PISCATAWAY, N.J. (December 12, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team opened up its three-game December homestand with a commanding 83-53 victory over Wagner Thursday night at the RAC.
Five Scarlet Knights finished the night in double figures led by a double-double night by junior forward Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.). Laney, who was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll on Monday, collected her fourth double figure points and rebound effort of the year with a team-high 20 points and 12 boards. She also cracked the 20-point mark for the first time this season and second time in her career.
Sophomore Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) added 15 points in the win along with a career-high six assists, while classmate Rachel Hollivay (Columbus, Miss.) and rookie Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.) contributed 14 points each. Redshirt sophomore Briyona Canty (Willingboro, N.J.) came off the bench to round out the double figure scorers with 11.
Rutgers opened the game on a 12-4 run and never looked back. The Scarlet Knights took a commanding 47-19 halftime lead and a trio of Scarlet Knights put away double figures by the intermission. The 28-point halftime edge was RU’s largest edge at the intermission this season and the 47 points were the most points by the squad at the half this season. Additionally RU shot a blistering 60 percent from the floor connecting of 21 of its 35 first half shots.
In the second half, a fast break by Syessence Davis (Neptune, N.J.) with 11:56 remaining gave RU its largest lead of the night at 67-30.
Wagner only managed to cut the gap to 25 with just over five minutes remaining. An Ugo Nwaigwe bucket cut the Seahawk deficit to 70-45 with 5:28 left. However, RU quickly responded with a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 30 points once again
Rutgers, who was averaging 18.6 turnovers per game entering Thursday night’s contest with the Seahawks, committed only eight turnovers, the fewest by the Scarlet Knights since turning the ball over nine times against Seton Hall on Feb 9, 2012.
RU also dominated the inside and netted 52 points in the paint, just one point shy of Wagner’s point total.
The Scarlet Knights improved to 7-2 overall and 4-0 at the RAC this season. Wagner meanwhile fell to 1-7 on the year.
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 foul 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.
- Rutgers defeated Wagner, 83-53, Thursday night. It was the highest point total this season for the Scarlet Knights and most since the team defeated Providence, 87-61, at the RAC on Jan. 16, 2013.
- The team’s 30-point margin of victory was the second-highest recorded this season and third victory of at least 30 points.
- With the victory, the Scarlet Knights improved to 4-0 at home this season. Rutgers is 139-21 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season.
- The Scarlet Knights held the opposition to less than 20 percent shooting from 3-point range for the second consecutive game.
- Rutgers has had three or more players in double figures in eight of its nine games to date. Three Scarlet Knights – Kahleah Copper (12), Betnijah Laney (12) and Tyler Scaife (13) – reached double figures in the first half.
- Five Scarlet Knights scored in double figures for the second time this season and first time since the season-opener against Princeton (Nov. 10).
- Sophomore Kahleah Copper leads the team with a 58 percent field goal percentage this season. She has made her first shot attempt from the field in eight of nine games, including the last six.
- Copper dished the ball out six times against the Seahawks, setting a new career-high. She recorded her previous high of five assists in the win over Howard on Nov. 22.
- Copper scored in double figures for the ninth consecutive contest, shooting 6-of-9 for 15 points in 30 minutes of action. She is two games shy of tying Epiphanny Prince’s mark of 11-straight double-digit scoring efforts to start the 2006-07 season.
- Freshman Tyler Scaife scored in double figures for the sixth time this season, shooting 6-of-11 from the field for 14 points.
- Junior Betnijah Laney set a new season-high of 20 points, coming four shy of her career-high. The scoring output made it four games this season in which the Scarlet Knights have had a 20-point scorer. Her nine field goals were a season-high.
- Sophomore Rachel Hollivay scored in double figures (14 points) for the fourth time this season and first time in four games.
- Junior Briyona Canty scored in double figures for the sixth time this season. She was held scoreless in RU’s previous two games, but responded with a 4-of-10 shooting clip for 11 points.
- Laney fell one rebound shy of her career-high (13) set against Northeastern on Nov. 13. She has snagged at least 10 boards in five of seven games played, as she led the team on the glass for the fifth time.
- Sophomore Rachel Hollivay recorded two blocks against Wagner, her seventh multi-block game of the season. She averaging 4.7 blocks in the last six games and 3.4 this season.
- Junior Syessence Davis continued her aggression on the defensive end, recording at least two steals for the seventh time in nine games. The Neptune, N.J., native set a new career-high with seven steals, becoming the first player with seven steals since Erica Wheeler on Jan. 2, 2013. She is averaging 4.6 steals per game over the last five contests.
- The Scarlet Knights recorded 45 points in the first half, their highest scoring output in the first half and second-highest point total in any half this year. RU’s highest output in a half came in the second stanza against Princeton, when the Scarlet Knights dropped 51 points (Nov. 10).
- Rutgers bested Wagner in the paint, 52-26, the most points in the paint the team has recorded this season. RU notched at least 30 points in the paint in seven of nine games this season, winning the points in paint battle seven of nine times, as well.
- The Scarlet Knights continued their running trend, besting Wagner, 28-0, in fast break points. It was the most fast break points recorded this season, as RU has won the fast break battle in eight of nine games while surpassing the double-digit mark four times.
- RU did not allow the opposition to score on the fast break for the third time this season.
- The Scarlet Knights allowed a season-low 35 rebounds against Wagner. It was the second consecutive game RU allowed just 35 rebounds to an opponent.
- The RU defense forced the opposition into at least 20 turnovers (22) for the ninth consecutive game, the team’s longest such streak since in the last 10 years.
- Wagner’s 19 first-half points was the lowest total surrendered in the opening period by the Scarlet Knights this season. Previously, the fewest points allowed in the opening stanza this season was 20 against La Salle on Nov. 17.
- Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer ran out the starting five of Rachel Hollivay, Kahleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Syessence Davis and Betnijah Laney for the second consecutive game.
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