PISCATAWAY, N.J. (December 11, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team begins a three-game homestand starting with Wagner on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. It will be Dollar Dog Night at the RAC and fans can buy a $5.00 general admission ticket with a toy or book donation to the RU’s Annual SAAC Toy & Book Drive.
• Thursday’s game with Wagner tips off at 7:30 p.m. Live video will be available via RVision on scarletknights.com. with Ed Cohen and Danny Breslauer on the call. Additionally, WRSU, the Rutgers student station at 88.7 FM, will be at the RAC to provide all the action.
• 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 general admission ticket with a toy donation to Rutgers’ Student-Athletic Advisory Committee’s (SAAC) annual toy and book drive to benefit children in the Middlesex County Head Start Program with a holiday gift.
• Rutgers enters the contest at 6-2 overall after topping Davidson, 66-35. The Scarlet Knights used a 15-0 run to begin the second half to cruise to a 31-point victory - tied for the team’s largest margin of victory this season.
• Junior Betnijah Laney was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll for the second time this season following her double-double performance last week at Davidson. She tied her season-high with 15 points and added in 11 boards. Her 9.8 rebounds per game are good for third in the league.
• Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper leads the Scarlet Knights and is fifth in the American Athletic Conference in scoring at 16.1 points per game. She is also seventh in the league in rebounding at 7.6 boards per game.
• Sophomore Rachel Hollivay enters the matchup third in the nation in blocks per game (4.1). That figure is good for tops in the American.
Wagner visits Piscataway on a five-game losing skid and enters at 1-6 overall. The Seahawks lone win of 2013 came against Monmouth on Nov. 14 by a 70-57 margin. In their last contest on Dec. 7, the Seahawks fell, 69-55. Jordyn Peck led the team with 17 points, going 5-of-10 from 3-point range.
Peck has led the Seahawks in scoring five of seven times this season and leads the squad with 17.6 points per game. Peck has been lethal from beyond the arc this season, converting 23-of-48 3-point attempts for a 48 percent clip.
The only other double-digit scorer is Jasmine Nwajei, who owns a 13.6 points per game average. Nwajei also leads the team with 16 steals.
Ugo Nwaigwe paces Wagner in the paint, averaging 8.3 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. Twenty nine of her 58 rebounds this season have come on the offensive glass.
The Seahawks average 20.1 turnovers per game this season, while the Scarlet Knights have forced the opposition into at least 20 turnovers in all eight of their games.
Head coach Lisa Cermignano os in her second season at the helm.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH WAGNER
Rutgers leads the all-time series 3-0. The first meeting between the teams resulted in 73-43 victory for the Scarlet Knights on Dec. 28, 1977.
Two of the three meetings have occurred at the RAC, with RU winning those contests by a combined 151-97 margin.
LAST TIME VS. WAGNER
The last meeting between the teams came on Nov. 30, 2002, and resulted in a 70-41 Rutgers win.
Rutgers controlled all 40 minutes of the game, never losing the lead and holding Wagner to a .286 field-goal percentage.
With a 12-10 lead with 10:36 on the clock in the first half, RU took control with a 27-12 run to end the half, entering the locker room with a 39-22 lead.
The Scarlet Knights continued their domination into the second half, putting together a 17-1 run seven minutes into the second half. The Scarlet Knights were led in scoring by Cappie Pondexter (Chicago, Ill.) who had a season-high 22 points, shooting 9-for- 14 (.643) in 33 minutes of play.
She also added seven rebounds and seven assists. Mauri Horton and current assistant coach Chelsea Newton each had 10 points. Amber Petillon led the team in rebounding, tying her career-high with eight boards.
PROTECTING HOME COURT
The Scarlet Knights have had an outstanding track record of success at home during the previous 10 seasons under head coach C. Vivian Stringer. Rutgers is 138-21 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season. The Scarlet Knights went 13-2 at the RAC last season, including a victory over No. 21/22 Miami and are currently 3-0 this season.
STORMING OUT OF THE GATES
The Scarlet Knights opened their second half against Davidson (Dec. 4) with a 15-0 run to build a 47-21 lead with 12:49 remaining in regulation. The scoring run was the largest for RU this season.
Conversely, Davidson’s 14 points in the second half were the fewest allowed by RU in a half since surrendering 13 points to LIU-Brooklyn in the second half of a 58-32 win (Dec. 6, 2012).
THE WILL TO SCORE
Rutgers has had three or more Scarlet Knights reach double figures in seven of the first eight games of the 2013-14 season.
Thus far, sophomore forward Kahleah Copper has reached double figures in each of the eight games played to date. Copper is the first Scarlet Knights since Epiphanny Prince in the 2006-07 season to start the year off with eight 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 the Scarlet Knights’ win over Davidson was freshman Tyler Scaife’s 16 points on 8-of16 shooting. The Little Rock, Ark., native reached double-digits for the fifth time in eight games. Junior forward Betnijah Laney also posted a double-digit effort, recording 16 points on a 6-of-11 shooting clip.
Since suffering a concussion at Northeastern on Nov. 13 and returning to the court at UMass on Nov. 20, sophomore center Rachel Hollivay is averaging 5.2 blocks per game. She has notched a minimum of three blocks in each of the last five games.
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 Rutgers women’s basketball team returns to the RAC on Sunday, Dec. 15 against Sacred Heart. It will be the first of two opportunities this season for members of the Junior Knights ages five through 12 to shoot fouls shots on the RAC court. Interested children can sign up for both the Junior Knights and foul shots on the court for free at the ticket table in the lobby of the RAC.
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