PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 10, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team kicked off the 2013-14 season with six Scarlet Knights netting double figures in a 79-65 victory over in-state rival Princeton on Sunday afternoon at the RAC.
Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) led the way with 16 points followed by junior forward Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) with her second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Both sophomore Rachel Hollivay (Columbus, Miss.) and freshman guard Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.), in her RU debut, recorded 13 points each. Junior guard Syessence Davis (Neptune, N.J.) collected 11 points and redshirt sophomore Briyona Canty (Willingboro, N.J.), in her return from last season’s knee surgery, added 10 points.
RU never trailed in the contest and held a 20-10 lead with 6:44 in the first half. Princeton, however, managed to erase the Scarlet Knights’ double figure advantage closing to within one in the waning moments of the opening stanza. The Tigers outscored the Scarlet Knights, 15-6, capped by a free throw by Amanda Berntsen to pull within one, 26-25, on their last possession of the half. However, it would be the closest the Tigers would get the rest of the way.
Copper, who had 12 first half points, gave RU a 28-25 halftime edge at the buzzer.
Rutgers led by two, 34-32, with 17:33 left in the game but went on to hold the Tigers to one field goal over the next four minutes and return to a double digit advantage. Canty, on a fast break layup, put the Scarlet Knights ahead 45-35 at the 13:41 mark.
From there, the Scarlet Knights extended their lead by 16-points, 53-37, with 11:39 remaining, but the Tigers closed to within single digits off a Nicole Hung layup 53-44.that capped a 7-0 Princeton run.
RU followed with Canty feeding Scaife for a jumper and the Scarlet Knights would lead by double figures the rest of the afternoon. Laney gave Rutgers its largest lead of the game, 74-53, with just under four minutes remaining.
Rutgers committed only three turnovers in the second half and registered 10 of its 15 assists in second half play.
The Tigers were led by Blake Dietrick with 20 points and Alex Wheatly with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at noon at Northeastern.
- RU improved to 16-2 in the all-time series with the Tigers. The Scarlet Knights avenged last season’s 71-55 setback at Jadwin Gym.
- Rutgers improved to 27-13 all-time in season openers and 10-9 in openers under head coach C. Vivian Stringer. Additionally, the Scarlet Knights improved to 34-6 in the first home game of the season, including a 15-4 record under Stringer.
- .Head coach C. Vivian Stringer picked up her 902nd career victory.
- The Scarlet Knights upped their mark to 136-21 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season.
- It was the first time since Jan. 10, 2012 against Pittsburgh the Scarlet Knights had five or more players in double figures.
- Kahleah Copper reached double figures for the fourth time in her career. She set a new-career mark with 16 points. Her previous career-high was 14 vs. Providence on 1-16-13.
- Briyona Canty tied her career-high with 10 points. She also logged 10 points at Pittsburgh on 1-10-12. It was Canty’s 10th career start.
- Rachel Hollivay reached double figures for the third time in her career. It was her fifth career start.
- Betnijah Laney captured her second career double-double, reaching double figures for the 19th time in her career. She tied her career mark with 10 boards having also reached that mark against St. John’s on 2-23-13 and Florida on 12-02-11. It was Laney’s 40th career start.
- Betnijah Laney led RU in rebounding for the 11th time in her career.
- Syessence Davis dished out six assists, the 11th time in her career she has handed out five or more assists in a game.
- Tyler Scaife’s 13 points debut was the best scoring performance in a Scarlet Knight debut since Betnijah Laney’s 18 point debut against California in 2011.
- Also making RU debuts on Sunday were redshirt junior Alexis Burke, who played eight minutes, and freshman Alex Alfano, who played four minutes.
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