PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 29, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team heads to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles on Wed., January 30 at 8:00 p.m. (EST). Fans can tune into WRSU with Mike Rivera and Dylan MacKinnon providing all the action.
The Scarlet Knights are looking to get back into the win column following Sunday’s 45-42 setback at Seton Hall. RU enters Wednesday’s game with the Golden Eagles holding an 11-8 overall mark and 2-4 record in BIG EAST action.
Senior guard Erica Wheeler continues to lead RU at 10.5 points per game. She has poured in double figures in 11 of Rutgers’ 19 games to date and has led the Scarlet Knights in scoring six times.
Despite battling a deep ankle bruise, senior Monique Oliver is second on the stat sheet at 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. Oliver has come off the bench in the last three 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. Prior to the game with the Friars on Jan.16, 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 9.0 points per contest along with 4.3 boards per game. Laney is averaging 12.5 points per game in BIG EAST action, including a career-high 24 points performance on Jan. 16 against Providence and a team-high 11 point in Sunday’s loss at Seton Hall.
Fifth-year senior Chelsey Lee meanwhile leads the Knights on the boards averaging a team-best 5.2 rebounds per game.
With the 55-47 win over the Hoyas on Jan. 22, head coach C. Vivian Stringer collected her 896th victory needs just four more wins for her 900th career win.
LAST TIME OUT - AT SETON HALL
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 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 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, RU’s top three-point threat, tried to send the game into overtime but came up short.
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 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 Marquette Golden Eagles are looking to return to the win column following a 64-63 to Louisville and a 58-48 setback at USF last week. The Golden Eagles are 10-9 overall and 2-4 in BIG EAST action.
Katherine Plouffe leads the Golden Eagles at 13.2 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per contest, ranking fifth in the BIG EAST. She has led Marquette in scoring in seven of its 19 games to date.
Second in scoring is Arleisa Morse who is chipping in 11.8 points per game.
Terri Mitchelll is in her 17th season at the helm of the Marquette program. She has guided the Golden Eagles to 13 trips to the post-season, including three trips to the NCAA Tournament Second Round and winning the 2008 WNIT crown, as well as coaching nine 20-win seasons.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH MARQUETTE
Rutgers is a perfect 10-0 against the Golden Eagles, dating back to Marquette’s addition to the conference in 2006. Last season, RU defeated
MU 52-43, eliminating the Golden Eagles in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament and also downed MU in the regular season, 69-58, at the RAC on Feb. 27.
LAST TIME OUT - VS. MARQUETTE
No. 23/19 Rutgers women’s basketball used an 18-point and nine rebound second half from Monique Oliver to defeat No. 14 seed Marquette, 52-43 in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament Oliver finished with a season-high 23 points, while adding 11 rebounds and four blocks.
Both teams came out of the opening tip slow, with RU scoring the first bucket of the game on a layup from guard Erica Wheeler at the 17:24 mark. The Scarlet Knights jumped out in front 11-6 behind two layups from Oliver, a trey April Sykes and a pair of free throws from senior guard Nikki Speed. However, the Golden Eagles used a 14-2 run to pull ahead, 20-13, with seven minutes remaining in the half.
Rutgers shot 23.1 percent (6-for-26) from the floor in the opening period, scoring its lowest first-half point total of the season, allowing Marquette to take a 22-16 advantage into the break.
RU scored the first two buckets of the second half, a layup each from Oliver and Khadijah Rushdan, to bring Rutgers within two, 22-20, but MU responded to regain its six-point lead.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Sykes at the 11:37 mark eliminated RU’s deficit, tying the game (28-28) for the first time since 15:51 of the first period when the two teams were locked at two apiece. A layup from Rushdan and a free throw from Oliver gave the Scarlet Knights its first lead of the second half.
RU relinquished its lead just once more, following a pair of miscues under its own basket, but Rushdan responded with a jumper followed by another three-point play from Sykes to help Rutgers regain momentum (40-36).
The Golden Eagles hung around, coming back within one, 44-43, with 3:13 to play, but Oliver knocked down three of her 11 free throws on the night to extend the lead back to four and the Scarlet Knights defense held MU scoreless the rest of the way – ending the game on a 8-0 run.
Rushdan finished the night with nine points, a career-high 12 points, three assists and three steals, while Sykes chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds.
Marquette was led by Katherine Plouffe’s 15 points and nine rebounds. Chelsie Butler added 12 points off the bench for the Golden Eagles.
RUTGERS IN ALL-TIME BIG EAST GAMES
The Scarlet Knights are 196-89 (.688) all-time in BIG EAST regular season games. Rutgers is 84-59 (.587) all-time in BIG EAST regular season road games. Conversely, the Scarlet Knights are 112-30 (.789) in conference home games.
TURNOVERS IMPROVE IN SECOND HALF:
While Seton Hall managed to capture 14 points off 10 Rutgers turnovers in the first half of Sunday’s game, the second half was a different story. The Scarlet Knights committed just five miscues in the second half, none which were capitalized on by the Pirates.
1,000 AND COUNTING
Monique Oliver has exactly 1,095 career points and is currently 28th on RU’s all-time scoring leaders list. She needs nine more points to move past Denise Kenney (1976-79) for 27th on the all-time points list.
MOVING UP THE LIST
Erica Wheeler has 136 career three-point field goals and needs three more three-pointers to pass April Sykes (2008-12) for sixth all-time. Additionally she currently has 433 three-point attempts in her four-year career. She needs 36 more attempts to move past April Sykes (2008-12) into fourth all-time.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team returns home for a pair of games. The Scarlet Knights host Villanova on Sat, February 2 at 2:00 p.m. and Cincinnati on Sat,, February 9 at 6 p.m.