PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Jan. 4, 2014) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team kicked off the home portion of its American Athletic Conference schedule with a 68-47 win over Houston on Saturday afternoon at the RAC.
The Scarlet Knights, who faced the Cougars for the first time in the program’s history, upped their overall mark to 11-2 overall in their seventh straight win and seventh straight victory at home. They also improved to 2-0 in American Athletic Conference action. Houston, meanwhile, fell to 4-10 overall and 0-3 in the AAC.
After being held to single digits for the first time this season at USF in RU’s last game, sophomore forward Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) rebounded against the Cougars with 25 points. The sophomore Scarlet Knight was one-point shy of her career-high and hauled in nine boards, just one short of a double-double. Junior forward Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) added in her sixth straight double-double performance with 17 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
The Scarlet Knights found themselves behind, 34-33, with 14:14 on the clock in the second half, but from there RU controlled the tempo the rest of the way. Copper drove her way to the basket to give Rutgers its first lead since the midway point of the first half, an advantage the Scarlet Knights would not relinquish. Copper’s bucket started a 10-4 outburst by the Scarlet Knight that saw RU take a 48-43 edge with 10:48 remaining.
After Houston’s Yasmeen Thompson cut the Cougar’s deficit to three off her own missed layup on the following possession, RU proceeded to take a 12-0 run, holding Houston scoreless for nearly six minutes.
Thompson stopped the Cougar’s drought with 4:15 left, but by then RU had established a double-digit lead for good.
RU extended its lead by as many as 23 in the closing minute of the game.
Junior guard Syessence Davis (Neptune, N.J.) dished out the ball seven times for the second straight game and committed no turnovers against the Cougars.
Houston had two in double figures. Marissa Ashton came off the bench for a career-high 19 points. Demetria Foreman had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds
The Rutgers women’s basketball team returns to action at Cincinnati on Tuesday, Jan. 7th. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Third Fifth Arena.
- Rutgers improved to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play. RU has won seven straight games and has been victorious in all seven home contests. The Scarlet Knights have won their last nine home games dating back to last season.
- The Scarlet Knights have scored 60 or more points in 12 of its 13 games this season.
- The starting lineup of Rachel Hollivay, Kahleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Briyona Canty and Betnijah Laney was used for the second time this season. That starting five is 2-0.
- The Scarlet Knights have won seven straight, tying for longest win streak since winning eight straight games from Nov. 13, 2011 – Dec. 2, 2011 to begin the 2011-12 season
- RU began conference play 2-0 for the first time since opening the 2011-12 season with a 4-0 BIG EAST clip.
- The Scarlet Knights won by at least 20 points for the fifth time this season.
- RU went on a 12-0 run from 10:05 -5:34 mark in the second half, building a 55-40 lead in the process. The Scarlet Knights then rattled an 11-1 run with less than three minutes to go, going ahead 68-45 with 36 seconds left.
- It was only the third game this season RU has had two or fewer Scarlet Knights score in double figures.
- Kahleah Copper bounced back from being held to a season-low nine points against USF, going off for 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Her points total was one shy of tying her career-high set against Davidson, while her seven made free throws set a new career high.
- Copper made her first attempt from the field for the 12th time in 13 games this season. She leads RU with a 58.7 percent shooting clip.
- Copper scored at least 20 points for the third time this season and first time since scoring 23 against Howard on Nov. 23.
- Freshman Tyler Scaife put RU ahead with a 3-pointer at the 16:25 mark of the second half. It was her first 3-pointer since Nov. 30 vs. Texas Tech.
- Scaife finished with seven points, snapping a six-game streak of double-digit scoring.
- Betnijah Laney collected her eighth double-double of the season and sixth straight with 17 points and 15 rebounds. The double-double streak is the longest for an RU player in the last 10 years, while her total is half of Kia Vaughn’s 12 double-doubles in the 2006-07 season. That double-double mark is the most in the last 10 seasons.
- Laney’s set a new career-high with 15 rebounds. She hauled in 13 boards in RU’s wins at Northeastern (Nov. 14) and USF (Dec. 28).
- Junior Syessence Davis had three steals on Saturday, marking the ninth straight game with three or more steals. Copper and Hollivay also recorded three steals in the win.
- As a team RU recorded at least 10 steals (11) for the seventh time this season.
- Junior Syessence Davis dished the ball out seven times for the second consecutive game. She had seven against USF (Dec. 28) and also against Howard (Nov. 22). Davis has had five or more assists in five straight games, averaging 5.8 per game in that span.
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.