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For as soundly as Kahleah Copper and Tyler Scaife electrified the Louis Brown Athletic Center with a combined 44 points, nine rebounds and six assists, their loudest ovations Saturday came when they exited the game. The 2,683 fans in attendance roared as the sophomore forward and freshman point guard went to the bench with 9:13 to play — a Rutgers women’s basketball team victory well in hand.
Back on Jan. 4, the Rutgers women’s basketball team needed more than 20 minutes of game time to pull away from Houston at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Last night in Texas, it took the Scarlet Knights hardly five minutes.Rutgers quickly imposed its will on the AAC’s bottom feeder, turning an early 18-3 run into a 19-point halftime lead and eventual 74-42 rout.
As the wins continue to pile up, the Rutgers women’s basketball team continues to solidify its NCAA Tournament resume. Though they lack many marquee victories, the Scarlet Knights (18-5, 9-3) have fended off the majority of unranked opponents and avoided bad losses. Rutgers extended its winning streak to three games Saturday at Southern Methodist after rallying from 9 points down in the final two minutes.
With only 110 seconds to go Saturday at Southern Methodist, the Rutgers women’s basketball team stared at its largest deficit of the afternoon.The Mustangs led, 59-50. The upset was all but complete. SMU just needed to make its free throws.
A few months ago, this was supposed to be the day the Rutgers football team officially announced arguably its best recruiting class in school history. ESPN ranked the Scarlet Knights’ group of 22 verbally committed high school prospects 18th nationally in early November. Rivals rated five of Rutgers’ commits as four-star recruits.
Another 2-3 zone defense arrived at the Louis Brown Athletic Center last night, and the Rutgers women’s basketball team again struggled to play consistently in the half court. Cincinnati employed the blueprint that has stymied the Scarlet Knights’ up-tempo offense for much of conference play. It produced immediate results.
Betnijah Laney often stresses in postgame interviews how quickly the Rutgers women’s basketball team moves on from one game and looks forward to the next. Yet the junior wing never forgot how the Scarlet Knights felt Jan. 14 when Memphis erased Rutgers’ 11-point second-half lead en route to a 74-73 overtime upset win in Tennessee.
With National Signing Day on Wednesday, Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood announced Friday the filling of three coaching vacancies. Ralph Friedgen, most recently Maryland’s head coach from 2001 to 2010, will become the Scarlet Knights’ fifth offensive coordinator in five seasons after former coach Ron Prince left the program Jan. 18 to become an assistant head coach for the Detroit Lions.
As demoralized as the Rutgers women’s basketball team felt after its 80-71 loss Tuesday night to No. 5 Louisville, to some degree the late collapse was expected. The Scarlet Knights are still a young team just beginning to reestablish national prominence, while the Cardinals are a veteran program building on a 2013 national title game appearance.
All things considered, it is plausible for fans of the Rutgers women’s basketball team to be pleased with the direction the program is headed.The Scarlet Knights came into the season missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002. They also lost four of last year’s top-six scorers and several seniors.
Not long into the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s pursuit of a second win against a ranked team last night, arguably the two most important variables were forced to sit and watch. With 14:04 left in the first half, junior wing Betnijah Laney picked up her second foul. Sophomore wing Kahleah Copper collected her third at the 13:18 mark, and the Scarlet Knights’ season-leading scorers went to the bench with foul trouble for the remainder of the period.
With its win Saturday at Temple, the Rutgers women’s basketball team proved once again it has few problems beating inferior teams. The Scarlet Knights (15-4, 6-2) are 14-2 against unranked teams, with all but two of those wins coming by double digits. Their lone blemishes were one-point losses Nov. 2 at Massachusetts and in overtime Jan. 14 at Memphis.
PHILADELPHIA — Early in the second half Saturday at McGonigle Hall, C. Vivian Stringer agitatedly clapped her hands, clenched her fists and yelled words of encouragement. The frustrated head coach urged the Rutgers women’s basketball team, which matched a season-low 22 first-half points against Temple, to get its act together. The Scarlet Knights were out of sync offensively and getting sliced man-to-man defensively.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team’s first home defeat, which came in blowout fashion Sunday at the hands of No. 1 Connecticut, left an empty feeling. Then Essence Carson gave the Knights reason for hope. The former Scarlet Knight star visited Rutgers’ locker room postgame. She had not only been there before — she arguably had it worse.
Eric LeGrand has continued to inspire fans around the country with steady progress in his fight against paralysis. He received the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the 2012 ESPYS and most recently had his No. 52 jersey retired at the Rutgers football team’s home opener Sept. 14. Now LeGrand has one more accomplishment to add to his perseverance. The former defensive tackle confirmed on Twitter yesterday that he completed his degree at the University.
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.
For Kene Eze, what started out as a dream is now one step closer to becoming a reality. Toronto FC selected the senior forward Tuesday in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft. The professional club team, which won four consecutive Amway Canadian Championships from 2009-2012, took Eze with the 60th overall pick. The Sayreville, N.J., native said he wanted to continue his career only four days after the Rutgers men’s soccer team’s elimination from the AAC Tournament.
Rutgers announced five early enrollees for the spring semester yesterday in a press release. All are three-star recruits, including offensive lineman Marcus Applefield, tight end Logan Lister, defensive back Kam Lott, linebacker Brandon Russell and defensive lineman Eric Wiafe. Scout.com ranks Applefield at No. 31 nationally among offensive tackles. The 6-foot-6 285-pounder projects as a left tackle in college.
Seeking a “consistent level of high play at the quarterback position” entering the Big Ten next season, Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood has all options open. He left no doubt before last year’s spring practice that Gary Nova was the team’s starting quarterback, despite a porous showing in a 13-10 Russell Athletic Bowl loss to Virginia Tech.
The moment was supposed to be just like any other for the Rutgers women’s basketball team. For more than a month, the Scarlet Knights were impressively consistent, staying true to their style and never playing down to competition. Notions swirled that something special was brewing. This year’s team learned from folding under pressure last season as head coach C. Vivian Stringer approached 900 career wins.