PISCATAWAY, N.J. (February 15, 2014) – The Rutgers women’s basketball team rolled to a 90-50 victory over UCF in its annual “Play 4 Kay” game at the RAC on a snowy Saturday afternoon. The Scarlet Knights poured in its highest scoring effort of the season.
Rutgers captured its 20th victory of the 2013-14 campaign, improving to 20-5 overall and 11-3 in the American in its fifth straight victory. UCF, meanwhile, fell to 10-15 overall and 3-11 in conference play.
Sophomore guard Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.) led a quartet of Scarlet Knights in double figures with each netting 22 points. Scaife opened the game 0-5 from the floor, but would go on to connect on 11 of her next 12 attempts from the field. Copper meanwhile shot 8-of-11 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line.
The game was tied at 13-13 at the 9:20 mark of the first half when RU’s scoring barrage took off. The Scarlet Knights finished out the remainder of the half outscoring UCF, 24-13, which included 12 first half points from both Copper and Scaife. The opposing Knights captured its final field goal of the opening half with just under four minutes left until the intermission and RU had a solid 39-26 edge heading into the locker room.
Rutgers exploded for 51 second half points, as the half opened with the Scarlet Knights taking a 23-2 run. Junior guard Syessence Davis (Neptune, N.J.), who went on to score a career-high 12 points, started the run off on a three and capped the run five minute later on a fast break to give RU a commanding 56-28 advantage.
Moments later, the Scarlet Knights found themselves up by 30 en-route to an even larger 40-point edge.
Junior forward Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.), the fourth and final Scarlet Knight in double digits with 10, stole the ball with the 6:13 remaining, resulting in a basket on the other end. Laney’s bucket gave RU’s its first 40+ point advantage of the year resulting in a 80-39 lead.
Freshman guard Alex Alfano (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.) scored Rutgers’ final points, giving the Scarlet Knights their first 90-point game since 2010, and a season-best 43-point margin with two minutes to go. Alfano ended the game with four points, her first points in conference play.
The Scarlet Knights committed only six turnovers the entire game, while capturing 38 points of their own off 22 UCF miscues. RU garnered 52 of its 90 points from the paint and notched 30 points in transition.
RU also shot a blistering 60.0 percent from the floor (39-65), with eight of the nine of the Scarlet Knights that scored shooting over 50 percent. It was the fifth time since the 2002-03 campaign, RU shot 60 percent or better in a contest.
UCF’s Zykira Lewis was the lone Knight in double digits. She had 16 off the bench.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team returns to the court on Sunday, Feb. 23 at No. 4/3 Louisville. The game will air on ESPNU.
- Rutgers improved to 20-5 overall. The win gave Rutgers its 28th season with 20 or more victories.
- Head coach C. Vivian Stringer recorded her 28th 20-win season since her 1979-80 campaign, which includes stints at Cheyney State and Iowa, as well at Rutgers. While “On The Banks”, Stringer has had 14 20-win campaigns.
- The 2013-14 squad is among the quickest teams to reach the 20-win mark.
- 98-99 – Feb. 6
- 85-86 – Feb. 8
- 78-79 – Feb. 10
- 79-80 – Feb. 14
- 80-81 – Feb. 14
- 05-06 – Feb. 14
- 13-14 – Feb. 15
- 07-08 – Feb. 16
- The starting line-up of Rachel Hollivay, Kahleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Briyona Canty and Betnijah Laney was used for the second time this season. They are currently 2-0 with Saturday’s win over UCF, as well as a victory against Texas Tech at the Barclay’s Invitational during Thanksgiving weekend.
- The 90 points scored by the Scarlet Knights were the most since amassing 90 in a 90-56 victory over Kean on Dec. 15, 2010. RU has collected nine 90+ point victories in the C. Vivian Stringer era.
- RU surpassed the 80+ point mark for the second time this season. The Scarlet Knights had 80 points in an 83-53 win over Wagner on Dec. 12 of this season
- Rutgers last had two games of 80 points or more in 2010-11 when they had a 90-56 win over Kean and an 88-59 victory over North Carolina A&T. Last time Rutgers has three 80+ point scoring games was during the 2008-09 season.
- The Scarlet Knights have scored at least 60 points in 23 of 25 games this season.
- RU’s 51 second half points were the second most points scored in a half this season. Rutgers had 52 at Temple (Jan. 25).
- Rutgers led by as many as 43, the largest advantage it has had this season. RU had previously led by as many as 37 in wins over Wagner (Dec. 12) and Houston (Feb. 11).
- The Scarlet Knights had four different players score in double figures for the fifth time this season and third time since the start of conference play.
- Kahleah Copper registered her ninth 20+ point game of the season with her 22 points. Copper, who had 20 points in RU’s previous contest at Houston, has had three back-to-back 20 point efforts this season. It was her fourth straight contest and 21st time in 25 games scoring in double figures.
- Tyler Scaife posted her fourth 20+ point contest of the year with her 22 points. . Scaife scored in double figures for the sixth straight game and 10th time in 11 contests.
- Scaife has now reached double figures and recorded at least four assists in seven of the last 10 games. She scored 11 of her points in the first half, while she notched five or more assists for the fifth time
- A member of the RU squad has scored 20 points or more 16 times this season. Rutgers has had two Scarlet Knights scoring 20 or more points in a game five times this campaign.
- With six blocks against the Knights, Rachel Hollivay vaulted into third on the single-season list with 81 this season. She needs 11 blocks to tie Kia Vaughn (2006-07) for second on the list.
- Betnijah Laney dished out seven assists to tie her career high. She also had seven assists against Memphis (Jan. 14). Laney has dished out the ball five or more times five times this season and six times in her career.
- Laney also reached double digits with her 10 points. It was her 16th game this season in double figures.
- Junior guard Syessence Davis reset her career mark with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and a 1-of-2 effort from the line. Davis’ previous career-high was 11 in games with Princeton (Nov. 10) and Texas Tech (Nov. 30) earlier this season.
- Davis finished the afternoon with five assists and four steals. It was the sixth time this season, the Neptune, N.J. had at least five assists and four steals in a contest this season. She has handed the ball out five or more times in 15 games this season and 25 times in her career. Davis has also logged three or more steals in a game 16 times this year and 27 times in her career.
- RU had 52 points in the paint, tying for a season-high. The Scarlet Knights also had 52 points in the pain in a win over Wagner (Dec. 15).
- The Scarlet Knights shot 60.0 percent from the floor in the game, their best shooting percentage since shooting 61.5 percent in a win over Providence last season. Since the 2002—03 season, RU has shot 60 percent or better in a game five times.
- Rutgers shot 68.6 percent (24-of-35) from the floor in the second half – the second best shooting percentage of any half this season. Their previous high was. RU went 69 percent from the floor in the second half (20-of-29) in the season opener against Princeton.
- The Scarlet Knights shot 50.0 percent from the field in the first half of play – the seventh time this season they have shot at least 50 percent in the opening stanza.
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