the Scarlet Knights erupted into its 23-2 run. Sophomore Shakena Richardson started the Rutgers run as seven different Knights got into the scoring mix. After Richardson’s jumper, a pair of free throws by senior Chelsey Lee gave Rutgers the lead for good with 14:22 in the first half.
Temple’s Rateska Brown stopped Temple’s scoring drought with 3:30 on the clock, but by then Rutgers held a 25-9 advantage and would lead by double digits the rest of the way.
Rutgers finished out first half action shooting 42 percent from the floor with a 31-14 lead.
Despite being outscored, 36-35, in the second half, the Owls never got closer than 14 in the game’s final minutes.
The Davidson College Wildcats, under the direction of third-year head coach Michele Savage, enter Sunday’s contest with a 1-2 overall record having played in the Preseason WNIT. After dropping contest to North Carolina (L, 59-70) and Northern Illinois (63-54)., the Wildcats got into the win column with a 63-54 win vs. Kennesaw State in the consolation game. Davidson led by as many as 26 points in their first win of the 2012-13 campaign.
The Wildcats, members of the Southern Conference, were selected as the preseason favorites in the Preseason Coaches Poll.
Davidson returns four starters and 12 letterwinners from a squad that finished at 22-10 overall and one win away from the school record. The Wildcats made their second post-season appearance last season in the WNIT where the they fell to James Madison, 64-49, in the first round.
Senior forward Sophia Aleksandravicius, the Preseason SoCon Player of the Year, is averaging a double-double on the year with 14 points and 10.7 rebounds per game with 31 career double-doubles under her belt. She is 168 points away from setting the all-time Davidson scoring mark, and 51 rebounds away from the rebounding record. She already holds all the career blocking records
Junior guard Laura Murray is second on the stat sheet with 8.0 points per game.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH DAVIDSON
Sunday marks the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
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.
Christa Evans got the starting nod in place of Monqiue Oliver in RU’s last game at Temple on Wednesday night.
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.
Not only did all four freshman score in Wednesday night’s win over Temple, all four scored points by halftime. The Scarlet Knight newcomers accounted for 19 of RU’s 66 points led by Kahleah Copper with seven points and Rachel Hollivay with six points.
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.
Rutgers continued its improvement from the free throw line connecting of 13 of its 17 shots from the line against Temple on Wednesday. Freshman Kahleah Copper went a perfect 3-of-3 from the stripe, while senior Chelsey Lee went 7-for-9 and sophomore Shakena Richards hit 3-of-4.
NUMBERS MORE LIKE IT
After committing 26 turnovers and handing out only nine assists at #10/11 Georgia and turning the ball over 25 times and capturing only 10 assists vs. George Washington, the Scarlet Knights dished out 18 assists and only turned the ball over 12 times at Temple.
ON THE BOARDS
The Owls held a 39-33 rebounding advantage over the Scarlet Knights on Wednesday marking the first time Rutgers has been outrebounded by its opponent. RU is outreboudning its opponents by a 4.7 margin.
PROTECTING HOME COURT
The Scarlet Knights have had an outstanding track record of success at home during the previous nine seasons under head coach C. Vivian Stringer. Rutgers is 123-20 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season. RU suffered just one home loss in 2010-11 against Connecticut.
2011-12: 12-3 (Tenn, Notre Dame, St. John’s)
2010-11: 12-1 (UConn)
2009-10: 10-5 (Stanford, Temple, Notre Dame ‘Cuse, St. John’s)
2008-09: 14-4 (Tenn, USF, Pitt, UConn)
2007-09: 14-1 (Stanford)
2006-07: 11-2 (Duke, UConn)
2005-06: 11-1 (Temple)
2003-04: 14-1 (UConn)
2002-03: 11-2 (BC, Miami)
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 career 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.
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY
Rutgers women’s basketball head coach C. Vivian Stringer announced the signing of 2012 Gatorade Arkansas Girls Basketball Player of the Year Tyler Scaife to a national letter of intent to play for the Scarlet Knights beginning next fall.
Scaife, a 5-9 guard from Little Rock, Arkansas, is ranked as the top overall point guard in the nation and ninth-rated recruit overall by ESPNU HoopGulrz. Last season she averaged 25.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 3.7 steals per game as helped she Hall High School to a 23-6 record and the Class 7A semifinals as a junior.
Scaife participated at the 2012 USA Basketball trials and Nike Nationals and was a three-time McDonald’s Full Court Award finalist. A unanimous 6A Conference Player of the Year, all-state, and all-conference honoree as a freshman, sophomore, and junior, Scaife is on track to become the most prolific scorer in Arkansas boy’s or girl’s basketball history. She was also a three-time recipient of the Downtown Tip-Off Club Player of the Year award.
Scaife was also ranked sixth nationally by Full Court and the lone early signee puts Rutgers 11th overall in Full Court Press’ recruiting rankings.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team will hit the road again traveling down route 1 south to take on Princeton on Thursday night.