UNCASVILLE, Conn. (March 9, 2014) – The fourth-seeded Rutgers women’s basketball faced a juggernaut in top-seeded Connecticut in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament with the Scarlet Knights falling, 83-57, to the defending national champions.
American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.) got Rutgers onto the scoreboard, but it was already after the Huskies had established a 13-0 lead three minutes into the game. By the half, Connecticut had a sizeable 50-19 lead.
The game was a bit more even in the second half as Rutgers managed outscore the Huskies, 38-33. The Scarlet Knights, who shot only 28.1 (9-of-32) in the first half, shot immensely better in the second half, going 15-of-13 for 48.4 percent from the floor in the second stanza.
The second half included a 9-0 surge by the Scarlet Knights, holding the Huskies scoreless for a span of nearly four minutes.
Rutgers outscored the UConn bench, 25-5, led by redshirt sophomore Briyona Canty (Willingboro, N.J.) with her team- and career-high 16 points. Canty went 7-of-11 from the floor and a perfect 2-of-2 from the line as one of three Scarlet Knights in double figures.
Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Scaife each contributed 12 in the loss.
All five Connecticut starters finished in double digits led by American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Breanna Stewart, with 22 points. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added in 19 points, while Stefanie Dolson contributed 15.
The loss dropped the Scarlet Knights to 22-9 overall.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team will wait until Monday, March 17th to see if they will be one of the at-large teams selected to the NCAA Tournament.
- With three blocks against UConn, Rachel Hollivay became Rutgers’ single season leader in rejections with 99. She surpasses a record that has stood since 1987 when legend Sue Wicks registered 97 blocks as a junior.
- Rutgers’ bench outscored the Huskies’, 25-5. RU’s bench has contributed 20 points or more in 10 times this season. It was the most points for the Scarlet Knight reserves since they netted 28 at Houston (Feb. 11).
- RU also held an edge in second chance points (8-7) and fast break points (8-7).
- The Scarlet Knights collected 30 points in the paint on Sunday. RU has scored 30 or more points in the paint in 20 of its last 26 games and 22 times this season.
- Briyona Canty led all Scarlet Knight scorers with 16 points from off the bench. Her 16 points marks a new career-high resetting her previous mark of 12 coming against Northeastern (Nov. 13) and Temple (Jan. 25).
- Canty scored in double figures for the11th time this season and 12th time in her career. It was the first time in her career she has led the Scarlet Knights in scoring. Canty finished the game 7-of-11 from the field and a perfect 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
- Kahleah Copper netted 12 points in the loss, the 24th time she has reached double figure scoring. Copper finished 4-of-15 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line.
- Tyler Scaife reached double figure scoring for the 23rd time in 31 games this season. Scaife finished the afternoon 6-of-15 from the floor, netting six points in each half.
- The 31-point halftime deficit was RU’s largest of the season. The previous high was a 25-point deficit in their last meeting with UConn back on March 1 when they trailed 45-20 at the intermission.
- UConn’s 50 points at the half were the most by a Scarlet Knight opponents in a first half this season. The previous high was when the Huskies had 45 first half points in their last meeting.
- RU lost the battle on the board by one, hauling in 35 boards as opposed to UConn’s 36.
- In addition to Hollivay’s seven rebounds, Betnijah Laney and Kahleah Copper grabbed six boards apiece.
- The Scarlet Knight had just six assists, marking only the third time they have been held to single digit helpers. RU dished the ball out just eight times in a 78-53 loss to Louisville (Feb. 23) and five times in a 72-35 loss to UConn (Mar. 1).
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