CINCINNATI, Ohio (Jan. 7, 2014) – The Rutgers women’s basketball cruised to its eighth-straight victory in a 78-58 win over Cincinnati at Fifth Third Arena Tuesday night.
Sophomore Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) notched her second straight 20-point game with a game-high 21 points and junior forward Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) collected her ninth double-double of the year and seventh straight with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Additionally, freshman guard Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.) tied her career-high with 18 points.
Rutgers had its best shooting percentage of the season thus far hitting at a 55.2 percent clip connecting on 32-of-58 from the field.
RU, who made significant strides in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls this week at No. 29 and No. 30 respectively, won its eighth-straight game to improve to 12-2 overall and 3-0 in the American Athletic Conference.
Cincinnati dropped its fourth straight contest to fall to 7-8 overall and 0-4 in league play.
Rutgers lead by nine, 17-8, with 12:04 left in the first half, but the Bearcats managed to whittle away the deficit down to two in the next six minutes. Cincinnati outscored the Scarlet Knights 13-6 during the span with RU going just 3-of-7 from the field during the span and Bearcats relying on its consistent shooting from the free throw line.
As Cincinnati’s Chelsea Jamison connected on a basket to cut RU’s lead to 23-21 with 6:52, Rutgers would go on to outscore the Bearcats, 12-4, the rest of the way en-route to a 10-point 35-25 halftime advantage. Cincinnati hit its final field goal of the first half with 3:43 remaining as RU closed out the first stanza on an 8-0 run.
The Bearcats drought continued into the second half as Rutgers netted 12 unanswered points and held Cincinnati without a field goal for the opening five minutes. The 20-0 Scarlet Knight run that spanned the first and second half saw the Bearcats held without a field goal for just over nine minutes.
Cincinnati never pulled closer than 15 points at the midway point of the second half and RU led by as many as 24 on four different occasions.
The Bearcats had a trio in double figures led by Jeanise Randolph with 16 points, including an 8-of-8 effort from the charity stripe. Cincinnati shot a perfect 16-of-16 from the free throw line.
Rutgers will gear up for its first meeting with SMU on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 2 p.m. The game will be featured on the American Digital Network with LaChina Robinson and Tara Petrolino on the call.
It will also be Alumni Appreciation Day. All Rutgers alumni will have the opportunity to purchase $10.00 reserved seats and $5.00 general admission tickets. Alumni interested in the offer can contact the ticket office at 866-445-GORU.
Professional Simon Sez caller Steve Max will also be on hand at halftime, putting a new twist on the classic kids’ game. Max is known nationally for his appearances on TV shows and at NBA halftimes. Rutgers women’s Basketball would like to invite Junior Knights to participate in the Simon Sez halftime show. The first 50 members interested can call the ticket office at 866-445-GORU to sign up for a complimentary game ticket and participation in the halftime show. Tickets will be available at a discounted rate for guests of participating Junior Knights members.
• Rutgers improved to 12-2 overall and 3-0 in conference play. RU has won eight straight games.
• The Scarlet Knights have won eight 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 3-0 for the first time since opening the 2011-12 season with a 4-0 BIG EAST clip.
• The Scarlet Knights have scored 60 or more points in 13 of its 14 games this season.
• Rutgers scored 44 of its 78 points in the paint. RU has scored 30 or more point in the paint in nine of its last 10 games and 11 times this season. The team has won the points in the pain battle in 12 of 14 games and is 11-1 in those contests.
• The Scarlet Knights shot a season-best 55.2 percent (32-of-58) surpassing its previous-high of 54.2 percent (32-of-59) in the season opening victory against Princeton.
• The starting lineup of Rachel Hollivay, Kahleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Syessence Davis and Betnijah Laney was used for the fifth time this season. That starting five is 5-0. Those five accounted for 68 of RU’s 78 points.
• Rutgers has had three or more Scarlet Knights reach double figures in 11 of the first 14 games of 2013-14.
• Kahleah Copper scored at least 20 points for the fourth time this season. She becomes the first Scarlet Knights with back-to-back 20 points since April Sykes in 2010-11. Sykes closed the season with 22 points against La Tech (3-20-11) and Texas A&M (3-22-11) in the NCAA Tournament.
• In the last two contests, Copper has averaged 23 points per game and shot 18-of-25 from the field (72 percent).
• Copper made her first attempt from the field for the 13th time in 14 games this season. She leads RU with a 60.8 percent shooting clip. Copper has reached double figure scoring in 13 of RU’s 14 games this season. She hit her first four consecutive shots and reached double digits with four minutes remaining in the first half.
• Copper finished the game 9-of-10 from the floor in her best shooting effort of her career. She previous shot 77.8 percent (7-of-9) in RU’s win over Sacred Heart (Dec. 15).
• Betnijah Laney collected her ninth double-double of the season and seventh straight with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The double-double streak is the longest for an RU player in the last 10 years, while her total is half the most since Kia Vaughn’s 12 double-doubles in the 2006-07 season.
• After having a six-game double figure streak snapped against Houston last week, Scaife returned to double digits with 18 points, tying her career mark. Scaife also 18 points against Texas Tech (Nov. 30) at the Barclays Center which began RU’s current eight game win streak.
• Redshirt sophomore Briyona Canty dished out six assists against the Bearcats. She has recorded five or more assists in a contest in five times this season.
• Rutgers committed 15 turnovers marking the ninth time this season with 15 or fewer miscues
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