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Late Game Heroics Lift Scarlet Knights Over Central Arkansas 87-84

– Piscataway, New Jersey

By Nick Kosko

After a shaky start in the first half, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights found their groove in the second half of a high scoring affair to edge the Central Arkansas Bears.

On a night where Rutgers was looking for a bounce back after a last second defeat to St. Johns on Thursday night, they seemed stumble out of the gate.

At halftime, Rutgers was tied at 38 with UCA and looked as if they would fold in the second half.

Head Coach Eddie Jordan looked toward his best players to lead the team and get on a roll in the second half.

“It was a grind down the stretch but overall our best players played well. We adjusted our defensive scheme and made sure we were up on their three point shooters despite any mismatches,” Jordan said.


Deshawn Freeman was the star as he finished a stellar day with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 4 blocks as he ignited the team to a solid second half.

Any time he drove inside the paint, Freeman was able to out maneuver and over match Central Arkansas defenders for easy layups.

Freeman’s huge blocks during the game brought loud ovations from the crowd and knocked away any momentum UCA was trying to build.

“Freeman will get better and he has been improving each game. I am really happy about him after tonight. His leadership was huge tonight in the closing moments,” Jordan said.

Other standouts from the game were featured in Mike Williams and freshman sensation Corey Sanders. Williams finished with 25 points and 4 rebounds including 5 three pointers on the night.

Getting hot from behind the arc was huge for Rutgers as they needed to counter Central Arkansas’ Jordan Howard as he finished with 19 points with 5 three pointers of his own.

“Mike Williams has worked his butt off to finally get that type of performance. He doesn’t pull any excuses and is truly a wonderful young man,” Jordan said.

Sanders, who played well defensively all night, turned it up offensively in the second half as he finished with 14 points.

In the first half, Sanders pulled off an electrifying dunk off a steal by his teammates and seemed to bring the crowd back into the game.

“We want to bring this to Vegas. It was a good team win tonight and we just need to carry that momentum going forward,” Sanders said.

Rutgers will take on Creighton in their next contest when they play at a neutral site in Las Vegas on Monday.

“Every win gives you confidence especially after that St. Johns game. We are focused on the next game and hopefully our good players keep doing good things,” Jordan said.



The Scarlet Knights head out to Las Vegas, Nevada for their next two games as a participant in The Men Who Speak Up Main Event Tournament. Rutgers will face Creighton on Monday Night with tipoff set for 12AM ET.

WRSU will have all of your coverage for this tournament with the Rutgers Men’s Basketball Pregame Show set for 11:30PM ET on Monday, November 23rd. Make sure to tune into 88.7 FM locally or stream online at radio.rutgers.edu.

Rutgers MBB Media Day

October 27th, 2015

Piscataway, NJ – Men’s Basketball Media Day

By Matt Salvatore and Gabe Sustick

The big thing from Rutgers men’s basketball media day that was easy to take away was the amount of new faces on the team for this year. The team features seven new faces from true freshmen, to a senior transfer.

This team, last year, finished 10-22, just 2-16 in the Big Ten Conference. This wasn’t the best impression in their first season in the Big Ten.

They lost their three most productive players in Myles Mack, Kadeem Jack, and Junior Etou. Replacing those guys is going to be an obvious challenge, but head coach Eddie Jordan has combated losing those players with adding more height and depth to the roster.

There are only four players who played considerable amount of minutes from last year in Greg Lewis, Bishop Daniels, Mike Williams, and D.J. Foreman. Greg Lewis, and Bishop Daniels were named team captains, and discussed setting the right example on and off the court, while also increasing their roles vocally. Lewis talked about how competing in Athletes in Action with other DI athletes over the summer kept him in shape and helped him a great deal. Meanwhile, Daniels spoke to his strides to become a better teammate by limiting his turnovers and helping the younger players. As for Williams and Foreman, they spoke to the role reversal from learning from guys like Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack, to now helping to teach the two new freshmen in Corey Sanders and Jonathan Laurent.

