PISCATAWAY, N.J. (March 20, 2014) – The Rutgers women’s basketball downed the Delaware Blue Hens in first round WNIT action on Thursday night at the RAC, 65-61. The Scarlet Knights advance to play Harvard in second round play on Monday night at 7 p.m. in Piscataway.
Rutgers, making its first appearance in the WNIT, improved to 23-9 overall, while the Blue Hens conclude the 2013-14 campaign at 20-11.
Four of RU’s starters finished the night in double figures led by American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Tyler Scaife (Little Rock, Ark.) with 22 points. Scaife finished the night going a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line and added three steals along with a pair of assists.
Junior forward Betnijah Laney put fourt her 14th double-double of the year with 10 points and 12 rebounds while sophomore Kahleah Copper (Philadelphia, Pa.) finished with 15 points.
Sophomore Rachel Hollivay (Columbus, Ga.) rounded out the Scarlet Knights in double figures with 10. She also captured a pair of blocks to become the first RU women’s basketball player with over 100 rejections in a single season,
It was neck-and-neck through much of the game, but once Rutgers took with the lead with 6:03 left in the first half, the Scarlet Knights would not relinquish it the remainder of the way.
The score was knotted 20-20 when RU closed the opening stanza on a 10-4 run. Scaife capped the run at the buzzer to give Rutgers the 30-24 edge at the intermission.
In second half play, Delaware’s Courtni Green, who finished the night 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, knocked down a three with 14:52 remaining to cut the Scarlet Knight lead to one, 36-35. Two minutes later, the game was tied at 40-40.
With 10:18 to go and both teams equal at 42-42, Rutgers pounded out a 10-0 for its largest lead of the night. During the stretch, which had RU leading 52-42 with 7:38 remaining, the Scarlet Knights went a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe, including Scaife sinking four attempts. The rookie guard finished the night a perfect 10-of-10 from the line.
Later in the half, the Blue Hens would cut their deficit to five, 59-54, with 3:48 as Green sunk another basket from behind the arc. However, RU bumped its lead back up to seven quickly and over the final minute and a half would only allow Delaware one field goal and a free throw for the game’s final margin.
Delaware’s Green ended the game with career-high 19 points, while Joy Caracciolo poured in 17 in the loss. Erika Brown was the third and final Blue Hen in double figures with 11 points.
Rutgers will meet Harvard, who defeated Iona 90-89 in their first round match-up, on Monday 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.
- Rutgers improved to 23-9 on the year. RU reaches the 23-win mark for the first time since the 2007-08 season when the Scarlet Knights ended the year at 27-7 overall.
- RU improved to 13-3 at home in 2013-14 and 148-23 at the RAC since the 2002-03 season.
- With its first-ever WNIT victory, the Scarlet Knights improved to 105-63 in post-season action.
- Tyler Scaife had her sixth 20+ point scoring effort of the season ending the night with 22 points on 6-of-20 shooting and going 10-of-10 from the line. Her 20 field goal attempts are a new season-high surpassing her previous mark of 18 against Temple (Feb. 26).
- Scaife led the team in scoring for the 11th time in 2013-14.
- Scaife’s 10-of-10 mark represents new career marks in both free throws made and free throws attempts. It was the ninth time she has gone perfect from the charity stripe.
- Betnijah Laney captured her 14th double-double of the year. It was the second time in the last three games the junior forward has posted double figures in points and rebounds.
- With two blocks against the Blue Hens, Rachel Hollivay brought her season total in rejections to 101. Hollivay becomes the first RU women’s basketball student-athlete with 100 blocks in a season.
- RU finished the night 23-of-29 from the free throw to end the night at 79.3 percent. Rutgers has gone 75.0 percent or better from the line eight times this season. In the post-season, including American Tournament play, RU has gone 50-of-61 at the charity stripe for 82.0 percent.
- Rutgers’ 29 attempts from the line are the most since shooting 30 free throws against SMU on Jan. 11. Additionally, RU’s 23 makes from the line are the most this season.
- Delaware committed 20 turnovers resulting in 26 second chance points for the Scarlet Knights.
- RU committed 13 turnovers on Thursday night. The Scarlet Knights have made 15 or fewer miscues in the last five games and in 17 of the season’s 32 games.
- The Scarlet Knights outrebounded the Blue Hens, 48-32, and improved to 18-2 when out hauling the opponent on the glass.
- With a 30-24 halftime edge, RU improved to 19-2 when leading at intermission.
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