PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 13, 2014) – The No. 23 Rutgers women’s basketball team takes its nine-game win streak on the road to meet Memphis for the first time ever on Tuesday, Jan. 14. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. (EST).
BACK TO THE TOP 25
The Rutgers women’s basketball team returned to the Top 25 of the Associated Press Poll this week for the first time since the start of the 2011-12 season. The Scarlet Knights are No. 23 in this week’s AP Poll. The ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll will be released on Tuesday.
• Tuesday’s American Athletic Conference matchup with Memphis tips off at 8 p.m. (EST). Memphis Tiger Network will provide a live video feed of the game via gotigersgo.com. WRSU, Rutgers student radio, will also be on hand at Elma Roane Fieldhouse to cover the action live.
• Rutgers enters the contest at 13-2 overall after defeating SMU, 64-54, for its ninth straight victory. Two Scarlet Knights, freshman Tyler Scaife and junior Briyona Canty, scored in double figures, as Scaife led RU for the third time this season with 16 points.
• Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper leads RU in scoring and field goal percentage. She is sixth in the American with 16.2 points per game and leads the league in field goal percentage (59.6 percent).
• Junior Betnijah Laney had her double-double streak of seven straight games snapped against SMU, finishing with eight points and 11 rebounds. Her rebound average of 10.8 boards per game is second in the American.
• Sophomore Rachel Hollivay enters the matchup ninth nationally in blocks per game (3.3). That figure is tops in the American.
• Junior Syessence Davis has recorded at least three steals in 10 of 11 contests. She is second in the league with 3.0 steals per game.
The Tigers enter the matchup with an even 8-8 record after earning their first conference win of the season against UCF on Saturday, Jan. 11 in Orlando, Fla. Memphis cruised to an 88-52 victory, moving to 1-3 in American Athletic Conference action and snapping a three-game losing streak to begin league play.
Memphis is 5-3 this season at home, but has lost its last two matchups at Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Sophomore guard Ariel Hearn leads the Tigers in scoring with 18.9 points per game this season. Her scoring average is second in the American only to Keena Mays of SMU, who the Scarlet Knights held to 15 points – 4.3 off her season average – in their most recent outing.
A good portion of Hearn’s scoring this season has come from beyond the arc, as her deadly 44.0 percent shooting clip from 3-point range leads the league. She averages 2.5 3-pointers per contest, second to Louisville’s Shoni Schimmel.
Behind Hearn are freshmen guards Breigha Wilder-Cochran with 9.1 points per game and Mooriah Rowser with 8.9 points per game. Five of the Tigers’ top seven scorers are all guards, while the team’s backcourt accounts for 50.8 of the team’s 67.8 points per game – nearly 75 percent.
As a team, Memphis boasts the highest 3-point game in the league, averaging a 35.0 percent shooting clip.
Hearn has also gotten it done on the defensive end this season and is fourth in the conference with 2.1 steals per game. She is second in the conference with 34.5 minutes played per game.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH MEMPHIS
Saturday’s meeting between the Scarlet Knights and the Tigers marks the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
STREAK OF SUCCESS
Rutgers is currently tied for the seventh-best win streak in the nation at nine games,.
The Scarlet Knights’ streak is the longest since winning 12 straight games from Dec. 8, 2007 – Jan. 26, 2008.
Current 2013-14 NCAA win streaks:
1. UConn – W17
2. Notre Dame – W15
3. Stanford – W14
4. Maryland – W12
Middle Tennessee – W12
5. Iona – W11
Wichita St. – W11
6. Marist – W10
7. Louisville – W9
Rutgers – W9
Chattanooga – W9
EARLY AND OFTEN
Sophomore Kahleah Copper has made her first attempt from the field in 14 of 15 games this season. She leads RU with a 59.6 percent shooting clip, which leads the conference. She has also scored in double figures in 13 of 15 contests.
She notched 20-point efforts in back-to-back games against Houston and Cincinnati, becoming the first Scarlet Knight with back-to-back 20 points since April Sykes at the end of the 2010-11 season.
ESSY ON THE D-FENSE
Junior guard Syessence Davis has proved to be invaluable on defense this season. Against SMU on Jan. 11, Davis recorded four steals, her 10th time in 11 games with three or more thefts. Her streak of nine consecutive three-steal games came to end and against Cincinnati, but Davis still ranks second in the American with 3.0 steals per game.
Davis recorded a career-high seven steals against Wagner on Dec. 12, surpassing her previous best effort of five which was captured on four occasions, most recently at Davidson (Dec. 4).