The height factor on this team has greatly changed for the better, especially with Ibrahima Diallo being able to play this year, along with the JUCO transfer Deshawn Freeman. Diallo, who worked with former Rutgers great Hamady N’Diaye, is going to add great depth on the bench and he talks about being a “big impact on the defensive end.” Not that Rutgers was bad defensively but to have more length coming off the bench will always help with crashing the boards, and shot blocking as well. Jonathan Laurent also looks to make an impact during his first year with Knights as a player that Eddie Jordan described as a bit of a sleeper. As for returning sophomore Shaquille Doorson, he gets a scan on his foot next week, and is hoping to be out of his cast soon.

True Freshman Corey Sanders, a top 100 recruit in the nation will be expected to contribute to the back court.

True Freshman Corey Sanders, a top 100 recruit in the nation will be expected to contribute to the back court.

At the guard position there is serious depth with the combination of Williams, Daniels, Corey Sanders, and Omari Grier. Right now it looks like some combination of Sanders and Daniels as starters but for two good shooters in Grier and Williams to come off the bench or mixed in other places can spread the floor. Sanders described himself as a 1.5 rather than a pure 1 meaning he believes he is a true combo guard that can pass or shoot. As for the senior transfer, Omari Grier, he says he’s already taken a leadership role as a senior on the team. Also not to be slept on is Justin Goode, who seems to have deadly 3 point accuracy from what was observed in practice.

To be productive as a team there needs to be improvement from Williams and production from Grier to get that system working. Jordan also made it known that, K-State transfer, Nigel Johnson has become a major piece in pushing the guards in practice despite his ineligibility due to NCAA transfer rules.

As for Daniel’s, the senior captain already has motivation to push him forward:

“They’re counting us out already, and to me it’s motivation that we need to grind harder and get it done this year…shock a lot of teams”

Senior Guard Bishop Daniels, on of the team captains is poised for yet another impact season.

Senior Guard Bishop Daniels, one of the team captains is poised for yet another impact season.

It was evident from the press conference that there already seems to be a connection between Jordan and the players and he talked about a message he gave to his players and playing for Rutgers.

“We’re intertwined now, it’s your program it’s my program we represent it and the community so let’s get it back to where it’s supposed to be.

Jordan addressed concerns about managing egos, especially that of star recruit Corey Sanders by saying whenever Corey shoots him “that star look” his response is simple:

“Everyone on the line… two or three suicides later maybe the peer pressure kicks in”

Even with all the new faces and possible talent that is on this team, Coach Jordan isn’t ready to get ahead of himself.

“Now we’re young and we’re new so we need it to come together.”

The “young and new” team’s system will be tested early in the non-conference schedule as they have games at St. John’s and George Washington and home games against Wake Forest and Seton Hall, a game entitled the Garden State Hardwood Classic. Not to mention the entire Big Ten slate of games that come later on in the season.

Even with all the excitement Coach Jordan isn’t making any kinds of predictions. Even when asked about the predictions for the NBA season he responded, with a big grin on his face.

“I predict that the season will start tonight.”

WRSU’s Rutgers Men’s Basketball regular season coverage gets underway on Sunday, November 15th at home against Howard. WRSU Rutgers Radio will have all Rutgers Basketball coverage on 88.7 FM and its online stream at wrsu.org.

Rutgers WBB Media Day

October 27th, 2015

Piscataway NJ – Women’s Basketball Media Day

By Dylan Mruczinski

Today kicked off the first official New Jersey media availability for Rutgers Women’s Basketball where they hosted Media Day at the Rutgers Athletic Center. In its second year in the Big Ten conference, the Scarlet Knights look forward to another chance at the Big Ten Tournament title and a successful run into the NCAA tournament. Players and Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer expressed their excitement to get back on the court and take another step toward achieving many wins and a successful season. With a 23-10 record in it’s first year in the Big Ten, there is an uphill battle to improve on that mark as the Scarlet Knights lose two key players in Betnijah Laney and Syessence Davis along with the learning curve complications of having a completely new assistant coaching staff. But with an experienced class of seniors in preseason All-Big Ten selection Kahleah Copper, along with Briyona Canty, and Rachel Hollivay, Rutgers is primed for yet another great season and will overcome the expectations it faces once again.

