PISCATAWAY, N.J. (January 30, 2014) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team will close out the season series with Memphis on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 11:30 a.m. in front of the ESPN3 cameras. The Scarlet Knights will be looking to avenge a 74-73 overtime loss to the Tigers from earlier this season.
Don’t forget to drop by the ticket table for an Ariel Butts trading card, available to the first 200 fans.
• Saturday’s American Athletic Conference matchup with Memphis tips off at 11:30 a.m. (EST) at the RAC. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, with Julianne Viani and Jonathan Yardley on the call. WCTC and Rutgers student radio, WRSU, will also be in attendance to cover all the action live.
• Rutgers enters the contest at 15-5 overall after falling to No. 5/5 Louisville Tuesday at the RAC. The Scarlet Knights took a two-point lead into the half, but the Cardinals stormed back in the second half to seal the win.
• Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper leads RU in scoring and field goal percentage. She fifth in the American with 16.4 points per game and leads the league in field goal percentage (59.2 percent). She has led RU in scoring 11 times in 20 games.
• Copper was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll for the fifth time this season after averaging 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals per game and shooting a blistering 68.2 percent from the floor in wins at UCF and Temple.
• Junior Betnijah Laney is averaging just shy of a double-double 13.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. She has scored in double figures 12 times in 18 games played, recording 10 double-doubles in that span.
• Sophomore Rachel Hollivay enters the matchup seventh nationally in blocks per game (3.3). That figure is tops in the American.
Since defeating Rutgers, 74-74, in overtime on Jan. 14, Memphis has gone 2-2 to move its record to 11-10 overall. The Tigers defeated UCF, 62-53, their last time out to snap a two-game losing streak. The two previous losses came at the hands of No. 1/1 UConn (83-49) and No. 5/5 Louisville (88-61).
Memphis is one of just two unranked team to have defeated the Scarlet Knights this season.
Ariel Hearn is the only Tiger averaging double-digit scoring this season. Her 17.7 points per game and 39.1 percent 3-point shooting lead the team, while those marks are fourth and second in the American, respectively.
Hearn’s 2.1 steals per game are also fourth in the league, while her 2.1 3-pointers made per game are third.
As a team, Memphis’s 32.9 3-point percentage is third in the conference. Barring a meeting in the conference tournament, Saturday’s meeting will be the final one of the 2013-14 season between the two teams.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH MEMPHIS
Memphis holds a 1-0 series lead after topping RU at home on Jan. 14. The No. 23 Rutgers women’s basketball team’s nine-game win streak came to a halt at Elma Roane Fieldhouse with a 74-73 setback in overtime in the first ever meeting with the Tigers.
The Tigers’ Asianna Fuqua-Bey hit two game-winning free throws with 1:04 left in the game, while the Scarlet Knights were unable to find the basket in the final minute of play. The Scarlet Knights attempted to capture the game winning bucket at the buzzer, but a costly turnover with only two seconds left sealed the win for Memphis.
RU led by as many as three in the overtime session.
Rutgers, which garnered no points from its bench, finished the game with three players in double figures. Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper led the way with 23 points, including going a perfect 5-of-5 in the first half and 10-of-12 total. Freshman guard and then-reigning AAC Rookie of the Week Tyler Scaife poured in a career-high 21 points, while junior forward Betnijah Laney added 15 in the loss.
The loss dropped Rutgers to 13-3 overall and 4-1 in the American Athletic Conference. Memphis, meanwhile improved to 9-8 overall and 2-3 in the league play. It was the Tigers’ first Top 25 victory after having played nationally ranked Texas A&M and Connecticut earlier in the year.
MILESTONE COACHING ALERT
Head coach C. Vivian Stringer is approaching another milestone in her career. Stringer is approaching her 400th career victory “On The Banks”, needing four more victories to accomplish the feat.
All-Time Rutgers WBB Coaching Records (By Wins)
Theresa Grentz - 434-150/ (1977-95) 19 seasons
C. Vivian Stringer - 396-202/(1995-present) 19 seasons
Ellen Johns - 6-5/(1974-75) 1 season
Dottie McCrea - 5-9/(175-76) 1 season
IN BIG GAMES
In games against No. 1Connecticut and No. 5 Louisville, Tyler Scaife has averaged 23.5 points per game and shot a combined 20-of-33 (60.6 percent). Against the defending national champs, Scaife poured in 22 points against the Huskies on 10-of-17 shooting. Three games later against last season’s national runner-ups, she collected a career-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting against the Cardinals.
