PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 26, 2012) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team hits the road again, trekking down Route 1 to take on in-state rival Princeton at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Fans can check out GoPrincetonTigers.com for live video of Thursday night’s contest.
Rutgers won its third straight game to improve to 3-1 on the year in a come-from-behind win over Davidson on Sunday.
Senior forward/center Monique Oliver, who returned to the court after missing the previous game at Temple before the Thanksgiving holiday, nearly missed out on a double-double with 15 points and nine boards against the Wildcats. Oliver continues to lead the Scarlet Knights at 13.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
Classmate Erica Wheeler is second on the stat sheet at 11.0 points along with 3.0 steals per game followed by sophomore Betnijah Laney at 10.3 points and 5.0 boards per contest.
RU is currently 1-1 on the road with a 51-57 setback at #10/11 Georgia to open the 2012-13 season and a 66-50 win at Temple.
LAST TIME OUT - VS. DAVIDSON
The Rutgers women’s basketball team overcame a 15-point first half deficit to walk away with a 55-49 victory over Davidson, the 2012 SoCon regular season champions, Sunday afternoon at the RAC.
Senior Monique Oliver racked up 15 points. and was one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing the game with nine. Sophomore Betnijah Laney also notched 15 points in the win for Rutgers, while senior Erica Wheeler had 12. Wheeler also had four assists and four steals. Sophomore Syessence Davis got her first start of the season and dished out the ball eight times for a new career mark.
Davidson held a 15-point, 27-12 edge with 4:41 in the opening stanza and from there Rutgers would chip away at the Wildcat lead.
Oliver got the Scarlet Knights down to a single digit deficit on free throws in the closing seconds of the half as Rutgers trailed 29-20 at the break. RU was limited to just five field goals and shot only 17 percent (5-of-29) from the field.
The second half had RU roaring back shooting 50 percent from the floor and outscoring the Wildcats, 35-20. The Scarlet Knights sank six of their opening seven shots of the half.
Oliver gave Rutgers the lead for good as she powered her way past three Wildcat defenders en-route to the basket and was followed by a key Wheeler steal leading to a wide open lay-up. The Scarlet Knights led 52-49 with 1:15 remaining as Davidson’s Luara Murray tried to tie the game up on a three, but Chelsey Lee came up the with rebound. While Laney’s three-pointer was off mark on the Knights’ trip down the court, Oliver grabbed the miss and added to the Rutgers cushion with free throws.
Oliver finished out the game’s final 46 seconds making 3-of-4 free throws. She finished shooting 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
The Princeton Tigers return home after spending the Thanksgiving holiday on the left coast. Coming in at 3-2 on the season, Princeton went 1-1 while in California with a 72-68 win over UC Riverside and a 52-65 loss to #19/20 UCLA.
Princeton was picked to win the Ivy League and returns the Ivy League player of the year in Niveen Rasheed. Last season the Tigers went 24-5 overall and were the first Ivy league team to earn a national ranking cracking the Top 25 in last year’s polls. Princeton reached the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season where they fell, 67-64, to Kansas State in the first round.
On the year, the Tigers are led by Rasheed, a 6-0 senior guard, with 14.8 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. She is also averaging 3.6 assists and 2.6 steals per contest. She is followed by 6-3 senior center Megan Bowen at 7.8 points and 3.0 rebounds
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH PRINCETON
Thursday marks the 17th meeting between the Jersey rivals with the Scarlet Knights holding a 15-1 series lead. RU has won the last 14 consecutive meetings with the Tigers’ lone win coming back in 1976.
LAST TIME VS. PRINCETON
With 3.3 seconds left to play in regulation and down by a point, former RU guard Khadijah Rushdan hit a big shot to give the Rutgers women’s basketball team its first win of the of the 2010-11 season, a 54-53 victory over in-state rival Princeton on Nov. 18, 2010 night at the RAC.
Rushdan had a team-high 13 points, and Chelsey Lee chipped in 11 points and eight boards.
The two in-state rivals played back and forth basketball to start the game with neither team gaining much of an edge until RU used a 17-8 run to close out the half and enter the locker room with a 35-22 lead.
The Tigers came out strong to start the second half using an early 12-0 run to regain the lead at the 11:05 mark. From there, the game returned to its back and forth nature with two ties and seven lead changes occurring in the last 10 minutes of the game.
The final five minutes saw a plethora of lead changes with both teams making big shots. At the 3:51 mark Rutgers regained the lead on a Rushdan jumper. Less than a minute later the Tigers had retaken the lead on an Addie Micir three. RU found itself in the driver seat again at the 2:16 mark when Monique Oliver got the hoop and the harm, converting a three-point play to put RU ahead 52-51.
The Tigers responded when Lauren Edwards converted a layup with 1:13 remaining to help Princeton pull ahead by one (53-52). After a strong defensive stand the Scarlet Knights had the ball with 12 seconds remaining. Head coach C. Vivian Stringer called the team’s final timeout and drew up a play for Rushdan.
Rushdan took the ball from the inbounds passer dribbled the length of the court and pulled up from 15 feet on the right wing and buried a clutch jumper with 3.3 seconds showing on the clock. Princeton tried to get a shot off but were unable to before the horn sounded sealing the win for the Scarlet Knights.