The Scarlet Knights return its leading scorer over the past two years in Kahleah Copper who is, “honored to be recognized as a top player in the conference.” Copper will be expected to take on more of a leadership role with the team and stated she’s, “looking forward to leading by example and continue to bring the good stuff each game.” Copper, who averaged 16.3 ppg last season although widely presumed to be the star player of the team, is not alone when it comes to scoring potential. Seniors Briyona Canty and Rachel Hollivay form quite the trio with Copper when on the court together. Canty a do-it-all type player credits her versatility to her ‘will to work’. “Any position needing to play, I’m ready”, emphasized Canty. Hollivay, the prominent post player of this team is guaranteed to play a huge role this season with Coach Stringer even believing that, “Rachel is amongst the finest Centers in the country.”

Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer addresses the media. This will be her 21st season with Rutgers.

Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer addresses the media. This will be her 21st season with Rutgers.

Junior Guard Tyler Scaife, the team’s second leading scorer over the previous two seasons will help facilitate the back court. Scaife, the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in 2013-14 is also the Scarlet Knights best free throw shooter. The fifth starter for the Scarlet Knights is in my expectation a pure flex play as Head Coach Stringer noted the depth on this team. “Sooner or later depth and quality of depth matters.” Senior Center Ariel Butts, Senior three point specialist Cynthia Hernandez, Sophomores Shrita Parker and Ashli Jeune, and true Freshman Khadaizha Sanders can all be impact players in given situations. In recent years, Coach C. Vivian Stringer has maintained an 8-10 player rotation so we can assume the same this season.

The Scarlet Knights played 13 NCAA tournament teams last year and have another challenging out of conference schedule in addition to Big Ten play. With nearby regional opponents such as Saint Joseph’s, Seton Hall, St. Johns, and Temple to start the year, the team has a chance to show its strength to local recruits. 5th year Senior Guard Briyona Canty (a Willingboro, NJ native) acknowledged that, “many of these teams are familiar and we used to play with some of these teams in the Big East. They are always fun to play.” Prior to conference play, Rutgers has a tournament in the Virgin Islands over the Thanksgiving break, visits Florida St. for the ACC/B1G Challenge in the beginning of December and hosts SEC foes LSU and Arkansas whom they battled last season. In terms of Big Ten action, Kahleah Copper admitted the physicality of the Big Ten in their first year posed a problem, but the team has used the offseason to prepare for the heavier competition and know they have to get used to it. Overarching themes that came up amongst the players was the improved focus on defense and three-point shooting which should help propel this team to stronger performance in Big Ten play.

To finish the day, Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer indicated, “The key is what’s happening on the inside. We have to get better.” There is no question this team can score at will from virtually anywhere inside the three-point line, but can they defend the paint and get rebounds will be the concern expressed from most. Coach Stringer revealed the freshmen have been a pleasant surprise and that the new assistant coaching staff understands what is expected of them. “The team is hungry for knowledge” says the Head Coach, and that poses well for a good relationship with a new assistant coaching staff.

The Rutgers Women’s Basketball season gets underway on Friday, November 13th at Saint Joseph’s. WRSU Rutgers Radio will have all Rutgers Basketball coverage on 88.7 FM and its online stream at wrsu.org for each game.

Rutgers Football Media Day

Piscataway, New Jersey, August 16th, 2015 –

It was a Sunday to remember at the Brown Football Recruiting Pavilion where Rutgers Football hosted their annual Media Day. Confidence in the team and eagerness to play brewed amongst the coaches, players, and media members included. Head Coach Kyle Flood kicked off the press conference speaking towards the first week of training camp, saying that he enjoyed the way his team has responded with the mental and physical challenges summer practice has brought thus far. Coach Flood spoke to the different challenges his team faces, one of which being in the number one media market in the world. “We feel like now we’ve got an opportunity this season to take our program to places that it has not been before,” the Head Coach asserted. A tremendously bold statement after finishing last season 8-5 in its first year as a member of the Big Ten and becoming bowl eligible for the 9th season in the past 10 years.

