LOUISVILLE, Ky. (February 23, 2014) – The No. 25 Rutgers women’s basketball team fell, 73-58, to No. 3 Louisville on Sunday afternoon at the KFC YUM! Center.
The Scarlet Knights, who won five straight since falling to the Cardinals in the first meeting of the season, fell to 20-6 overall and 11-4 in the American. Louisville, meanwhile, upped its overall mark to 27-2 and 15-1 in conference action. The Cardinals have won 20 of their last 21 contests.
Rutgers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in front of the crowd of 14,327, but Louisville gained control four ties and five lead changes later over the opening 11 and a half minute. During that opening span, Louisville never held more than a two-point edge. However, with the score knotted at 21-21 with 8:30 left until the half, the Cardinals closed out the stanza a 13-5 run and entered the locker room ahead, 34.26.
RU trailed by nine, 40-31, in the early moments of the second half, when the Cardinals outscored the Scarlet Knights,16-5, over a span of five and half minutes for their largest lead of the afternoon. Louisville’s Shoni Schimmel drained a 3-pointer to cap the run for a 56-36 Cardinal edge with 11:30 left.
The Scarlet Knights continued to chip away, however, closing to within 11 twice. Redshirt sophomore guard Briyona Canty (Willingboro, N.J.) hit a jumper with 4:51 left to play and her squad trailing, 65-54. Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.) had a chance to cut the deficit down to double digits on the next possession at the free throw line, but missed both attempts.
While Louisville extended its advantage back up to 15 moments later, Rutgers closed to within 11 on back-to-back baskets from Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Canty. After closing the gap to 69-58 with 2:34 remaining, RU would draw no closer, as the Cardinals did not allow the Scarlet Knight to score in the final minutes.
RU had a trio in double figures, led by freshman guard Scaife with 17 points. The Little Rock native notched 13 of her team-high 17 in the first half. Copper added 15 points, while junior Betnijah Laney (Clayton, Del.) posted her 12th double-double of the year. Laney, who played only nine minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, ended the game with 14 points and 12 boards.
Louisville had three players in double figures, including a pair of Cardinals with double-doubles. Asia Taylor finished with 25 points and 14 boards and Sara Hammond had 12 points along 11 rebounds. Schimmel ended the afternoon with 13 points.
Three more games remain on RU’s regular season slate. Next up for the Scarlet Knights is Temple on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the RAC. The game will air on the American Digital Network with Tara Petrolino and Debbie Antonelli on the call. The first 1,000 fans in attendance can receive a free Coach C. Vivian Stringer bobblehead.
- Rutgers fell to 20-6 overall and 11-4 in the American with the loss. The Scarlet Knights have lost three-straight to Louisville, the largest losing skid in series history.
- Louisville became just the fourth opponent this season to score 70 or more points.
- The starting line-up of Rachel Hollivay, Kahleah Copper, Tyler Scaife, Syessence Davis and Betnijah Laney was used for the second time this season. That starting lineup is 10-4.
- The Scarlet Knights scored less than 60 points for just the third time this season.
- RU has had three or more players score in double figures in 20 of the first 26 games this season.
- As a team, RU dished out eight assists, marking the first time this season the squad did not reach double-digits.
- Rookie Tyler Scaife notched 17 points on 8-of-17 shooting, her seventh-straight game in double figures. She has reached double-digits 20 times this season.
- Scaife hauled in six rebounds, one shy of her career-high.
- Junior Betniah Laney posted her 12th double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds Her 12 double-doubles ties Kia Vaughn (2006-07) for the most double-doubles in the past eight seasons.
- Laney hauled in double-digit rebounds for the first time since Feb. 1 vs. Memphis.
- Sophomore Ariel Butts snagged five rebounds, setting a new season-high. She was two-shy of tying her career-best mark of seven.
- Sophomore Kahleah Copper scored 15 points to finish in double figures for the 22nd time in 26 games this season.
- Copper finished the game 3-of-3 from the charity stripe, the third time this season she was perfect at the free throw line.
- Sophomore Rachel Hollivay was held scoreless for just the second time this season.
- RU bested Louisville on the glass, 46-40. It was the sixth consecutive game Rutgers won the battle on the boards.
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