Scaife has one other 20-point game under her belt – a 21-point effort in the overtime loss at Memphis.
A member of the Scarlet Knights has scored 20 or more points 13 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 seven times thus far this season, the most since April Sykes did so six times during the 2010-11 campaign and Brittany Ray did so seven times in 2009-10.
Epiphany Prince holds the mark for the most 20-point games in the last five years, recording 16 in the 2008-09 season.
Copper notched 24 points and Betnijah Laney dropped in 20 against Temple (Jan. 25), marking the fourth time this year RU has had two Knights score 20 or more points in a game. RU also had two Scarlet Knights drop 20 or more points against UConn (Tyler Scaife – 22; Kahleah Copper 20), Howard (Rachel Hollivay – 26; Kahleah Copper – 23) and Memphis (Kahleah Copper – 23; Tyler Scaife – 21).
The Scarlet Knights shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the field, against Louisville reaching the 50 percent mark for the fifth time this season and third time in the last six games.
After being held to only two points in losses at Memphis and against No. 1 UConn, Briyona Canty has rebounded in the last three game averaging 11.0 points and 4.3 assists per game.
At UCF, Canty poured in 11 points, dished out five assists and hauled in five rebounds. She followed up by playing 30 minutes against Temple, the most minutes in since late Nov., and tying her career-high with 13 points. Canty also poured in 13 points at the Barclays Center against LSU in Nov. Against the Owls, Canty also hauled in four rebounds, dished out four assists and tied her season-high with two steals.
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 68.4 points per game. That is 12.4 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 19 of their 20 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. 68.4 (20 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
PROTECTING HOME COURT
The Scarlet Knights have had an outstanding track record of success at home during the previous 10 seasons under head coach C. Vivian Stringer.
RU is 8-2 at home to start the season and has gone 143-23 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season. The Scarlet Knights went 13-2 at the RAC last season, including a victory over No. 21/22 Miami.
Rutgers at the RAC over the last 10 years:
2013-14: 8-2 (UConn, Louisville)
2012-13: 13-2 (St. John’s, UConn)
2011-12: 12-3 (Tennessee, Notre Dame, St. John’s)
2010-11: 12-1 (UConn)
2009-10: 10-5 (Stanford, Temple, Notre Dame Syracuse, St. John’s)
2008-09: 14-4 (Tennessee, USF, Pittsburgh, UConn)
2007-09: 14-1 (Stanford)
2006-07: 11-2 (Duke, UConn)
2005-06: 11-1 (Temple)
2003-04: 14-1 (UConn)
2002-03: 11-2 (Boston College, Miami)
THE WINNING FORMULA
The starting lineup of Rachel Hollivay, Kahleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Syessence Davis and Betnijah Laney was used for the 11th time this season against Louisville. That starting five is 8-3 this season.
SOME WILL WIN, SOME WILL LOSE
RU had a nine-game win streak come to halt on Jan. 14 - a 74-73 setback at Memphis. The win streak was the longest since RU captured 12 straight victories from Dec. 8, 2007 – Jan. 26, 2008. Entering that week, the streak was tied for the seventh-best in the country this season.
RUTGERS VS. THE TOP-25
Rutgers is currently 1-3 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
Jan. 19 – vs. #1/1 UConn L, 64-94
Jan. 28 – vs. #5/5 Louisville L. 71-80
Junior forward Betnijah Laney notched her 10th double-double of the season against Temple (Jan. 25), finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds. She had her double-double streak of seven games snapped against SMU, finishing with eight points and 11 rebounds. 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.
THE WILL TO SCORE
Rutgers has had three or more Scarlet Knights reach double figures in 14 of the first 20 games of the 2013-14 season.
Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper has reached double figures in 17 of the first 20 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 eight games, scoring at least 20 points five times.
LIVING IN THE PAINT
Rutgers scored 32 of its 71 points in the paint its last time out against Louisville. RU has scored 30 or more point in the paint in 15 of its last 16 games and 17 times this season. The team has won the points in the paint battle in 16 of 20 games and is 15-1 in those contests.
On the season, Rutgers is averaging 35.3 points in the paint.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team closes out its current homestand closing out the season series with Cincinnati on Tuesday, Feb. 4. It will be dollar dog night at the RAC as the Scarlet Knights and Bearcats tip off at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on the American Digital Network with Bob Picozzi and Debbie Antonelli on the call.
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.