Head Coach Kyle Flood addresses the media

Head Coach Kyle Flood addresses the media

Following Coach Flood’s interview came the first media interaction of the summer with Defensive Coordinator Joe Rossi. Coach Rossi began his presser stating that the most difficult part of training camp is now over with and was the coach who opened up most in regards to personnel and the 2015 schedule with the media. Being in his second year at the helm of the Scarlet Knights defense, Coach Rossi noted that, “this is the first year I’ve been here since 2012 we are going to play a very similar schedule again,” and how that is “a positive from just a familiarity standpoint” (Norfolk St. and Kansas being the new opponents this year). The DC also expressed his confidence in the safety position where there is plenty of experience and said that Rutgers has made adjustments at all three levels of the defense.

This was also the media’s first interaction of the summer with Offensive Coordinator Ben McDaniels. Having been the Wide Receivers coach last year, McDaniels is sure to be familiar with the personnel and undoubtedly ready to take over the play calling from 2014’s Offensive Coordinator Ralph Friedgen. When asked about the immense depth at the running back position Coach McDaniels confirmed Flood’s earlier remark that running the football is the identity of this team by saying, “within any offense, I think you’re going to lean on some of the best parts of what you think is within your offense and strong points in your personnel.” This may come as a surprise to the public with the vast amount of NFL talent Rutgers had produced in past years at the wide receiver position, along with a serious Biletnikoff Award candidate in Leonte Carroo who’s still a major impact player in this offense. The OC also declared, “there’s going to be multiple receivers on field in most cases.”

The final part of media day ended with player interviews. Outstanding statements included Senior Linebacker Quentin Gause referencing a John Wooden quote, “Doing the small things to get better,” in regards to improving the run defense from last year. Playing every game at a high level and giving 100 percent is important to Gause who said, “every game has to be a national championship game, Norfolk State is a national championship game, one game at a time, every game is going to be like that.” Another great statement came from Junior Wide Receiver Janarion Grant relating to the impact that Carroo’s stardom has had on the unit who said, “everybody’s working to be better than each other, were not trying to work to be number 2, we’re trying to be the top, and that’s our energy and drive.” The return specialist and speedster Grant who averaged 25.3 yards per kickoff return last season figures to have a much larger role on offense this year.

WRSU was also able to catch up with Senior Defensive Tackle and team leader Darius Hamilton who was energetic to get back on the field after spending most of training camp’s first week on the injury report. “I just want to be known as a kid who gave it all he had when he was out there, was the ultimate teammate, loved his teammates, and was tough as nails man,” said Hamilton when asked about what mark he’d like to leave on this program. “Trench Mob” is the nickname that Hamilton said he and his Defensive line unit will be donning this fall. Winning the trenches each game will certainly be of importance to this defensive line that is expected to be better than last season’s unit, which ranked among the top of the conference in sacks for the majority of the year.

By Dylan Mruczinski

Rutgers Women Regain Form on Senior Night

By Michael Antosiewicz
After an uncharacteristic two game losing streak, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights ( 21-8, 12-6 Big Ten) rebounded Sunday afternoon against Big Ten opponent Indiana (14-15, 4-14 Big Ten) at the RAC. The team played excellent basketball in the second half as they pulled away to a 70-61 victory. Three Scarlet Knights—Kahleah Copper, Betnijah Laney, and Tyler Scaife—finished with double digit figures for scoring. Laney played  particularly well as she earned a double-double with 13 total rebounds. Altogether, these team and individual performances provided a proper send-off on senior night for the three seniors Laney, Syessence Davis and Christa Evans.

Although Rutgers dominated the latter part of the second half, the game went back and forth during the first period as each team enjoyed stretches of unanswered scoring. Right out of the gate, the lady Hoosiers hit back to back three-pointers to take an early 6-2 lead. For a moment, given their offensive dependency on three-point shots, the Hoosiers looked poised to dominate on offense. However, their shooting declined as Rutgers began to harden on the defensive end, preventing the Hoosiers from making another three-point shot for 10 full minutes.

Laney Senior Day

Senior Betnijah Laney notched a double-double in her final regular season game at the RAC. (Photo: : Ed Pagliarini)

With 12:30 left in the first, Rutgers’ stern defense allowed them to accumulate a 17-8 lead. But the Hoosiers fought back and eventually a clumsy turnover by Tyler Scaife, who finished with 16 points, allowed Indiana to take a 21-17 lead. Copper responded with skilled dribbling that led to a layup that was the first Rutgers score after a four minute scoring drought. Rutgers rolled from there to enter half time with a 30 to 26 lead. In the half’s final seconds Davis made a dominating block that set the tone for the second half.

