PISCATWAY, N.J. (January 20, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team looks to keep things rolling as they welcome the Georgetown Hoyas to the RAC on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7:00 p.m. in front of the CBS Sports Network cameras. Brent Stover and Deb Antonelli will be on the call for the nationally televised game. Fans can tune into WCTC with Ed Cohen and Danny Breslauer giving the play-by-play, as well as WRSU with Dominic DiLeo and Kevin Lanza providing all the action.
The Scarlet Knights are coming off their first BIG EAST victory of the season - an 87-61 win over Providence last Wednesday at the RAC. The victory over the Friars upped RU’s overall record to 10-7 and snapped a three-game conference skid to improve to 1-3 in league play.
Senior guard Erica Wheeler leads RU at 10.8 points per game. She has poured in double figures the last seven consecutive games, including a team-high 17 points last Sunday at #2/3 Notre Dame and 14 against Providence. Since BIG EAST play started on Jan. 6, Wheeler has averaged 13.3 points in league action. Wheeler is also averaging 3.1 rebounds, 2.8 steals, and 2.8 assists per contest.
Senior Monique Oliver is second on the stat sheet at 10.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest. Oliver came off the bench against Providence to shoot 6-of-7 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the line for 16 points. Prior to last Wednesday’s game with the Friars, Oliver had seen limited playing time. After missing the second half of the Dec. 30 game at #13/15 Tennessee, all of the final non-conference contest with La Salle on Jan. 2 and playing limited minutes in the BIG EAST opener against St. John’s on Jan. 6 with an ankle sprain, Oliver was back in form narrowly missing a double-double against Louisville on Jan. 8. Oliver shot 5-of-8 from the floor to capture 10 points and hauled in a game-high nine rebounds. However, early foul trouble kept her sidelined for most of the Jan. 13 contest with the #2/3 Fighting Irish.
Sophomore Betnijah Laney is third on the team at 8.9 points per contest along with 4.2 boards per game. Laney is averaging, 14.0 points per game in BIG EAST action, including a career-high 24 points performance against Providence last Wednesday.
Fifth-year senior Chelsey Lee meanwhile leads the Knights on the boards averaging a team-best 4.9 rebounds per game
LAST TIME OUT - VS. PROVIDENCE
The Rutgers women’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak and picked up its first BIG EAST victory defeating Providence, 87-61, Wednesday night at the RAC.
The Scarlet Knights shot a blistering 61.5 percent from the floor, capturing 54 points in the paint and 30 points off turnovers, along with registering the most points in a conference game since 2007.
Rutgers, who in the last five games had been averaging 17 first half points, exploded for a 47-29 lead. The Scarlet Knights shot a staggering 70.8% (17-of—24) from the floor in the opening stanza and led by as many as 20 points. RU did not miss on its first 10 lay-ups at the rim and garnered 30 points in the paint by the half. Senior Monique Oliver, who came off the bench in the victory, had 10 of her 16 points by the intermission going 4-of-4 from the field.
A Kahleah Copper jumper in the paint gave Rutgers a 19-4 advantage to open the game and with 4:17 left in the first half, she gave the Scarlet Knights a 20-point edge, 39-19. Copper ended the game with a career-high 14 points shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the line.
The Friars would get no closer than 14 the rest of the game.
Rutgers led by as many as 28 midway through the second half and outscored Providence, 40-32. Sophomore Betnijah Laney went 7-of-8 from the field in the second stanza, pouring in 15 of her career high 24 points.
Sophomore Syessence Davis narrowly missed a double-double dishing the ball out a career-high 10 times to go along with eight points and four steals.
Providence had three Friars in double figures led by Symone Roberts with 19 points along with seven assists and four steals. Tori Rule added in 17 points and Danielle Pearson posted 10 in the loss.
The Georgetown Hoyas come to the RAC Tuesday sporting a 10-7 overall mark and 2-2 record in BIG EAST play. The Hoyas snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday with a 70-50 victory over Seton Hall.
Georgetown is led by the nation’s No. 1 scorer in senior guard Sugar Rogers. Rogers, who has led the Hoyas in scoring in 16 of their 18 games thus far, is pouring in 24.6 points per game along with a team-leading 7.7 rebounds per contest ranking her sixth in the league in the category.
