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For the first time is program history, the Rutgers women’s basketball team is on the cusp of a WNIT Championship. A tightly contested match much of the way, the Scarlet Knights pulled away late from South Florida to seize a 62-52 win in the semifinals last night in Tampa. The Knights will play at UTEP on Saturday afternoon in El Paso, Texas, to decide the champion of the 64-team tournament.
One of the prevailing notions as the Rutgers football team enters the Big Ten is that the Scarlet Knights’ front four will have a difficult time winning battles in the trenches against bulkier offensive lines. The eight conference opponents Rutgers will face this season featured offensive linemen with an average weight of more than 300 pounds last year.
After struggling to secure a lead for the first 24 minutes last night in Ohio, the Rutgers women’s basketball team went on a 15-0 second-half run to pull away from Bowling Green and secure a 55-50 victory in the WNIT quarterfinals. The Scarlet Knights (26-9) advance to the semifinals of the 64-team event, where they will face AAC-rival South Florida (23-12) tomorrow night in Tampa.
When Johnathan Aiken talks about football to his friends and family back home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he cannot resist getting amped up. “This is the biggest year. This is my year,” the senior free safety said Saturday post-practice. “I feel like this is my year to shine. I’m going to the Big Ten, I’m excited.” Other members of the Rutgers football team can relate, but few have patiently waited quite like Aiken.
As if withstanding 50 minutes of action, two overtimes, 11 ties and 18 lead changes Thursday against Seton Hall was not enough, the WNIT only gets tougher from here on out for the Rutgers women’s basketball team. After three home wins through the first three rounds, the Scarlet Knights (25-9) now must go on the road tonight in the quarterfinals and do what no team has done this season — win at Bowling Green.
Within seconds of the buzzer sounding one final time, Syessence Davis grinned ear-to-ear and bear-hugged Betnijah Laney. Other members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team made their rounds along the Louis Brown Center hardwood as emotions ran high. But first they had to catch their breath, and with good reason.
The rivalry was thought to be over once the Rutgers women’s basketball team left the old Big East for the AAC, but it turns out the Turnpike Tussle will have another chapter. Following their win Monday night against Harvard, the Scarlet Knights (24-9) cross paths again with Seton Hall tonight at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in the Round of 16 of the NIT.
With senior Gary Nova officially competing to win back the starting quarterback job, the Rutgers football team is already feeling the disadvantages of doling reps to five players at the position. Redshirt freshman Chris Laviano, sophomore Blake Rankin, junior Mike Bimonte and redshirt freshman walk-on Devin Ray evenly split reps with Nova yesterday on the first day of spring practice.
Four days after head coach C. Vivian Stringer expressed frustration with how the Rutgers women’s basketball team uncharacteristically missed “bunnies” under the bright lights of the postseason, more shooting woes threatened a bitter ending.
For the first time in a long time, the Rutgers women’s basketball team awaits its NCAA postseason fate without much clarity. After another dreary loss to No. 1 Connecticut bounced the Scarlet Knights from the AAC Tournament semifinals Sunday, Rutgers officially relies on one of 32 at-large bids to make the 64-team NCAA field determined next Monday.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — A day before the AAC Tournament semis, Geno Auriemma gave high praise to the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s dynamic backcourt. Connecticut’s Hall of Fame head coach admitted this year’s Scarlet Knights are difficult to guard and “really good” in transition. All-AAC First-Team selection Kahleah Copper and AAC Freshman of the Year winner Tyler Scaife supported it with 40 points in Rutgers’ quarterfinals win Saturday against Southern Methodist.
On the eve of the AAC Tournament, head coach C. Vivian Stringer still does not have a clear sense of if this could be it for the Rutgers women’s basketball team. The No. 24 Scarlet Knights (21-8, 12-6) were long seen as a safe bet for an at-large bid to the NCAAs, but after slipping to fourth in the AAC with a loss Monday night to South Florida, their fate is uncertain.
Sophomore wing Kahleah Copper, junior wing Betnijah Laney and junior guard Syessence Davis stared listlessly from the Louis Brown Athletic Center’s postgame podium Monday night, and no one could blame them.Since the start of conference play 65 days earlier, the Rutgers women’s basketball team consistently placed at least third in the AAC. The Scarlet Knights had paved a realistic path to the AAC title game, and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament was all but a formality.
Shots went up, clanked off the back iron and fell into the fingertips of South Florida defenders. For nearly the first six minutes last night at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, nothing fell through the net for the Rutgers women’s basketball team. With the AAC Tournament’s third seed on the line, the nation’s 24th-ranked team hardly played like it.
STORRS, Conn. — As the game clock ticked away Saturday, the only meaningful question was if the Rutgers women’s basketball team was going to lose by more than last time against No. 1 Connecticut. Without leading scorer Kahleah Copper, who unexpectedly missed her first game of the season with turf toe, the Scarlet Knights had no answers.
In a season where 14 of the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s first 20 wins came by double digits, a more hard-fought 21st victory gave head coach C. Vivian Stringer a sense of how far the Scarlet Knights have come. Although No. 24 Rutgers led wire-to-wire Wednesday night, on several occasions it had to fend off a pesky Temple (12-15, 6-10) team that refused to relent.
By simple measures, a 15-point loss Sunday at No. 3 Louisville technically didn’t hurt the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s push for an NCAA Tournament bid. Despite falling to the Cardinals for a second time this season, the Scarlet Knights (20-6, 11-4) moved up one spot to No. 24 in this week’s AP Poll. LSU and St. John’s both dropped two games last week to fall out of the rankings.
What has eluded the Rutgers women’s basketball team for the last several weeks — a marquee victory — did so again yesterday in Louisville, Ky. Although the Scarlet Knights’ opportunities to play ranked opponents this season have been scarce, they failed to take advantage of a golden one at the KFC Yum! Center.
As she sat down at the podium following the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s most lopsided win of the season Saturday, C. Vivian Stringer could not help but smile. The head coach had much to be proud of: season highs of 90 points on 60-percent shooting and 23 assists, as well as a season-low six turnovers. It all came together for the Scarlet Knights with the year winding down and postseason approaching.
Tyler Scaife remembers the tireless summer days, the late nights and the grind she endured to prepare for what was coming. Well before the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s season began in November, the nation’s No. 1 point guard recruit, according to ESPNU HoopGurlz, made a commitment.