Coming out of the break, Rutgers scored quickly and thoroughly. They played with great ball possession and passed the ball cleanly. Responding to Indiana’s zone defense, which actually took Coach Stringer by surprise, Rutgers employed a very small lineup and allowed Davis to engineer the offense. Davis finished with five assists and only two turnovers. Her play was critical for breaking down the defense’s zone.

One of Davis’ most impressive moments came at a crucial moment with 14:35 left to play. After a Rutgers score, Davis stole the ball on Indiana’s inbound. At this point, the Scarlet Knights secured an 10+  point lead. With 3:58 remaining in the game, Rutgers earned their biggest lead of 19 points for a score of 69 to 50.

Once victory was clinched in these closing moments, Coach Stringer made a nice gesture for her seniors, of which all three scored. She substituted all Evans, Davis and Laney at the same time as they walked off the court at the RAC to enormous applause from the crowd.

To be sure, this senior class deserved this moment according to Coach Stringer. In her post-game press-conference, the coach spoke emphatically and glowingly of this group. Coach Stringer ranked this senior class, despite their smallness in numbers, as one of her greatest ever. “They are not losers,” Stringer said as proceeded to describe these players as “selfless”, to “epitomize team”, and as people who give “max everything”.

However, the closing chapter to this senior class and season has not yet been written as the girls enter Big Ten tournament play this week in Chicago before the NCAA tournament. In order to improve, Coach Stringer said that the team needs to do a better job of converting turnovers into points. Fortunately, over the course of the season causing turnovers has not been a problem for Rutgers, and tonight they finished with 15 steals alone.

As long as what Coach Stringer described as the big three of Copper, Laney and Scaife are in scoring form, Rutgers’ tournament hopes are certainly legitimate. One thing that is for sure is the team’s unwavering mindset. Laney articulated the winning mindset the best with the sentiment that, “once we step onto the floor, its practice”.

Tune into to 88.7 FM or online at WRSU’s stream to hear the Rutgers perform during tournament season.

Rutgers Routed By Indiana

By Adam Nardelli

Following an 81-47 loss to Iowa, the Rutgers men’s basketball team hoped to bounce back and play spoiler against the Indiana Hoosiers, who have a strong chance to make the NCAA Tournament.  Indiana, who was 18-9 coming into the game, came off a heart-wrenching 67-63 home loss to Purdue this past Thursday.  Two straight losses for the Hoosiers would do nothing to improve their chances once March comes around.

Both teams came out with high intensity making for an up-tempo and at times sloppy style of play early in the first half.  The Hoosiers and Scarlet Knights were knotted up at 16 near the midway point of the opening 20 minutes, giving hope to all Scarlet Knights fans at the RAC.  Greg Lewis and Kadeem Jack executed a perfect pick and roll ending with Jack slamming home an open dunk exciting the crowd.

ru iu

It was a rough night for the Scarlet Knights, who haven’t won since January 11th. (Photo: Jim O’Conner, USA Today)

Rutgers, however, couldn’t keep up with Indiana’s level of play with the Hoosiers increasing the lead to 21-16 as the first half continued.  The score never got any closer.  Rutgers continued to make buckets, but so did Indiana, with Tom Crean’s ball club answering every ounce of the Scarlet Knights attempt to climb closer and closer.  Indiana Forward Troy Williams then threw down a monstrous dunk extending the lead to 30-23, causing every Indiana fan to jump out of their seats.

Indiana led 40-28 with just seconds left in the first half when Rutgers’ Center Greg Lewis tipped in a buzzer beater to cut the lead to 40-30 at the half.  The buzzer beater ignited the Scarlet Knights bench, and the crowd for the moment, with many in the RAC wondering if the momentum could carry over to the second half.

