BROOKLYN, N.Y. (May 22, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team will open up the Barclays Center Women’s Invitational on the home court of the Brooklyn Nets’ arena with LSU in non-conference action over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Michigan and Texas Tech will open up tournament play, followed by the Scarlet Knights and Lady Tigers in game two on Friday, Nov, 29. The tournament continues on Saturday, Nov. 30 with the losing team from each contest facing each other in game three and the winning squads from the previous day concluding the tournament in game four. Game times are TBA.
The Barclays Center Women’s Invitational will be played alongside the Barclays Center Classic men’s tournament featuring St. John’s, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss and Penn State.
The RU women’s basketball team finished the 2012-13 campaign at 16-14 overall and will welcome back eight letterwinners along with the nation’s top point guard in the incoming class. The Scarlet Knight roster boasts no seniors, four juniors and four sophomores. Rising junior guard/forward Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.), who recently tried out for USA Basketball’s World University Games, returns as the Scarlet Knights’ top scorer and leader on the glass at 9.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, along with BIG EAST All-Freshman Team member and rising sophomore Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.), who averaged 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in her first season at RU. Also suiting up for the Scarlet Knights will be Illinois transfer junior Alexis Burke (Bainbridge, Ga.), who sat last season due to NCAA transfer rules, and incoming freshman Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.), the two-time Arkansas Gatorade Player of the Year and ninth overall rated recruit by ESPN Hoopgurlz.
LSU ended last season at 22-12 overall and ranked No. 21 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Lady Tigers reached the Sweet 16 in their 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance before bowing out to eventual Final Four participant Cal. Headed by former Tennessee great Nikki Caldwell, the Lady Tigers return three starters including First Team All-SEC guard Theresa Plaisance and SEC All-Freshman selection Danielle Ballard.
Michigan concluded the 2012-13 season at 22-11 overall and are headed by former St. John’s coach Kim Barnes Arico. In Arico’s first season at the helm of the Wolverine program, Michigan advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before being halted by one of the top four seeds in Stanford. The Wolverines graduate four of their five starters from last year, returning sophomore guard Nicole Elmblad at 4.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Texas Tech finished last season at 21-11 overall. The Lady Raiders, the 1993 National Champions, made their 20th NCAA Tournament appearance last season falling to South Florida in the first round of the tournament. Texas Tech graduated its two top leading scorers from the 2012-13 campaign and like the Wolverines, lost four of their five starters to graduation. The returning starter, senior forward Kelsi Baker, averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Together the four teams have combined for 70 NCAA Tournament appearances (Rutgers – 23; LSU – 22; Michigan 6; Texas Tech – 20).
The rest of the 2013-14 Rutgers women’s basketball schedule will be released at a later date.
2013 Barclays Center Women’s Invitational Schedule
Friday, November 29
Game 1 – Michigan vs. Texas Tech
Game 2 – LSU vs. Rutgers
Saturday, November 30
Game 3 – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2
Game 4 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
*Game Times are TBA*
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