PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 19, 2014) – The Rutgers women’s basketball opens up WNIT action hosting Delaware in the first round on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the RAC.
Tickets are available by calling 866-445-GORU or online here.
Reserve tickets (100 level) are $25, general admission tickets (200 or 300 level) are $10 and courtside seating is $50 for the first round game. Rutgers student are free with student ID.
Parking is $10 and will be collected upon entrance to the Scarlet or Green lots at the RAC. Parking is on a first-come-first-served basis.
Doors to the RAC will open at 6:00 pm and the parking lots will open at 5:30 pm
• The Rutgers women’s basketball team will kick off WNIT action hosting Delaware on Thursday night at 7 p.m. It will be RU’s first appearance in the WNIT.
• Ed Cohen and Danny Breslauer will have the call on WCTC (1450 AM), as will Rutgers’ student station WRSU (88.7 FM). The game will also be available on RVision, presented by AT&T, at ScarletKnights.com.
• The Scarlet Knights and Fightin’ Blue Hens meet for the first time since 1977. The series is tied at 1-1 with the two other meetings also occurring in post season action in EAIAW tournament match-ups.
• RU enters at 22-9 overall and earned an at-large bid to the 64-team WNIT. Delaware, the automatic bid out of the Colonial Athletic Association, comes to the RAC at 20-10 overall having lost to James Madison in the CAA Tournament Championships.
• Sophomore forward and First Team All-AAC honoree Kahleah Copper leads RU in scoring (15.8 ppg) with 25 double figure scoring games. She is also hauling in 6.0 rebounds per game.
• Junior forward and Second Team All-AAC pick Betnijah Laney is averaging just shy of a double-double with 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. She has scored in double figures 20 times, recording 14 double-doubles in that span.
• Sophomore center Rachel Hollivay enters the WNIT at 3.3 blocks per game and ranks eighth nationally. She has 99 blocks this season which is the RU single-season record.
A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
The Rutgers women’s basketball team missed out on an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Monday night and will be playing its first-ever game in the WNIT.
The Scarlet Knights are one of three teams from the American Athletic Conference - joining USF and SMU in contending for the WNIT title. Additionally, four teams from the Big Ten - Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan & Northwestern - are also among the 64 teams vying for the title. RU joins the Big Ten next season.
The Scarlet Knights have a long storied history of post-season play - RU has appeared in 167 post-season contests.
NCAA - 35-23 (.603)
American Tournament - 1-1 (.500)
BIG EAST Tournament - 23-17 (.575)
Atlantic-10 Tournament - 24-9 (.727)
AIAW Nationals - 7-2 (.778)
AIAW Satellite - 1-1 (.500)
EAIAW Regionals - 13-10 (.565)
TOTALS: 104-63 (.623)
Under head coach C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers has made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances going 27-14 in that span.
SCOUTING THE BLUE HENS
Delaware is the automatic qualifier from the Colonial Athletic Association. The Blue Hens enter WNIT play at 20-10 overall and finished second in the CAA at 10-6. Delaware fell to James Madison in the CAA Championship game.
The squad is led by First Team All-CAA member senior center Kelsey Buchanan at 17.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game along with sophomore guard Courtni Green at 9.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest.
Both teams had common opponents in Temple, Howard, Princeton and Northeastern. The Blue Hens defeated the Bison (69-44) but falling to Temple (58-70) and Princeton (80-84) in overtime all in nonconference play. Delaware and Northeastern met three times this season with the season series spilt, but the Blue Hens coming out on top, 63-61) in the CAA quarterfinals en-route to their CAA finals appearance.
Thursday will be the Blue Hens’ fifth consecutive post-season appearance and is appearing in the WNIT for the seventh time in school history.
With the 68-49 win over SMU in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals, Rutgers tied its highest win total (22) over the past six seasons. The team last won 22 games in 2010-11.
The Scarlet Knights last reached the 23-win mark in 2007-08 when RU finished the season at 27-7.
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 66.4 points per game. That is 10.4 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 24 of their 29 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. 67.3 (29 games) 2002-03 – 21-8 – 2nd Round
4. 66.4 (30 games) 2013-14 – CURRENT SEASON
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
* Current Assistant Coach Tasha Pointer helped with that scoring average by averaging 6.8 assists per game as a sophomore. She is Rutgers all-time assists leader (men or women).
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 finished 12-3 at home during the 2013-14 regular season and has gone 147-23 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season.
Rutgers at the RAC over the last 10 years:
2013-14: 12-3 (UConn, Louisville, USF)
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)
LIVING IN THE PAINT
RU has scored 30 or more point in the paint in 24 of its 32 games this season.
The Scarlet Knights’ season-high of points in the paint is 52, recorded against Wagner (Dec. 13) and UCF (Feb. 15).
Rutgers has registered 40 or more points inside six times this campaign.
With two blocks against No. 1/1 UConn in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament, Rachel Hollivay became Rutgers single season leader in rejections. Hollivay has 99 under her belt and surpassed former great Sue Wick’s record of 97 set during the 1986-87 season.
With just one block against the Blue Hens, Hollivay would become the first Scarlet Knights with 100 blocks in a season.
