SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (January 27, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team suffered a heartbreaking, 45-42, setback to Seton Hall on Sunday afternoon at Walsh Gymnasium.
Seton Hall’s Brittany Morris regained the Pirate lead with 2:30 left in the game on a jumper for a 44-42 edge. She followed by hitting the first of two free throws with 31 seconds remaining to give the Pirates a three-point cushion, putting her team ahead, 43-42.
Sophomore Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) gave the Scarlet Knights a chance to tie the game up, but her three-point shot with 11 seconds left was off the mark. Sophomore Christa Evans (Jackson, N.J.) still gave RU hope by collecting Laney’s miss and giving the Knights one last chance look at the basket.
Coming out of a timeout with 8.6 seconds on the clock, senior Erica Wheeler (Miami, Fla.), RU’s top three-point threat, tried to send the game into overtime but came up short.
The Scarlet Knights drop to 11-8 overall and 2-4 in BIG EAST play. Seton Hall snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to 8-12 overall and 3-4 in league play. The Pirates also snapped a 12-game losing streak against Rutgers.
Laney led the Scarlet Knights with 11 points, including eight in the second half of play. Wheeler was the other Knight in double figures with 10 points. Seton Hall was led by Morris with a game-high 19 points and Ka-Deidre Simmons chipping in 11 in the win.
The Pirates clogged the paint limiting points to RU’s post players and also capitalized on Scarlet Knight miscues to take a 25-18 lead at the half. Morris, the game’s leading scorer, shot 3-of-4 from the floor, including 3-of-3 from three-point land, for 11 first half points. Additionally, Seton Hall collected 14 points off 10 first half turnovers by Rutgers for the lead at the intermission.
Rutgers overcame a nine-point second half deficit and used a 15-2 run midway through the final stanza to take its first and only lead of the game. Freshman Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) used a fade away jumper to tie the game up at 36-36 followed by Laney giving the Scarlet Knights a 38-36 advantage with 8:23 left in the game by driving the baseline.
The Pirates responded by knocking down back-to-back three-pointers to go ahead by two, but Laney tied the game all up at 42-42 with 5:20 left setting up the dramatic finish on the game’s final points by Morris.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team returns to the hardwood at Marquette on Wed., January 30. Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. (EST).
IN THE SERIES:
Entering Sunday’s contest, the Scarlet Knights had defeated the Pirates in the last 12 consecutive meetings and in 17 of the last 18 contests.
TURNOVERS IMPROVE IN SECOND HALF:
While the Pirates managed to capture 14 points off 10 Rutgers turnovers in the first half, the second half was a different story. The Scarlet Knights committed just five miscues in the second half, none which were capitalized on by Seton Hall.
ON THE ROAD:
While the Scarlet Knights are enjoying a 9-1 mark on their home court at the RAC, Rutgers is still trying to find its stride on the road. RU is just 2-7 away from the friendly confines of the hardwood Piscataway with a neutral site win over Louisiana Tech at the Maggie Dixon Classic in December and its last win on an opponent’s home floor on Nov. 21 at Temple.
DOUBLE FIGURE FACTS:
Sophomore Betnijah Laney led the Scarlet Knights with 11 points. It was the fourth time this season and fifth time overall she has led RU in scoring. Additionally it was the eighth time this season and 12th time in her career Laney has notched double figures.
Erica Wheeler added in 10 in the loss making it the 11th time this season she has scored 10 or more points and the 42nd time in her career.