PISCATWAY, N.J. (December 14, 2012) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team’s homestand continues as they host No. 21/23 Miami on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the RAC. It will be RU’s second meeting with a Top 25 opponent in 2012-13 and first meeting on their home floor vs. a ranked squad. The game will air on WCTC (1450 am) with Ed Cohen and Danny Breslauer on the call and on WRSU with Ben Cain and Benjamin Yavelberg calling the action. Fans can also watch on RVision on ScarletKnights.com.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team enters the second game of a three-game homestand hosting the Miami Hurricanes having emerged victorious in their last three straight contests and riding a six-game home winning streak dating back to last season.
The trio of seniors lead the Scarlet Knights on the stat sheet starting with forward/center Monique Oliver with 13.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Oliver became a member of the Scarlet Knights’ 1,000 point club two games ago.
Classmate guard Erica Wheeler is second on the stat sheet at 9.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 steals, and 2.6 assists. Forward Chelsey Lee, coming off a career-high 21-point effort on Wednesday night against Southern, is third on the team in scoring at 8.9 along with a team second best 4.3 rebounds per contest.
RU’s 63-49 win over Southern brought head coach C. Vivian Stringer closer to the 900 win mark needing only nine more victories to reach the milestone.
LAST TIME OUT - VS. SOUTHERN
Senior Chelsey Lee captured a career-high 21 points as the Rutgers women’s basketball team won its third-straight with a 63-49 victory over Southern Wednesday night at the RAC.
Lee and fellow senior Monique Oliver once again dropped numbers in the paint combining for 37 points in the Scarlet Knights’ 14-point win. Lee, in her best game to-date since returning from last season’s shoulder injury, reset her season high by the half and ended the night with her first career 20+ point contest. The fifth-year senior scored 13 of her season-high 21 points in the first 30 minutes.
Rutgers outrebounded Southern, 45-24, its largest margin of the season. Oliver and sophomore Betnijah Laney led the Scarlet Knights with six boards each.
The Hurricanes enter Sunday’s game at the RAC with an 8-1 overall mark and are winners in their last five contests. Miami’s lone setback thus far this season was a 79-67 loss against then #20 Tennessee.
Miami comes to New Jersey following eight days between games and coming off a 67-35 win over Davidson, a squad that Rutgers defeated 55-49 back on November 25.
As a team, the Hurricanes rank 12th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.314), 10th in blocked shots per game (6.3), and 19th in steals per game (13.4).
The Hurricanes bring a trio of double digit scorers led by senior forward Morgan Stroman at 13.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest. Stoman is followed by sophomore guard Michelle Woods at 11.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest and senior guard Stefanie Yderstrom with 10.0 points a game.
ALL-TIME SERIES AGAINST MIAMI
Rutgers and Miami will meet for the 21st time with the Scarlet Knights holding a 12-8 edge in the all-time series.
The two squads last squared off last season in a double overtime thriller with the Hurricanes taking a 92-81 victory.
The Scarlet Knights are 10-6 against Miami under Stringer.
RUTGERS AGAINST THE ACC
The Scarlet Knights have matched up against eight teams that comprise the current Atlantic Coast Conference, having not faced Florida State, North Carolina and Wake Forest.
Rutgers is 53-52 all-time, including a 33-26 mark under Stringer.
LAST TIME VS. MIAMI
Rutgers dropped a double overtime nail-biter at No. 9 Miami, losing to the Hurricanes 92-81 on on December 5, 2011 at BankUnited Center. Monique Oliver had team-highs with 23 points and 19 rebounds, while former guard April Sykes also had a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards.
Four Scarlet Knights scored in double figures as junior guard Erica Wheeler and former guard Khadijah Rushdan added 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Rutgers had entered the game as one of 15 unbeaten teams in the nation with an 8-0 record, while Miami was on a five-game win streak.
RU forced the first overtime on a Wheeler layup with 1.5 seconds left in regulation as she put back a miss from Oliver in the closing seconds. The Scarlet Knights led by as much as 16 points in the second half, but a rally from the Hurricanes closed the gap with seven ties in the final 8:53.
Oliver scored 17 of her 23 points in the second half points, while Sykes paced RU in both overtimes, scoring 10 of the Scarlet Knights 18 points in the final 10 minutes of play. Rutgers was without two of its most experienced guards in overtime after Rushdan and Nikki Speed fouled out in the second half.
Miami pulled away in the first overtime, taking a four-point lead with 38 seconds left on the clock, however, the Scarlet Knights responded with a three pointer from Sykes, cutting the deficit to one (73-72). Riquna Williams connected on one of two free throws to pull Miami ahead by two with 20 seconds. Rutgers scored its second game-tying shot moments later on a layup from Betnijah Laney to make it 74-74 and enter the second overtime.
The Hurricanes found momentum in the final five minutes, outscoring the Scarlet Knights 18-7. Williams scored 16 of her career-high 36 points during OT to help propel Miami
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 126-20 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season. The Scarlet Knights have won five straight on their home court dating back to last season and are currently 4-0 at the RAC this season.
Rutgers at the RAC (losses in parentheses)
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)
RUTGERS VS. THE TOP-25
Rutgers opened up the season against #10/11 Georgia with a 57-51 setback. The Scarlet Knights’ next Top 25 opponent will be Miami on Sunday as the Hurricanes enter ranked at #21 in the AP Poll and at #23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
Senior forward/center Monique Oliver was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll after helping the Scarlet Knight women’s basketball team to a 2-0 record last week averaging 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 blocks, and 3.0 steals in wins over LIU Brooklyn and Louisiana Tech
In Rutgers’ 58-32 victory over LIU Brooklyn last Thursday, Oliver became the 32nd Scarlet Knight to reach the 1,000 career-point mark with a game-high 18 points along with a career-high six steals.
Oliver then added in a team-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor to go with five rebounds and a season-high four blocks in the 74-46 Maggie Dixon Classic victory against the Lady Techsters Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Additionally, Oliver shot 6-of-7 (86 percent) from the line on the week.
On the season, Oliver is averaging a team-best 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game
GETTING THE STARTING NOD
Rutgers has used six different starting line-ups through the season’s first nine games.
Georgia, GW: Wheeler, Laney, Canty, Oliver, Lee
Temple: Wheeler, Laney, Canty, Evans, Lee
Davidson: Wheeler, Laney, Davis, Evans, Oliver
Princeton: Wheeler, Laney, Davis, Copper, Oliver
BC: Wheeler, Laney, Davis, Richardson, Oliver
LIU:, LA Tech, Southern: Wheeler, Laney, Davis, Evans, Oliver
Of note: Rutgers used the same starting line-up in its last three contests becoming the most consistent line-up of the season to-date.
LEADING LADY CHELSEY LEE
Senior Chelsey Lee had her best game to-date since returning from last season’s shoulder injury on Wednesday night against Southern with a career-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor and a perfect 5-of-5 night from the line.
In RU’s last three games, Lee has shot 71 percent from the field (17-of-24) and averaged 13.7 points during the span.
Lee, who started the first three games of the season and has come off the bench in the last six contests, is currently third on the team averaging 8.9 points per game.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team wraps up its three-game homestand with Stony Brook on Friday, Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m. as part of the Holiday Doubleheader with the Rutgers men’s basketball team hosting Howard following.
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