ESSY ON THE D-FENSE
Junior guard Syessence Davis has proved to be invaluable on defense this season. Davis has recorded three or more steals in 22 of the last 27 games, as her 3.0 steals per game average leads the American and is fourth nationally.
Davis recorded a career-high seven steals against Wage (Dec. 12), surpassing her previous best effort of five which was captured on four occasions, most recently at Davidson (Dec. 4).
Junior forward Betnijah Laney notched her 14th double-double of the season against SMU in quarterfinal action of the American Athletic Conference Tournament with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Her 14 double figure scoring and rebounding games are the most since Kia Vaughn had 12 double-doubles during the 2006-07 season.
LOW SCORING OPPONENT HALVES
RU outscored SMU, 44-19, in the second half of American Athletic Conference quarterfinal play, en-route to a 68-49 Scarlet Knight victory.
It was the seventh game this season RU has held a team under 20 points in a half.
The fewest points in a half scored by an RU opponent this season belongs to Davidson (Dec. 4), who was outscored 34-14 in the second stanza as the Scarlet Knights cruised to a 66-35 victory.
NO MESSY, ESSY
Syessence Davis currently ranks 25th nationally in assist/turnover ratio and is second in the American in the category.
Against SMU in the quarterfinals, Davis had four assists to her zero turnovers.
The junior point guard has committed no turnovers in four other contests - Texas Tech (3 ast/0 to), USF (7 ast/0 ), Cincinnati (5 ast/0 to) and Houston (2 ast/0 to).
CLEANING THE GLASS
Rutgers has won the battle on the boards in 19 of its 31 games going 17-2 when winning the war on the glass.
Betnijah Laney leads RU in rebounding at 8.8 boards per game, ranking her third in the American Athletic Conference, behind Stefanie Dolson of UConn and Alisia Jenkins of USF.
Laney has had 15 double digit rebounding efforts this season.
COUTNING TO 20
The 2013-14 version of the Rutgers women’s basketball team was one of the fastest groups to reach the 20-win mark.
Fastest to 20 By Date:
1979-80 – Feb. 14
1980-81 – Feb. 14
2005-06 – Feb. 14
2013-14 – Feb. 15
2007-08 – Feb. 16
Head coach C. Vivian Stringer won her 400th career victory “On The Banks” at Houston on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
All-Time Rutgers WBB Coaching Records (By Wins)
Theresa Grentz - 434-150/ (1977-95) 19 seasons
C. Vivian Stringer - 402-205/(1995-present) 19 seasons
Ellen Johns - 6-5/(1974-75) One season
Dottie McCrea - 5-9/(1975-76) One season
IN BIG GAMES
American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Tyler Scaife certainly isn’t afraid of the competition.
In three games against defending national champion, Connecticut, and two contests with national runner-up, Louisville, Scaife averaged 15.0 points per game.
In the first meeting with UConn, Scaife poured in 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting. Three games later against Louisville, she collected a career-high 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
Scaife’s only fell below double-digits in RU’s second meeting with UConn, scoring eight points on 4-of-16 shooting. It was her first time in nine games not reaching double figures.
SCORING IN CHUNKS
Rutgers’ 90 points against UCF (Feb. 15) was its highest point total this season and most since the team defeated Houston, 74-42 on Feb. 11.
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 it had a 90-56 win over Kean and an 88-59 victory over North Carolina A&T.
Last time Rutgers had three 80+ point scoring games was during the 2008-09 season.
A member of the Scarlet Knights has scored 20 or more points 18 times in 2013-14, the most 20+ point outings since the 2010-11 season when RU had a Scarlet Knight reach the milestone 15 times.
Kahleah Copper has reached the 20+ point milestone 10 times thus far this season, the most since 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 and Scaife notched 22 points against UCF (Feb. 15), marking the fifth 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), Memphis (Kahleah Copper – 23; Tyler Scaife – 21) and Temple (Betnijah Laney – 24; Kahleah Copper – 20).
SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY
In her first-career start, sophomore center Ariel Butts set new career-highs in points (eight), rebounds (eight), field goals made (four), blocks (three) and minutes played (20) in RU’s victory over Temple (Feb. 26).
Syessence Davis has been generous with the ball through the 31 games of the 2013-14 campaign, averaging 4.1 assists per game. The Neptune, N.J., native has handed out five or more assists in 15 contests this season.
She has posted a season-high seven assists on five occasions this year - last occurring against SMU on Feb. 8.
THE WILL TO SCORE
Rutgers has had three or more Scarlet Knights reach double figures in 23 of 31 games this season.
Sophomore forward Kahleah Copper has reached double figures in 25 of her 30 games played to date.
Copper is the first Scarlet Knight 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 rebounded with 20-point games in four of the next five contests.
Rutgers defeated UCF by 40 points on Feb. 15, the team’s largest margin of victory this season. RU has held 30+ point leads on six teams this season – (37 - vs. Wagner; 33 - vs. Sacred Heart; 31 – vs. Howard; 31 - at Davidson; at Houston - 37; vs. UCF - 43).
It was the third time the Scarlet Knights had a 30+ point edge against on the road and first against an American opponent this season.
Information about second round games will be released on Thursday evening. Should the Scarlet Knights advance and host the winner of Harvard/Iona, the ticket box office at the RAC will be open during Thursday night’s contest for fans wishing to purchase tickets.
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