PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 21, 2014) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team hits the road for its next two games starting with its first ever meeting with the UCF Knights on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at CFE Arena at 7 p.m.
• Wednesday’s American Athletic Conference matchup with UCF tips off at 7 p.m. (EST) at the CFE Arena. The game will be broadcast live on the American Digital Network, with Bob Picozzi and Debbie Antonelli on the call. WRSU will also be in attendance to cover all the action.
• Rutgers enters the contest at 13-4 overall losing, 94-64 against UConn at the RAC. Two Scarlet Knights, Kahleah Copper and Tyler Scaife, notched 20-point efforts in the loss, but it was not enough, as the four Huskies combined for 82 points in the loss.
• Freshman Tyler Scaife has been named American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week for two straight weeks, averaging 19.3 points per game in the last four contests.
• Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper leads RU in scoring and field goal percentage. She is sixth in the American with 16.8 points per game and leads the league in field goal percentage (59.5 percent).
• Junior Betnijah Laney is averaging a double-double at 13.0 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. She has scored in double figures 11 times in 15 games played, recording nine double-doubles in that span.
• Sophomore Rachel Hollivay enters the matchup ninth nationally in blocks per game (3.1). That figure is tops in the American.
UCF looks to snap a five-game losing streak when it welcomes Rutgers to the CFE Arena on Wednesday night. The Knights have lost their last five games by an average of 25.8 points, with their most recent slip up coming at home against in-state rival, USF.
The Bulls topped UCF, 63-38, taking an 11-point lead into halftime and never looking back. UCF’s lone conference win came in its conference opener against Houston, when the Knights defeated the Cougars, 67-59, on the road.
Three Knights average double-digit scoring averages this season, led by Briahanna Jackson. Jackson’s 17.8 points per game is the fourth-best mark in the American, while Sara Djassi and Zykira Lewis average 11.9 and 11.1 points per game, respectively. Jackson has gotten it done on the defensive end as well, averaging 3.1 steals per game to lead to the league.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH UCF
Wednesday’s meeting against UCF marks the first ever meeting between the two schools.
A member of the Scarlet Knights has scored 20 or more points 10 times in 2013-14, the most 20+ point outings since the 2011-12 season when RU had a Scarlet Knight reach the milestone nine times.
Kahleah Copper has reached the 20+ point milestone six times thus far this season, the most since April Sykes did so during the 2010-11 campaign and Brittany Ray did so seven times in 2009-10.
Tyler Scaife notched a career-high 22 points and Copper dropped in 20 in RU’s last outing against No. 1 UConn, marking the third time this year RU has had two Knights score 20 or more points in a game. RU had two Scarlet Knights drop 20 or more points against Howard (Rachel Hollivay – 26; Kahleah Copper – 23) and Memphis (Kahleah Copper – 23; Tyler Scaife – 21).
GETTING TO THE POINTS
Rutgers has one of the highest scoring averages under C. Vivian Stringer’s 19-year tenure “On the Banks” with the 2013-14 squad.
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 Scarlet Knights have scored 60 or more points in 15 of their 16 games this season.
1. 70.0 (35 games) 1998-99 – 29-6 – Elite Eight
2. 68.7 (32 games) 1997-98 – 22-10 – Sweet 16
3. 67.9 (17 games) 2013-14 – CURRENT SEASON
4. 67.3 (29 games) 2002-03 – 21-8 – 2nd Round
5. 65. 6 (31 games) 2000-01 – 23-8 – 2nd Round
6. 64.4 (36 games) 2006-07 – 27-9 – National Runner-up
7. 64.0 (35 games) 1999-00 – 26-8 – Sweet 16
8. 63.9 (32 games) 2005-06 – 27-5 – Sweet 16
9. 63.2 (35 games) 2004-05 – 28-7 – Elite 8
10. 63.1 (34 games) 2008-09 – 21-13 – Sweet 16
11. 62.5 (33 games) 2003-04 – 21-12 – 1st Round
12. 61.9 (28 games) 1995-96 – 13-15
13. 61.4 (33 games) 2010-11 – 20-13 – 2nd Round
14. 61.0 (34 games) 2007-08 – 27-7- Elite 8
15. 60.9 (32 games) 2011-12 – 1st Round
16. 57.8 (34 games) 2009-10 – 19-15 – 1st Round
17. 57.2 (28 games) 1996-97 -11-17
18. 56.0 (30 games) 2012-13 – 16-14
19. 55.6 (29 games) 2001-02 – 9-20
THE WINNING FORMULA
The starting lineup of Rachel Hollivay, Kahleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Syessence Davis and Betnijah Laney was used for the eighth time this season against UConn. That starting five is 6-2 this season.
EARLY AND OFTEN
Sophomore Kahleah Copper has made her first attempt from the field in 16 of 17 games this season. She leads RU and the American with a 59.5 percent shooting clip. She has also scored in double figures in 15 of 17 contests.
ESSY ON THE D-FENSE
Junior guard Syessence Davis has proved to be invaluable on defense this season. Davis has recorded three or more steals in 10 of the last 13 games, as her 2.7 steals per game average is second in the American.
RUTGERS VS. THE TOP-25
Rutgers is currently 1-2 against the Top 25 in 2013-14, as UConn represents the third ranked foe of the season.
Nov. 29 – vs. #15/17 LSU L, 65-69
Dec. 21 – vs. #16/15 Georgia W, 61-58
Jan. 19 – vs. #1/1 UConn L, 94-64
BATTLE ON THE BOARDS
In six of RU’s first seven games of conference play, two of the top 10 rebounding players in the Ameri can will have squared off.
RU junior Betnijah Laney, currently second in the league with 10.3 rebounds per game, welcomes UCF’s Brittni Montgomery, who is currently fifth in the league in rebounding.
Laney faced five opponents in the first six league games ranked in the top five in the American in rebounding. She beat or tied all but one player, including current rebounding leader, falling only to UConn’s Stefanie Dolson.
Jan. 19 vs. UConn - Laney vs. Stefanie Dolson
Result: Dolson 10, Laney 4
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
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 12 of the first 17 games of the 2013-14 season.
Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper has reached double figures in 15 of the first 17 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 has rebounded in the last five games, scoring at least 20 points four times.
LIVING IN THE PAINT
Rutgers scored 32 of its 64 points in the paint its last time out against UConn.
RU has scored 30 or more point in the paint in 12 of its last 13 games and 14 times this season. The team has won the points in the paint battle in 13 of 16 games and is 12-1 in those contests.
On the season, Rutgers is averaging 35.3 points in the paint.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team travels to Temple on Saturday, Jan. 25th for a 2 p.m. meeting with the Owls. The game will air on the American Digital Network with Jeff Brightwell and Leah Secondo on the call.
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