Unfortunately for Rutgers that would not be the case.  Indiana opened the second half with a 9-0 run, looking refreshed and energized.  Any remnants of momentum from the first half was nowhere to be found for the Scarlet Knights.  Indiana made some crucial adjustments during halftime that destroyed any hopes Rutgers had while being down 10 at the half.  “We changed defenses because we were certainly concerned that Myles Mack, who we have a ton of respect for, was going to come out and try to take the game over…We made some plays. We got some shots, and it started to work for us”, said Indiana coach Tom Crean about the opening of the second half.

While Indiana entered the second half strengthened and wanting to build a big lead, Rutgers looked slow and out of sorts.  The Scarlet Knights were plagued by turnovers and lazy passes that helped Indiana turn once a comfortable lead at the end of the first half into a blowout in the second half.  The Hoosiers stretched the lead to 57-35 just 5:31 into the second half.

Indiana Guard Nick Zeisloft came out with the hot hand in the second half, totaling three 3-pointers for the game.  Zeisloft’s three’s in the second half contributed to the increased demoralization of the Scarlet Knights after the Intermission.  Indiana forward Hanner Masquera-Parea, who hadn’t been in the starting lineup since mid-January due to an injury, posted a career-high 13 points, while Hoosier stars Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. each contributed 17 points.

Despite the 84-54 loss for Rutgers, Head Coach Eddie Jordan still brought up positives that he can take from the game.  “I like our patience on offense.  I like our spacing and our unselfishness, [but] we didn’t finish plays”, Jordan said of his team in the press conference.  Although Rutgers seemed to lack energy and vitality, especially in the second half, Jordan said he has no concerns with a lack of fire from his players.  “For the most part we got back on defense, for the most part we protected the rim in transition”, Jordan said in response to questions about his team’s drive and liveliness.  Jordan attributed their issues more to a lack of success with being able to matchup with Indiana’s small lineup.

When asked about what correctable mistakes can be made going into Thursday’s matchup against Purdue, Jordan cited a couple specific areas in need of improvement.  “We just want to keep continuing to get better in two areas, defending and rebounding…and our behavior, our demeanor”, Jordan said.  Although Jordan believes his team still is motivated to go out and play each game as hard as they can, understanding how to produce better body language and conduct on the court has been a struggle. The Scarlet Knights head coach attributed these difficulties to the rebuilding phase the program is going through, saying Rutgers just is not the “high-powered engine” that other teams in the Big Ten are as a result of rebuilding.

Looking at other areas for Rutgers to build on based on last night, center Greg Lewis produced a career-high 13 points.  “He always does everything right to me.  He’s here early.  He’s here late working on his game.  He’s top of the list on this team for what I want from our players.”  Lewis, who is a redshirt junior, showed he has the ability to be a significant contributor as a force down low, something for the fan trying to find a story from today that doesn’t make them nauseous.

Rutgers will next be in action this Thursday night when they travel to Purdue, tipoff will be at 9 pm.

Four Knights in Double Digits as Rutgers Throttles Illinois

By Dominick Savino

PISCATAWAY—Tyler Scaife finished with 21 points to lead a group of four Scarlet Knights in double-figure scoring as the Rutgers women’s basketball team trounced the University of Illinois by a score of 80-56 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center on Tuesday.

In addition to Scaife’s game-high total, Kahleah Copper scored 16 points, and Betnijah Laney and Rachel Hollivay added 14 apiece. It was the second game in a row that this quartet each posted 10 or more points, as they all chimed in with at least 12 points in Saturday’s 78-49 drubbing of Purdue at the RAC.

Rutgers (20-6, 11-4 Big Ten) was able to take control of the matchup early. Scaife’s jumper with 13:21 remaining in the first half gave the Scarlet Knights a 13-11 advantage that they would not relinquish for the rest of the evening.

Scaide Illinois

Tyler Scaife led the way for Rutgers at the RAC Tuesday night. (Photo: Naaz Modan, The Daily Targum)

However, Illinois (13-14, 4-11 Big Ten) did their best to claw back. Brittany Carter broke two Rutgers scoring runs by making 3-pointers at the 10:09 and 7:04 marks, the second of which was from steps behind the arc. Nevertheless, the Scarlet Knights entered the locker room up 36-28 after shooting a blazing 61% from the field in the first half.