Syessence Davis has been generous with the ball through the first 15 games of the 2013-14 campaign, averaging 4.3 assists per game. The Neptune, N.J., native has handed out five or more assists in nine of RU’s 15 games this season.
GETTING TO THE POINTS
The Scarlet Knights have scored 60 or more points in 14 of their 15 games this season. On the season, RU is averaging 67.9 points per game. That is 11.9 points more than the squad averaged last year and the best scoring average since the Final Four season in 2006-07 when the Scarlet Knights averaged 64.4 points per game.
THE WINNING FORMULA
The starting lineup of Rachel Hollivay, Kahleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Syessence Davis and Betnijah Laney was used for the sixth time this season against SMU. Those five accounted for 42 of RU’s 64 points.
RUTGERS VS. THE TOP-25
Rutgers is currently 1-1 against the Top 25 in 2013-14.
Nov. 29 – vs. #15/17 LSU L, 65-69
Dec. 21 – vs. #16/15 Georgia W, 61-58
BATTLE ON THE BOARDS
In RU’s first four games of conference play, two of the top 10 rebounding players in the American squared off.
RU junior Betnijah Laney, currently second in the league with 10.8 rebounds per game, faced four consecutive opponents ranked in the top five in the American in rebounding to begin conference play. She beat or tied all four players, including current rebounding leader, Alisia Jenkins of USF.
Jan. 11 vs. SMU - Laney vs. Akil Simpson
Result: Laney 11, Simpson 11
Jan. 7 vs. Cincinnati - Laney vs. Jeanise Randolph
Result: Laney 10, Randolph 8
Jan. 4 vs. Houston - Laney vs. Yasmee Thompson
Result: Laney 15, Thompson 10
Dec. 28 vs. USF - Laney vs. Alisia Jenkins
Result: Laney 13, Jenkins 9
SMU shot just 28.8 percent from the field against RU. The Scarlet Knights improved to 13-1 when holding the opposition to below 45 percent shooting. It was the fifth time this season Rutgers held an opponent below 30 percent shooting, as the Scarlet Knights improved to 5-0 in those games.
Junior forward Betnijah Laney, had her double-double streak snapped against SMU, finishing with eight points and 11 rebounds. She owns nine double-doubles this season, while her streak of seven straight was the longest for an RU player in the last 10 years.
Her season total is the most since Kia Vaughn’s 12 double-doubles in the 2006-07 season. To date, Laney has registered double figures in all but three appearances.
THE WILL TO SCORE
Rutgers has had three or more Scarlet Knights reach double figures in 11 of the first 15 games of the 2013-14 season.
Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper has reached double figures in 13 of the first 15 games played to date. Copper is the first Scarlet Knights since Epiphanny Prince in the 2006-07 season to start the year off with 11 straight double figure performances. Prince kicked off the 2006-07 national championship game season running away with 11 straight double figure contests.
Copper’s streak came to an end against USF, against which she was 4-of-10 from the field for nine points. However, she rebounded in the next two games with Houston and Cincinnati, respectively, to pour in 25 and 21 points.
Two Scarlet Knights scored in double figures last time out, with Scaife scoring 16 and Canty notching 12. Laney finished with eight points, while Copper came just shy of double figures with nine.
LIVING IN THE PAINT
Rutgers scored 36 of its 64 points in the paint its last time out against SMU. RU has scored 30 or more point in the paint in 10 of its last 11 games and 12 times this season. The team has won the points in the paint battle in 13 of 15 games and is 12-1 in those contests.
On the season, Rutgers is averaging 35.6 points in the paint.
OFF AND RUNNING
The Rutgers women’s basketball team has taken some rather large runs in games this season. The eight runs are listed below in periodically descending order.
Northeasterm - 16-0 - Huskies held scoreless for 7:03
UMass - 10-0 - Minutewomen held scoreless for 4:27
Howard - 10-0 - Bison held scoreless for 1:04
Davidson - 15-0 - Wildcats held scoreless for 7:49
Sacred Heart - 21-0 - Pioneers held scoreless for 9:50
USF - 21-0 - Bulls held scoreless for 8:28
Houston - 12-0- Cougars held scoreless for 4:31
Cincinnati - 20-0-Bearcast held scoreless for 9:05
The Scarlet Knights return home to meet defending national champion Connecticut on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 3:00 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN2 with Pam Ward and Rebecca Lobo on the call. Drums of Thunder will be performing at halftime.
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.