PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 25, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team, winners in their last two straight, make a short road trip on Sunday to Walsh Gymnasium to take on Seton Hall. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m. Fans can tune into WRSU with John Maganelli and Ben Wolf providing all the action.
The Scarlet Knights are coming off back-to-back victories that includes an 87-61 win over Providence last Wednesday and a 55-47 win over Georgetown on Tuesday. RU enters Sunday with an 11-7 overall mark and will look to move to .500 in conference competition with a win. The Scarlet Knights are currently 2-3 in BIG EAST action.
Senior guard Erica Wheeler leads RU at 10.6 points per game. She has poured in double figures in seven of RU’s last eight games, which included a team-high 17 points at #2/3 Notre Dame and 14 against Providence in the Scarlet Knights’ first conference victory . Wheeler is also averaging 3.0 rebounds, 2.9 steals, and 2.5 assists per contest.
Senior Monique Oliver is second on the stat sheet at 10.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest. Oliver has come off the bench in the last two contests, which included the senior shooting 6-of-7 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the line for 16 points against Providence and logging a team-high eight rebounds vs. Georgetown in the Knights’ last outing. 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 4.3 boards per game. Laney is averaging, 12.8 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 5.1 rebounds per game.
With the 55-47 win over the Hoyas, head coach C. Vivian Stringer collected her 896th victory need just four more wins for her 900th career win.
LAST TIME OUT - VS. GEORGETOWN
The Rutgers women’s basketball team made it two-in-a-row with a 55-47 victory over Georgetown on Tuesday night at the RAC. The Scarlet Knights held the nation’s leading scorer, Sugar Rodgers, to 11 points below her average.
The Scarlet Knights were led by freshman Kahleah Copper with 12 points and sophomore Shakena Richardson with a career-high 11.
Georgetown’s Rodgers, who entered the game as the nation’s leading scorer at 24.6 points per game, was held to a season-low 13 points shooting 3-of-20 from the field. It was only the fourth time this season Rogers has scored under 20 points.
With the Hoyas leading 13-11 with five minutes remaining in the first half, Rutgers closed out the half on a 13-3 run holding Georgetown to only one field goal during the span. Richardson accounted for six points during the run which saw the Scarlet Knights go into the locker room with a 24-16 edge.
Rutgers extended its lead to as many as 12 in the early moments of the second half, however Georgetown would pull within two with 11 minutes remaining in the game. The Hoyas scored eight unanswered points as Rutgers held to a 33-31 advantage. Senior Chelsey Lee knocked down a pair of free throws and sophomore Betnijah Laney with the traditional three-point play gave Rutgers a five-point cushion following.
A pair of Rodger free throws pulled the Hoyas back within three, 38-35, with 7:16 left, but that would be the closest Georgetown would get the rest of the way.
Down the stretch, Rutgers, who went to the free throw line a season-high 37 times, hit seven of its 10 shots from the charity stripe. Ahead by four, 48-44, with 1:56 left to play, Richardson knocked down all four of her attempts from the line to keep the game out of reach from the Hoyas.
The Scarlet Knights outrebounded the Hoyas, 45-34. Senior Monique Oliver came off the bench to lead RU with eight rebounds.
SCOUTING SETON HALL
The Seton Hall Pirates come into Sunday’s contest looking to snap a four-game losing streak. The Pirates are 7-12 overall and 2-4 in the BIG EAST and are coming off a 74-52 loss against USF.
Seton Hall has a pair of Pirates averaging double figures on the year led by senior guard Brittany Morris at 12.6 points per contest. Redshirt sophomore guard Ka-Deidre Simmons is second on the stat sheet at 11.3 points per game and averages 3.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Senior forward Alexandra Maseko leads the Pirates on the boards at 5.9 rebounds per game and checks in as the team’s third leading scorer at 6.7 points per game.
Seton Hall is led by Naismith and Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Anne Donovan. Donovan has compiled a 30-68 record in her three years with the Pirates. At the conclusion of the 2012-13 campaign, Donovan will take over the helm of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. As a student-athlete at Old Dominion, she garnered three Kodak All-American honors and compiled 2,719 points, 1,976 rebounds, and a NCAA best 801 blocks in her four-year career.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH SETON HALL
The Scarlet Knights hold a 32-7 advantage in the all-time series with Seton Hall, including a 19-4 record against the Pirates in BIG EAST play. Rutgers has won the last 11 straight meetings and 17 of the last 18 contests, including last season’s 62-39 win at the RAC on Feb. 21, 2012.
LAST TIME OUT - VS. SETON HALL
No. 24/20 Rutgers women’s basketball had three players score in double-digits en route to a 62-39 victory against Seton Hall on Feb. 21, 2012 at the RAC. Former Scarlet Knight April Sykes led the trio with a team-high 17 points and five rebounds.
RU started cold from the floor in the early going, shooting 4-for-13 in the first 12 minutes of the game allowing the Pirates to take a two-point lead (13-11) with 7:56 remaining in the opening period. Erica Wheeler awoke the Scarlet Knights, who ended the half by draining six of its next 13 shots for a 17-6 run. Wheeler connected on three-of-four from beyond the arc during the spurt, helping Rutgers to a 28-19 advantage at the break.
Rutgers exploded in the second half, scoring 21 of the first 25 points, capped off by a pair of Khadijah Rushdan free throws to extend RU’s lead to 49-23. The Scarlet Knights would pull ahead by as many as 29 points in the second-half, following a jumper by Betnijah Laney, as RU defeated Seton Hall for the 12th-straight meeting. Laney scored all eight of her points in the second half.
Rushdan ended the night with 15 points and four assists, while Wheeler chipped in 11 and Nikki Speed had a season-high seven.
The Scarlet Knights converted 18 Pirate turnovers into 31 points, while only turning the ball over nine times
RUTGERS IN ALL-TIME BIG EAST GAMES
The Scarlet Knights are 196-88 (.690) 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 112-30 (.789) in conference home games.
The Rutgers women's basketball team is on the road again taking on Marquette on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Tip-off is at 8:00 p.m. (EST).