PISCATAWAY, N.J. (December 13, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team’s homestand continues on Sunday when the Scarlet Knights welcome Sacred Heart to the RAC for a 2 p.m. tip off.
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 following the game. 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.
Also don’t forget to pick up an Alexis Burke trading card available to the first 200 fans at the ticket table.
• Sunday’s game with Sacred Heart tips off at 2 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.
• Rutgers enters the contest at 7-2 overall after topping Wagner, 83-53. Five Scarlet Knights scored in double figures for the second time this season and first time since the season-opener against Princeton (Nov. 10).
• 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. She is averaging a double-double with 12.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Her rebound average is second-best in the American.
• Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper leads RU in scoring and field goal percentage. She is fifth in the American with 16.0 points per game and sixth in field goal percentage (58 percent).
• Sophomore Rachel Hollivay enters the matchup third in the nation in blocks per game (3.9). That figure is good for tops in the American.
SCOUTING SACRED HEART
Sacred Heart visits Piscataway with a 2-6 overall mark in head coach Jessica Mannetti’s first season at the helm. The Pioneers have lost four straight contests since topping St. Peter’s on Nov. 23, 76-73.
In its last contest, Sacred Heart fell to Ivy League foe Harvard, 74-63, to close out the Arizona State Classic. Junior Gabrielle Washington led the team with 22 points on 7-of-21 shooting, doing most of her work from 3-point range with a 5-of-13 clip from downtown.
Sacred Heart is paced by its backcourt in Washington and fellow guard Erick Norman. Washington leads the team in scoring with 17.2 points per game and in rebounding with 5.2 boards per game, while Norman averages 10.6 points per game.
The Pioneers average 15.6 turnovers per game, as RU has forced all nine of its opponents this season into at least 20 miscues.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH SACRED HEART
Rutgers and Sacred Heart will square off for the first time in the history of both schools on Sunday, Dec. 15.
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 139-21 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 4-0 this season.
FIRST HALF IMPRESSIONS
Rutgers opened Thursday’s game with Wagner 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 lead at the intermission this season and the 47 points were the most 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.
LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD
Rutgers’ 83 points in Thursday’s win over Wagner was the highest point total this season 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.
RU also dominated the inside and netted 52 points in the paint, just one point shy of Wagner’s point total.
LANEY LANDING SHOTS
Junior forward Betnijah Laney, a two-time member of the AAC Honor Roll, has registered back-to-back double-doubles and is averaging 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in the last two Scarlet Knight outings. She had her most productive game from the floor against the Seahawks on Thursday shooting 9-of-14 from the field for a 64.3 percent clip. In the last two games, Laney has combined to go 15-of-25 for 60 percent from the floor.
To date, Laney has registered double figures in all but two appearances and has collected four double-doubles.
CAN’T STOP CANTY
After not scoring in contests with Texas Tech and Davidson, redshirt sophomore Briyona Canty returned to form, netting 11 points in Thursday’s win over Wagner. Canty also converted her first 3-pointer after not connecting from downtown in the last four games.
ESSY ON THE D-FENSE
Junior guard Syessence Davis has proved to be invaluable on defense this season. Against Wagner on Thursday, Davis recorded a career-high seven steals, surpassing her previous best effort of five which was captured on four occasions, most recently at Davidson. In the last four games, Davis has averaged 5.0 steals per game and currently ranks second in the American in the category.
DISHIN’ & SWISHIN’
Sophomore Kahleah Copper reset her career mark in assists for a second time this season, dishing the ball out seven times in RU’s 83-53 win over Wagner on Thursday.
THE WILL TO SCORE
Rutgers has had three or more Scarlet Knights reach double figures in eight of the first nine games of the 2013-14 season.
Thus far, sophomore forward Kahleah Copper has reached double figures in each of the nine 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.
Copper notched 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting against Wagner to continue the streak. Other notable scoring performances from the Scarlet Knights’ win was junior Betnijah Laney’s 20-point showing, freshman Tyler Scaife’s 14 points on 8-of16 shooting and Rachel Hollivay’s fifth double-digit total of the season (14 points). Canty recorded 11 points, scoring for the first time in three games.
MARK THE CALENDAR
Rutgers will host nationally ranked and currently undefeated Georgia on Saturday, Dec. 21 to close out the current homestand. Former Scarlet Knight standout and WNBA All-Star Essence Carson will be in attendance as RU closes out the non-conference schedule signing autographs in the main concourse of the RAC starting at 1 p.m.. Additionally fans will also have a chance to win great prizes with basketball bingo. Bingo cards will be available prior to tip off at the ticket table in the lobby.
Follow Rutgers women’s basketball on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersWBB), Twitter (www.twitter.com/RutgersWBB) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/RutgersWBB) for all of the latest news and updates. Fans also receive timely information, including special offers and giveaways throughout the year on both social media outlets along with www.ScarletKnights.com.