PISCATAWAY, N.J. (December 15, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team won its fourth straight and had four in double figures in a 71-51 victory over Sacred Heart on Sunday at the RAC.
The win improved the Scarlet Knights to 8-2 overall and 5-0 at home this season. The Pioneers meanwhile dropped to 2-7 overall in their fifth straight loss.
Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) led all scorers with 17 points followed by classmate Rachel Hollivay (Columbus, Miss.), who narrowly missed a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. Junior forward Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) collected her fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman guard Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.) added in 11 points in only 17 minutes of play.
RU started game off on an 8-0 run despite four early team fouls, including a pair on Scaife that put the freshman onto the bench 1:10 into the contest.
The Scarlet Knights lead by nine, 21-12 with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the opening half when RU scored seven unanswered points for its largest lead of the opening stanza. Copper dropped two of her game-high total to give Rutgers a 28-12 advantage with 7:06 left until the halftime horn.
Sacred Heart was able to keep the game within 10 points in the first half’s closing minutes in part to its prowess from three-point range. RU entered the locker room up, 35-23, with the Pioneers netting 15 of its 23 first half points and five of its eight field goals from beyond the arc.
Rutgers started off the second half on a 21-0 burst to run away with the game. The Pioneers were unable to score their first points of the second half until the 11:10 mark left in the game on free throws by Shelby Hickey. Sacred Heart’s first second half field goal did not come until 10:25 remaining. By then the Scarlet Knights held a sizeable, 56-27, advantage. During the run, RU shot 53 percent from the field hitting eight of 15 shots from the floor, while the Pioneers missed their first 10 shots from the field, including eight from three-point range.
From that point, Sacred Heart outscored Rutgers 24-15, but never pulled closer than 18 points in the game’s final moments.
Rutgers held the Pioneers starting line up to only 12 points. Sacred Heart’s Katie Shepard came off the bench for a team-high 16 points.
RU continued to dominate the paint nabbing 36 inside and scored 20 points off of 18 Sacred Heart turnovers.
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.
- Rutgers improved to 8-2 overall and 5-0 at the RAC in 2013-14.
- The starting lineup of Rachel Hollivay, Kahleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Briyona Canty and Betnijah Laney was used for the third time this season. That starting five is 2-1.
- With the victory, the Scarlet Knights improved to 5-0 at home this season. Rutgers is 140-21 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season.
- The win gave RU a 5-0 home record to start the season for the fourth straight year.
- Rutgers has had three or more players in double figures in nine of its 10 games to date. Rachel Hollivay had 10 of her 15 points at the half.
- Kahleah Copper scored in double figures for the 10th consecutive contest going 7-of-9 from the field and 3-of-6 from the line for 17 points. She is one game shy of tying Epiphanny Prince’s mark of 11-straight double-digit scoring efforts to start the 2006-07 season.
- Copper led the Scarlet Knights in scoring for the fifth time this season with her 17 points against Sacred Heart. She has led RU in scoring seven times in her career.
- Copper also dished out the ball five times, one shy of her career mark set in RU’s last outing against Wagner. She is averaging 5.5 assists during RU’s latest homestand.
- Betnijah Laney collected her fifth double-double of the season and third straight with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Nine of her 11 boards came on the defensive glass. In the last three games, Laney has averaged 15.3 points and 11.3 rebounds.
- Freshman Tyler Scaife played only 17 minutes and appeared in only the first minute of the first half due to foul trouble. She still finished in double figures for the seventh time this season and ended the afternoon 3-of-7 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line.
- Sophomore Rachel Hollivay was just short of her second double-double ending the game with 15 points and nine rebounds. It was her fifth double figure scoring effort of the second. She went 7-of-9 from the field.
- On the season, Rutgers is averaging 36.0 points in the paint. RU has scored 30 or more points in the paint eight times this season and in its last six consecutive games.
- Hollivay had three blocks against the Pioneers, her eighth multi-block game of the season. 3.8 blocks per game in the last four games and 3.4 on the season.
- Junior Syessence Davis had three steals on Sunday marking the sixth straight game with three or more steals.
- The Scarlet Knights allowed a season-low 30 rebounds against Sacred Heart. It was the third consecutive game RU allowed 35 or fewer rebounds to an opponent.
- Sacred Heart’s 18 turnovers were the second fewest by an RU opponent this season. Princeton committed only 16 turnovers in the season opener.
- Conversely, RU committed only 12 turnovers. The Scarlet Knights have a 12 or fewer miscues in three of the last four games. Rutgers has committed fewer than 20 turnovers in seven of its 10 games to date.
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