Junior forward Andrea White is second on the squad in scoring at 11.3 points per game and shooting .491 from the field. She is also hauling in 6.1 rebounds per game.
The Hoyas are led by first-year head coach Keith Brown. He served as Georgetown’s top assistant and head of recruiting for five seasons prior to being elevated to the top position. While with the Hoyas, Brown has been a part of three-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH GEORGETOWN
The Scarlet Knights hold a 17-4 advantage against Georgetown. RU had a two-game win streak over the Hoyas snapped with last season’s 54-36 loss.
LAST TIME OUT - VS. GEORGETOWN
No. 11/12 Rutgers women’s basketball was unable to overcome its 22 turnovers and .308 percent shooting from the floor, falling 54-36 to No. 20/18 Georgetown on Jan. 29, 2012 at McDonough Arena.
Former Scarlet Knight April Sykes led RU with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Monique Oliver added eight points and seven rebounds.
The Scarlet Knights jumped out to an 8-4 lead on a pair of baskets by Oliver and a score apiece by Khadijah Rushdan and Betnijah Laney , but RU went cold, going 6:30 between buckets, allowing the Hoyas to go on a 12-0 run, to take a 16-4 advantage with 10:45 remaining in the opening half.
With its senior point guard Rushdan out of the game due to injury, Rutgers looked to cut the deficit but RU put itself in a hole, turning the ball over 12 times in the first period and shooting a .286 clip from the floor – leading to its lowest first half point total of the season and giving Georgetown a 26-17 lead at the break.
The Hoyas added to their advantage, scoring the first seven points of the second half, including five from Tia Magee, before Oliver got RU on the board with a pair of layups to make it 35-21 with 16:07 remaining.
Sugar Rodgers led Georgetown on another run, scoring nine of her 19 points on the afternoon during an 11-3 spurt for a 46-24 advantage, closing the door on the Scarlet Knights comeback hopes.
Despite outrebounding GU 43-35, Rutgers allowed 14 second chance points and its 22 turnovers led to 22 Georgetown points.
Laney finished the afternoon with seven points, three rebounds and two assists.
Magee led the Hoyas with 21 points to help Georgetown snap a two-game skid against the Scarlet Knights.
RUTGERS IN ALL-TIME BIG EAST GAMES
The Scarlet Knights are 195-88 (.689) all-time in BIG EAST regular season games. Rutgers is
84-58 (.592) all-time in BIG EAST regular season road games. Conversely, the Scarlet Knights are 111-30 (.787) in conference home games.
PROTECTING HOME COURT
The Scarlet Knights have had an outstanding track record of success at home during the previous 10 seasons under head coach C. Vivian Stringer. Rutgers is 130-21 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season. The Scarlet Knights are currently 8-1 at the RAC this season
Rutgers at the RAC (losses in parentheses)
2012-13: 7-1 (St. John’s)
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)
With opening BIG EAST season losses to St. John’s, Louisville and Notre Dame, RU fell to 0-3 in BIG EAST play for the first time since joining the league in the 1995-96 season.
Rutgers entered last Wednesday’s game with Providence averaging just 49.0 points per conference contest and shooting .390 from the field. Against the Friars, the Scarlet Knights not only snapped its three-game losing streak, but netted 47 points at the half, just two points shy of what RU had been totaling thru three BIG EAST contests.
The Scarlet Knights ended the game with a season-high 87 points and shooting at a .615 clip.
LIGHTS OUT SHOOTING
The Scarlet Knights have had a pair of top peformances from the floor this season.
Against both Louisiana Tech at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 9 and their first BIG EAST victory of the season against Providence on Jan. 16, the Scarlet Knights shot a blistering 61.5 percent (32-of-52) from the floor in the win.
RU was shooting over 64 percent from the world’s most famous arena’s floor against the Lady Techsters until the final minute of the game and connected on 71 percent in the first half against the Friars.
Rutgers had its best performance from the floor since shooting 58.7 percent against Farmingdale State on Feb. 11, 2009 in a 85-25 victory.
With both those performances, It was the fourth time since 2002-03 RU shot over 60 percent in a game.
