PISCATAWAY, N.J. (December 3, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team in back in action at Davidson on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
• Wednesday’s game with Davidson tips off at 7 p.m. WRSU, the Rutgers student station at 88.7 FM will be in North Carolina to provide all the action with Dave Servedio and Chris Morales on the call. Additionally, live video will be available at DavidsonWildcats.com.
• Rutgers enters Wednesday’s game at 5-2 overall after splitting a pair of games at the Barclays Women’s Basketball Invitational over the Thanksgiving weekend. RU kept it close against No. 15/17 LSU, falling 69-65, and rebounded with a 61-52 victory over Texas Tech.
• Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll and the Barclays Women’s Basketball Invitational All-Tournament Team for her performance last week. Copper averaged 15.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in RU’s 1-1 week.
• Copper leads the Scarlet Knights and is fourth in the American Athletic Conference in scoring at 16.9 points per game. She is also fifth in the league in rebounding at 7.0 boards per game.
• Freshman guard Tyler Scaife is coming off her second career start on Saturday vs. Texas Tech in which she netted a career-high 18 points.
Davidson will meet the Scarlet Knights sporting a 3-5 overall mark. The Wildcats are coming off a 78-74 win over Gardner-Webb that snapped a five-game losing streak.
Four players notched double digits in the Gardner-Webb win for the Wildcats, including senior guard Laura Murray, who led the team with 20 points, Junior forward Hannah Early and sophomore forward Dakota Dukes each notched double-doubles in the win while junior guard Lillian McGabe added in 16 points . The team notched a season-high 53 rebounds and 19 assists on 25 field goals.
Murray leads the way on the stat sheet with 18.6 points per game. Dukes meanwhile, is nearly averaging a double-double per matchup with 8.4 boards and 12.1 points per game. Additionally, Early is pouring in 15.9 points per contest.
The squad is averaging 16.63 turnovers per game this season, giving the ball away at least 20 times in just three of eight games. RU has forced all seven of its opponents this season into at least 20 turnovers.
Head coach Michele Savage is in her fourth season at the helm of the program, guiding the Wildcats to 20-win seasons in each of the last two years.
The 2012-13 Southern Conference Tournament runners-up were selected to finish third in the league this season behind second-place selection Samford and defending champion Chattanooga. Chattanooga edged the Wildcats, 64-63, in the conference final last season.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH DAVIDSON
Rutgers leads the all-time series 1-0. The first meeting between the teams resulted in a 55-49 victory for RU last season at the RAC on Nov. 25, 2012.
Last season, the Scarlet Knights overcame a 15-point first half deficit to take the win. Betnijah Laney led the team with 15 points in the match-up, while Syessence Davis led the team with eight assists.
LAST TIME VS. DAVIDSON
The Rutgers women’s basketball team overcame a 15-point first half deficit to walk away with a 55-49 victory over Davidson on Nov. 25 at the RAC.
Leading 5-4 in the early moments of the game, the Scarlet Knights fell behind by nine as Davidson went on a 10-2 run thanks to their precision from behind the arc. The Wildcats’ Dakota Dukes gave Davidson a 15-point, 27-12 edge with 4:41 in the opening stanza and from there Rutgers would gradually chip away at the Wildcat lead.
Oliver got the Scarlet Knights to a single digit deficit on free throws in the closing seconds of the half as Rutgers trailed 29-20 at the break. Rutgers was limited to just five field goals and shot only 17 percent (5-of-29) from the field.
The second half had RU roaring back shooting 50 percent from the floor and outscoring the Wildcats, 35-20. The Scarlet Knights sank six of their opening seven shots of the half, including Laney draining two of her 15 points with 16:40 on the clock to give RU its first lead since the opening moments of the game.
Senior Chelsey Lee powered her way inside to give Rutgers a 33-31 lead with 15:30 left and from there the lead changed hands five times on the next five possessions.
Davidson went back up six as Laura Murray connected one of her six three-pointers for the game and leading scorer Sophia Aleksandravicius got inside for a 41-47 Wildcat lead with eight minutes left.
Wheeler helped to shift momentum back to the Scarlet Knights. After hitting a three, Wheeler came up with a steal to feed Syessence Davis for a fast break bucket and a 48-47 lead with three minutes to go.
Davidson’s Aleksandravicius responded with a basket at the other end, but it would be the final points the Wildcats would score.
Oliver gave Rutgers the lead for good as she powered her way past three Wildcat defenders en-route to the basket and was followed by another key Wheeler steal leading to a wide open lay-up.
Oliver finished out the game’s final 46 seconds making 3-of-4 free throws. She finished shooting 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Davidson’s Murray led all scorers with 24 points and shot 6-of-10 from three-point range. Aleksandravicius added in 12 points in the loss.
IMPROVING FROM THE LINE
RU shot 9-of-12 from the free throw line to shoot 75 percent against Texas Tech on Saturday night. The mark tied the Scarlet Knights’ best percentage from the charity stripe this season and made it the third time RU has eclipsed 70 percent from the line.
After shooting a season-low 58 percent in the loss at UMass on Nov. 20, Rutgers has shot at least 74 percent from the charity stripe in the last three games.
WELCOME BACK BETNIJAH
The Scarlet Knights were without the services of junior forward Betnijah Laney for games with UMass and Howard, due to a sprained ankle.
Laney returned to the court this past weekend for the Barclays Women’s Basketball Invitational, where she averaged 8.5 points and 6.5 rebounds.
In her first game back, she netted 11 points and went 6-of-7 from the free throw line along with seven rebounds in RU’s loss to No. 15/17 LSU. Laney followed with six points and six boards in the win over Texas Tech.
THE WILL TO SCORE
Rutgers has had three or more Scarlet Knights reach double figures in five of the first seven games of the 2013-14 season.
Thus far, sophomore forward Kahleah Copper has reached double figures in each of the seven games played to date. Copper is the first Scarlet Knights since Epiphanny Prince in the 2006-07 season to start the year off with five straight double figure performances. Prince kicked off the 2006-07 national championship game season running away with 11 straight double figure contests.
Other notable scoring performances from Saturday’s game with Texas Tech at the Barclays Center include a career-high 18 points by freshman guard Tyler Scaife and junior guard Syessence Davis tying her career-high with 11 points. Davis also had 11 points in RU’s season opening win over Princeton on Nov. 10.
Since suffering a concussion at Northeastern on Nov. 13 and returning to the court at UMass on Nov. 20, sophomore center Rachel Hollivay has averaging 5.25 blocks per game. She currently leads the American Athletic Conference in the category.
Against Howard, Hollivay swatted away nine Bison shots, the most since Kia Vaughn captured nine blocks against St. John’s back on Feb. 28, 2009.
The Scarlet Knights forced Texas Tech in 21 turnovers on Saturday, RU’s seventh-straight opponent that has suffered at least 20 miscues. It is RU’s longest such streak in the last 10 seasons.
Additionally, after the Scarlet Knights racked up 29 turnovers in Friday’s loss to No. 15/17 LSU, RU responded with only 11 turnovers, a season-low, the next day against Texas Tech.
Syessence Davis has been generous with the ball through the first seven games of the 2013-14 campaign, averaging 4.1 assists per game. The Neptune, N.J. has handed out five or more assists in four of RU’s seven games to date and ranks eighth in the American in the category
On Thursday, Dec. 12 when the Scarlet Knights host Wagner, it will be dollar dog night at the concession stand. Fans are limited to five hot dogs per transaction. Fans can also buy a $5.00
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