PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 13, 2013) – Rutgers women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer has announced her team will decline a bid to the WNIT.
“It would be an honor to play in the postseason and in WNIT, but with the numerous injuries on our team, it is in the best interest of our student-athletes to not participate,” said Stringer. “We have ladies preparing for professional careers and need time to heal from serious injuries that have hurt their numbers the last few months. They need the time to recover so they can showcase their abilities at the next level. Additionally, we have others that are limited in their practice time which would also hinder us in preparing adequately for a run in the postseason.”
“I would want our Rutgers team to compete to the best of their ability in any postseason appearance,” she continued, “but right now, getting our student-athletes the treatment they need to be successful is what we feel as a staff is what is best. The injuries we have suffered this season have been some of the most I can remember in a long time.”
Rutgers has suffered several chronic injuries this season including:
- Senior Monique Oliver (Las Vegas, Nev.) missed RU’s victory at Temple on Nov. 21 with an Achilles injury and came off the bench in 10 of the Scarlet Knight’s final 14 games after suffering a deep ankle bone bruise at Tennessee on Dec. 30. Oliver averaged 13.6 points per game and played in no less than 21 minutes in contests prior to the injury, but played 21 minutes or more fives times and averaged 9.8 points following.
- Senior Chelsey Lee (Miami, Fla.) suffered a sprained MCL on Feb. 12 at DePaul and missed the next five games on the schedule. She returned to play only five minutes against Pittsburgh on her Senior Day, but scored no points and collected no rebounds. Lee did not play in Rutgers’ second round game against USF at the BIG EAST Tournament.
- Senior Erica Wheeler (Miami, Fla.) has been playing through a foot contusion for much of the season.
- Sophomore point guard Briyona Canty (Willingboro, N.J.) appeared in only seven games early in the season before having season ending micro-fracture surgery on her knee. Canty had started at the point in RU’s first three games of the season, but missed 77% of the Scarlet Knight’s season.
Additionally sophomores Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.), Christa Evans (Jackson, N.J.) and Syessence Davis (Neptune, N.J.) tending to injury. Laney is nursing a toe sprain, while Evans and Davis are receiving treatment for quadricep tendonitis.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team ends the 2012-13 season at 16-14 overall. The Scarlet knights went 7-9 in BIG EAST play. The team will graduate four seniors including Oliver, Lee, Wheeler, and Brittany Lapidus (Marlboro, N.J.), while point guard Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.), the 2012 Gatorade Arkansas Player of the Year, will join the squad next season.
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