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Fifth-year senior point guard Khadijah Rushdan, who led the
Knights with 5.2 assists per game last season, dished out six dimes
in the team’s 73-70 win against California. The Knights matched
their 16 assists against the Golden Bears with 16 turnovers.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team inked another commitment to
its Class of 2012 yesterday, when guard Kahleah Copper sent her
National Letter of Intent to Piscataway. The 6-foot-1 Copper, from
Philadelphia’s Prep Charter, is the nation’s No. 17 player and No.
5 guard, according to ESPN HoopGurlz. She also considered Big East
programs DePaul, St. John’s and Syracuse during her recruitment.
The four-star recruit said she wanted to stay close to home,
according to ESPN HoopGurlz.
For one half of play it was obvious the No. 16 Rutgers women’s
basketball team felt the pain of playing without 6-foot-2 senior
forward Chelsey Lee. Then the Scarlet Knights remembered what they
had on the perimeter. Rutgers (1-0) stormed out in the second half
with a 19-2 run, junior guard Erica Wheeler went off from beyond
the arc and the Knights held off a resilient California squad to
earn a 73-70 victory at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.
Even though Chelsey Lee did not don a Rutgers uniform, the
senior forward was present on the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s
bench in its 73-70 win against California. But without the team’s
leading rebounder of the past two years on the court, the Knights
were at a size disadvantage against the Golden Bears. The Knights
competed with the Golden Bears on the boards, with Cal holding only
a 40-36 rebound advantage.
Freshman wing Betnijah Laney earned her first career start in
the Knights 73-70 victory against California yesterday in
Piscataway. The Clayton, Del., native scored a game-high 18
Monique Oliver led the Knights frontcourt with 18 points and
nine rebounds. Oliver’s efforts led the Knights to a 42-38 lead in
the paint despite the Golden Bears’ size advantage.The center is
without Chelsey Lee because of the forward’s shoulder surgery.
Senior forward Chelsey Lee, the Knights’ leading returning
rebounder, will miss the season after undergoing offseason shoulder
Junior guard Erica Wheeler always plays with a chip on her
shoulder.But when the Rutgers women’s basketball team welcomed the No.
3-ranked recruiting class to Piscataway this summer, there was
nothing extra the Parkway, Fla., native needed to prove.And when the Scarlet Knights open the season Sunday against
California with a healthy Nikki Speed, who Wheeler replaced last
season, Wheeler will not play to impress.
Ask seniors April Sykes, Nikki Speed or Chelsey Lee about their
first three seasons with the Rutgers women’s basketball team, and
they will all likely sum it up with one word: disappointment.
The Rutgers women’s basketball team was supposed to run this
season on the strength of its five returning starters. But thanks
to a season-ending shoulder injury to senior forward Chelsey Lee,
the Scarlet Knights must play without their leading
rebounder.Her absence means two players have to take on roles they did not
expect to earlier in the year.
Disappointment was visible from the Rutgers women’s basketball
team and head coach C. Vivian Stringer last year, when eventual
national champion Texas A&M eliminated the Scarlet Knights in
the second round of the NCAA Tournament. But the Knights suffered
from a short bench that saw only two players spend more than two
minutes on the floor in the 70-48 loss.
Fifth-year senior guard Khadijah Rushdan finished second on the
team in scoring last season, averaging 11.8 per game for the
Knights. The Wilmington, Del., native also led the team in
When freshmen guards Syessence Davis and Shakena Richardson had
Rutgers on their recruiting trail, there was little question
concerning where the Neptune, N.J., natives would play. “Oh, yeah,”
Richardson said. “Package deal.” The duo committed to the Rutgers
women’s basketball team early in the recruiting process, and both
bring their own ball handling dynamics to the Scarlet Knights
Betnijah Laney had plenty of suitors to choose from throughout
her recruiting process. But in choosing Rutgers, the No. 11 overall
prospect according to ESPNU HoopGurlz gained something she could
not at Kentucky, Duke or Notre Dame. By electing in April to play
for the Rutgers women’s basketball team, the freshman wing stayed
true to her family roots.
Head coach C. Vivian Stringer coached Betnijah Laney’s mother,
Yolanda, when she played for the Hall of Fame coach at Cheyney.
When the Rutgers women’s basketball team lost Chelsey Lee for
the season because of shoulder surgery, the team lost more than
only its leading rebounder. The Scarlet Knights also lost the
cornerstone of their trademark 55-press, and now the Knights must
adjust their style of play to make up for the senior forward’s
Senior forward Chelsey Lee underwent offseason shoulder surgery
and will receive a medical redshirt. The injury leaves the Knights’
frontcourt hurting for depth.
C. Vivian Stringer enters her 41st season as a head coach after
previous stints at Cheyney and Iowa.
Heading into the Rutgers women's basketball team's season,
junior forward April Sykes had a few options: leave for another
program, continue struggling or turn her career around.
After two mediocre seasons, junior forward April Sykes emerged
as the Knights' leading scorer in 2011 for C. Vivian Stringer.