Rutgers ends two-game losing skid in blowout at UCF
A teary-eyed Betnijah Laney gathered herself together Sunday at the Louis Brown Athletic Center as she pondered the morale of the Rutgers women’s basketball team.
After riding a nine-game winning streak entering last week, the Scarlet Knights suffered consecutive losses. No. 1 Connecticut handed Rutgers its worst home loss of the C. Vivian Stringer era and knocked the Knights out of the AP Top 25.
But despite the deflating series of events, Laney refused to get demoralized.
“We are a team that is capable of pulling ourselves together, which I believe that we will do,” the junior wing said Sunday. “We’ve just got to focus on what we want and what we have to do. We know what we have to do. Coach has told us plenty of times … and it’s a just a matter of us executing our plan.”
Rutgers proved her right last night in Orlando, seizing its first opportunity at redemption with a convincing 69-48 conference win over Central Florida.
Coming out of halftime with a 10-point cushion, the Knights (14-4, 5-2) broke the game open with a 13-2 spurt to start the second period. Laney recorded the first two buckets of the run.
UCF (8-10, 1-6) continued to reel with porous shooting, five minutes later finding itself in a 30-point hole.
Rutgers was twice as efficient as UCF from the field, shooting 50 percent. UCF, meanwhile, made just 14-of-56 attempts overall and 2-of-15 from three.
Sophomore wing Kahleah Copper and freshman point guard Tyler Scaife led the Knights in scoring for the third straight game, combining for 29 points.
Scaife also registered six rebounds and five assists as she continues to soar in her rookie campaign. The Little Rock, Ark., native received AAC Rookie of the Week for the second straight time Monday with averages of 21.5 points, five rebounds and 4.5 assists in the losses to Memphis and UConn.
Six other Knights chipped in points to validate the complete effort. Rutgers received only 1 point off the bench in its two-game losing streak.
With five road victories, the Knights seek a sixth win away from the RAC for the first time since the 2011 season Saturday at Temple.