Out of the break, the Knights went on an 11-3 run to stretch the lead to 47-31, and the rout was on from there. The lead ballooned to as much 26 points as C. Vivian Stringer’s team cruised to their second straight victory following last Tuesday’s tough road loss to Maryland.

As she readies her team for play in the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Tournament, Coach Stringer is understandably excited by the team-first basketball that Rutgers has exhibited during the last two games.

“There are lots of ways (to score). One of which is transition because this is by far the quickest team,” she explained after Tuesday’s win. “We’re also pressing and getting steals and the defense is creating situations for points. Aside from that, each player at each position is proving themselves to be legitimate.”

The excitement has also spread to the players, who are anticipating deep runs in the upcoming postseason tournaments.

“This is definitely the best we’ve played during my four years,” Laney stated about the team’s recent play. “We have a variety of different scorers. We are not counting on just one or two people to carry the load, and that’s been key for us.”

For the Scarlet Knights, the win moves them to 11-4 in the Big Ten Conference, which keeps them comfortably in 3rd place in the conference standings. The top four teams in conference play receive double-byes for the opening rounds of the Big Ten Tournament.

Rutgers is also now 10-1 when four or more players each score 10 or more points.

The Knights have three games remaining on the regular-season slate, including final road trips to Michigan State and Northwestern before the home finale against Indiana. Rutgers plays next at Michigan State on Sunday, February 22. Deondre Smalls and Danny Friedman will broadcast the game live for WRSU, and the pre-game show will start 1:45pm.

The Scarlet Knights Go Pink

By Lea Ginefra

The first 2500 guests at the RAC Saturday were greeted with pink t-shirts to help celebrate Breast Cancer awareness, survivors, and the progress that has been made in finding a cure. The “Pink-Out” and Play4Kay Foundation benefits the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, honoring former North Carolina State University women’s coach, Kay Yow, who passed in 2009 from the disease.

The 18th ranked Lady Knights, playing in full pink uniforms for the occasion, took on the Purdue Boilermakers for the second time this season. What began as close game in the first half, ended with a 29-point lead for Rutgers, which led them to clench a 78-49 win.

The Knights had a rather smooth start making easy transitions and layups, but struggled for points outside. 24 of their 33 points in the first half were in the paint. Coach C. Vivian Stringer emphasized that the team was “much more focused in terms of getting the ball inside.”


The Knights had an impressive victory against Purdue Saturday afternoon at the RAC. (Photo: Scarletknights.com)

She also mentioned how she thought her team moved the ball well on offense, and maintained strong full court pressure early on. This defensive pressure frazzled the Boilermakers into turning the ball over a total of 22 times.

Rutgers contained Purdue to under 50 points again, just as their last encounter. Ashley Morrissette and Bridget Perry were the closest thing to offensive threats with 9 and 13 points. This time around, the Boilermakers did not have starting junior guard, April Wilson, to help. Wilson, who was injured at Wednesday’s game, leads the team in assists and has started 22 of her 23 games.

What stood out in this game was the overall play of junior guard, Kahleah Copper. Going 12 for 17 from the floor, and adding 6 rebounds, Copper was on fire. Although 24 points is not her season high (scored 25 against Penn State), it certainly shows why she was named WNIT MVP last season. Copper added that the encouragement and support from her teammates has “helped her play the way she has been for the past few games.”

Rutgers went from shooting 44% on the floor in the first half to 63% at the end of the second. They totaled 16 steals, 7 from SyessenceDavis. The leading scorer was Kahleah Copper with 24 points, followed by Betnijah Laney with 16, Tyler Scaife with 14, and Rachel Hollivay with 12.

Both Coach Stringer and Copper noted that their determination today was fueled by their past practice. The ladies have been intentionally pushing each other harder in recent practices. This type of play is all in preparation for both the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. The Big Ten tournament is just around the corner during the first week of March.

The Scarlet Knights advance to 19-6 overall, and 10-4 in the Big Ten. The hard loss to Maryland last week did not put a damper on their attitude. They proved to be the stronger and more prepared team and are ready to take on Illinois this Tuesday at 7pm. Tune in to 88.7 WRSU for coverage at the RAC.

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