PISCATAWAY, N.J. (February 27, 2014) – The No. 24 Rutgers women’s basketball team hits the road one final time in the 2013-14 regular season taking on top-ranked Connecticut at Gampel Pavilion on Saturday, March 1 at 4 p.m. The game will air on the CBS SportsNetwork.
• Saturday’s American Athletic Conference match-up with No. 1/1 UConn tips off at 4 p.m. (EST) at the Gampel Pavilion. The matchup will close the sea-son series with UConn, as the CBS Sports Network will carry a live broadcast of the game. WCTC and WRSU, Rutgers student radio, will also be on hand.
• Rutgers enters the contest at 21-6 overall and 12-4 in the American after winning, 67-58, vs. Tem-ple. The Scarlet Knights had three players in double figures, as RU swept Temple in a season series for the first time since the 1994-95 season, when both were members of the Atlantic-10 Conference.
• Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper leads RU in scoring and field goal percentage. She is sixth in the American with 16.1 points per game and second in the league in field goal percentage (57.1 percent). She has led RU in scoring 13 times in 27 games.
• Over the past eight games, freshman Tyler Scaife has averaged 17.8 points and 3.8 assists per game. In that span, the rookie has notched three of her five 20-point outings this season.
• Junior Betnijah Laney is averaging just shy of a double-double with 12.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. She has scored in double figures 18 times in 25 games played, recording 12 double-doubles in that span.
• Sophomore Rachel Hollivay enters the matchup ninth nationally in blocks per game (3.2). That figure is tops in the American.
UConn rolls into Saturday’s matchup with the Scarlet Knights as winners of its last 35 contests, having won 29-straight this season. The Huskies last lost a game on March 12, 2013 in the BIG EAST Championship game against Notre Dame, falling, 61-59, at the XL Center.
The Huskies own the best scoring offense (84.3 ppg) in the American and sixth-best in the country, while holding the opposition to 47.0 points per game to lead the nation. The team’s scoring margin (+37.3) also leads the country. All five starters this season average double figure scoring. UConn leads or is tied for the league lead in every statistical category except for rebounding offense (3rd – 42.4), rebounding margin (2nd – +8.4), defensive rebound percentage (2nd – .702) and offensive rebound percentage (6th – .358).
Two of the top-five scorers in the American wear a Huskie uniform, including second-place Breanna Stewart (19.4 ppg) and fifth-place Bria Hartley (16.6 ppg). Stefanie Dolson leads UConn in the post, hauling in 9.1 rebounds per game while scoring 12.9 points per contest. She leads the conference with a 57.7 percent shooting clip, while Moriah Jefferson is third with a 56.6 shooting average.
ALL-TIME SERIES WITH UCONN
All-time, Rutgers is 6-31 against UConn, having last won on Feb. 5, 2008 by a 73-71 margin at the RAC.
Earlier this season, the then-No. 23 Scarlet Knights fell, 94-64, to No. 1 and defending national champion Connecticut, as freshman guard Tyler Scaife collected a career-high 22 points in the loss. Scaife and sophomore forward Kahleah Copper both captured 20+ points for the second straight contest. After scoring 21 points in the loss at Memphis, Scaife went 10-of-17 from the floor against the Huskies to reset her scoring mark. Copper, who netted RU’s first six points of the game, finished with 20.
Rutgers is won one win away from tying the program’s highest win total (22) over the past six seasons.
The team won 22 games in 2010-11 and 21 in 2008-09.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
As a team, RU out-rebounded Temple, 43-24. The rebound differential (+19) was the Scarlet Knights’ highest of the season and best since edging Cincinnati, 45-21 (+21), on Feb. 19, 2013 at the RAC.
The Scarlet Knights have won the battle on the glass in seven consecutive games.
SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY
In her first-career start, sophomore center Ariel Butts set new career-highs in points (eight), re-bounds (eight), field goals made (four), blocks (three) and minutes played (20) in RU’s victory over Temple (Feb. 26).
After blocking a shot against Temple (Feb. 26), Rachel Hollivay now has 84 this season, good for third on the single-season list.
Hollivay is 13 blocks shy of tying former great Sue Wicks’ single-season record of 97 blocks, set during the 1986-87 season.
Freshman Tyler Scaife has been dishing and swishing over the last eight contests, averaging 17.8 points and 3.8 assists per game.
The rookie has scored in double figures and recorded at least four assists in eight of the last 12 games, including her career-high six-assist outing against Memphis (Jan. 14). She also scored 21 points in that contest.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team closes out the regular season hosting USF, who are both battled for the No. 3 seed at the upcoming American Athletic Conference Tournament. The Scarlet Knights and Bulls will tip-off on Monday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. with the game airing on the American Digital Network with Tara Petrolino and LaChina Robinson calling the game.
While the Scarlet Knights’ roster boasts no seniors, RU’s two senior managers – Anthony Lorenzo and Sean Morgan – will be honored prior to the game.
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