PISCATAWAY (December 21, 2012) – Four Scarlet Knights landed in double figures powering the Rutgers women’s basketball team to its largest victory of the season in Friday evening’s 72-44 win over Stony Brook.
The Scarlet Knights, winners of their last five straight contests and last eight consecutive home games, improved to 8-3 overall. Stony Brook meanwhile dropped to 7-5 on the year.
While Stony Brook pulled to within three, 28-25, with just over a minute remaining in the first half, Rutgers outscored the Seawolves, 40-19, in the second half to take the 28-point victory.
Ahead 32-25 at the half, the Scarlet Knights came out of the locker room on a 15-3 tear. Senior forward/center Monique Oliver (Las Vegas, Nev.) contributed six points during the run and ended the game just shy of a double-double with a game-high 14 points and nine rebounds. Classmate Erica Wheeler (Miami, Fla.) poured in all 11 of her points in the second half, including her lone three-pointer which gave Rutgers a 20-point edge with 7:45 left in the game. Wheeler also nabbed a career-high tying six steals helping RU to 29 points off Stony Brook’s 28 turnovers.
The Scarlet Knights allowed the Seawolves just five field goals in the second stanza and held Stony Brook from converting a field goal over the game’s final 4:16.
Joining Oliver and Wheeler in double figures was sophomore Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) with 11 points and Rachel Hollivay (Columbus, Miss.), who had her first double figure contest of her career with 10 points.
Stony Brook was led by Teasha Harris who came off the bench for 11 points.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team will return to action on Dec. 30 against #10/11 Tennessee. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 p.m. in Knoxville. It will be the Scarlet Knights’ third contest against a ranked opponent this season.
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900 AND COUNTING:
With the victory, head coach C. Vivian Stringer captured her 893 career victory needing seven more to reach the 900 victory milestone.
With the 72-44 win over Stony Brook, the Rutgers women’s basketball team has won five-straight contests. During the streak, the Scarlet Knights have kept their opponents under 50-points. Rutgers also improved to 6-0 at home this season and upped its home win streak to eight games.
Head coach C. Vivian Stringer used the starting line-up of Erica Wheeler, Syessence Davis, Monique Oliver, Betnijah Laney, and Chelsey Lee for the second straight game.
DOUBLE FIGURE DAY:
Rutgers had four in double figures in the victory over Stony Brook. It was the first time this season RU had four in double figures and the first time since the Scarlet Knights’ loss to West Virginia on Feb. 15, 2012 had four pour in double digits.
Monique Oliver was just shy of her second double-double of the year with a game-high 14 points and nine boards. It was the seventh time this season and 24th time in her career the senior Scarlet Knight has led her team in scoring. It was also Oliver’s eighth double figure night this season and 53rd of her career.
Betnijah Laney had her third double figure game of the season and seventh of her career, rebounding after scoring no points against #21/23 Miami. It was the first time in the last seven games Laney posted double figures having last accomplished the feat with a season-high 15 points against Davidson on Nov. 25.
Erica Wheeler had all 11 of her points in the second half shooting 5-of-9 from the field in the second stanza. It was Wheeler’s fifth double digit scoring effort of the 2012-13 campaign and 35th of her career. It was her first double figure game since capturing a season-high 19 points at Boston College on Dec. 2.
Rachel Hollivay added in 10 points setting a new career and season mark. Her previous high of six points was netted in RU’s victory over Davidson back on Nov. 25.
PUTTING UP THE POINTS:
With 72 points against the Seawolves, Rutgers has scored 60 points or more in three of its last four games. It was one point off the Scarlet Knights’ season high of 73 captured against LA Tech on Dec. 9 at the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The 28-point victory however is RU’s largest of the season, surpassing the 27-point win, 73-46, over the Lady Techsters.
HONORARY ACADEMIC COACH OF THE GAME:
Rosemarie Cipparulo, Esq. was Friday’s Honorary Academic Coach of the Game. She is an instructor at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations and Attorney. Cipparulo teaches Rutgers courses in collective bargaining and has been engaged in the practice of union-side labor law, employment law, constitutional law, civil rights matters and the representation of social and economic justice organizations with the law firm of Weissman & Mintz, LLC.
Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer
On having four players in double figures:
“We have needed that. We’ve been trying to get them to share the ball. We have an offense that doesn’t allow them to decide, they just needed to let it flow.
On the freshmen:
“Games like this give this freshmen and sophomores confidence, and that’s what our concern was. If you think about it, we only have one senior in the perimeter, no juniors.”
On the balance on the court:
“I think [the game] showed us what we can do if we play as a team, because with so many people it double figures, we had to have been playing team basketball, and passing and looking for everybody. I think that this lets us know what we can do for the future.”
On the freshmen:
“They’re coming along really well actually. Rachel (Hollivay) did have a career high. She’s been working really hard in practice, as have all of them. They come in and bring energy and show that they’re ready.”
On the big second half:
“We just talked about what was going wrong in the first half, and what we needed to come out and do and improve on. We did that. We were knocking shots down, we were buckling down on defense, rebounding, just everything that we could do.”
On her shooting:
“Once I hit that first shot, I keep shooting, and it just builds my confidence so that I know I’ll be making my shots.”
On big victories:
“It gives us another win, it shows us what we’re doing right, but it also shows us what we need to improve on.”