Best Field Goal Percentage Since 2002-03:
(min. 20 made)
1. .625 (30-48) - at Seton Hall 2/18/2009
2. .619 (26-42) - at USF 2/16/2008
3T. .615 (32-52) - vs. Providence 1/16/13
3T. .615 (32-52) - vs. La Tech 12/9/2012
4. .587 (37-63) - Farmingdale State 2/11/2009
5. .562 (27-48) - Temple 12/30/2007
SECOND HALF SURGE
The Scarlet Knights have been proving to be more of a second half team. During a five-game stretch that started at the end of non-conference competition and through the first three games of the BIG EAST schedule, RU had averaged 17 first half points and shot .303 from the floor, while in the second half the Knights were pouring in an average of 32.6 points and going .438 from the field.
Opponent: 1st 2nd Final:
Tennessee 13/33 34/33 47-66
La Salle 13/11 41/39 54-50
St. John’s 14/27 30/21 44-48
Louisville 28/24 24/28 57-66 (OT)
Notre Dame 17/37 34/29 46-71
RU Shooting Percentage:
Opponent: 1st 2nd Final:
Tennessee .222 (6-27) .480 (12-28) .346 (18-52)
La Salle .200 (5-25) .484 (15-31) .357 (20-56)
St. John’s .304 (7-23) .500 (12-24) .404 (19-47)
Louisville .520 (13-25) .474 (9-19) .471 (24-51)
Notre Dame .273 (6-22) .308 (8-26) .292 (14-48)
The trend didn’t hold at #15/13 Louisville on Jan. 8. In the first half, the Scarlet Knights poured in 28 first half points while shooting 52 percent from the field.
The Knights also bucked the trend against Providence. Rutgers went into the half with 45 points surpassing their previous first-half high of 40 in the win over Southern on Dec. 12. Additionally, Rutgers’ 70% field goal percentage from the first half was the highest shooting percentage in any half this season. The previous high was 63% (17-of-27) in the first half against Louisiana Tech back on Dec. 9 at the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.
GETTING THE STARTING NOD
Rutgers has used nine different starting line-ups through the season’s first 16 games.
Georgia, GW (0-1):
Wheeler, Laney, Canty, Oliver, Lee
Wheeler, Laney, Canty, Evans, Lee
Wheeler, Laney, Davis, Copper, Oliver
Wheeler, Laney, Davis, Richardson, Oliver
Davidson, LIU:, LA Tech, Southern (4-0):
Wheeler, Laney, Davis, Evans, Oliver
Miami, Stony Brook, Tenn, Louisville, ND (2-3):
Wheeler, Laney, Davis, Oliver, Lee
La Salle (1-0)
Hollivay, Copper, Person, Evans, Richardson
St. John’s (0-1)
Hollivay, Oliver, Laney, Wheeler, Richardson
Laney, Wheeler, Davis, Lee, Copper
Note: The line-up of Wheeler, Laney, Davis, Oliver, Lee has been used in two of the last three games and is the most used line-up of the season thus far.
Syessence Davis’s 10 assists against Providence on Jan. 16 set a career and season high for the sophomore. It also marks the most assists by a Scarlet Knight since Khadijah Rushdan notched 10 against Pitt Feb. 8, 2011.
The Scarlet Knights hit the 80-point mark in BIG EAST play in the Jan. 16 87-61 win over Providence for the first time since a double overtime loss against Louisville in the BIG EAST Tournament back on March 9, 2009 with an 87-82 setback.
The 87 points against the Friars are also the most by RU since defeating Cincinnati 85-43 on Feb. 3, 2007.
FROM OFF THE BENCH AND INTO THE STARTING FIVE
Freshman guard Kahleah Copper made her third foray into the RU starting line-up on Jan. 16 against Providence and ended the game with a career-high 14 points going a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line.
Copper made her RAC debut on Nov. 14 with 10 points and six rebounds in Rutgers’ 56-52 win over George Washington.
She was the first member of the freshman class to be among the starting five, making her first career start at Princeton on Nov. 29. Copper was also among the starters in RU’s final non-conference contest against La Salle on Jan. 2.
Copper currently leads the rookies averaging 5.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 15.3 minutes a game.