Scaife leads Rutgers during career year in final season

Scaife leads team with 19.2 points per game

It’s pretty apparent to anyone watching a Rutgers women’s basketball game that if there’s one player who stands out, it’s fifth-year senior guard Tyler Scaife, and national organizations have started to take notice as well.

Scaife was recently named to her third Dawn Staley Mid-Season Watch List, which is handed out each year by the Phoenix Club of Philadelphia. 

The award is given to “a player who exemplifies the skills that Dawn possessed during her career (ball handling, scoring, her ability to distribute the basketball and her will to win),” according to the Dawn Staley Award website. Staley, the current coach of defending champion South Carolina, was a two-time National Player of the Year at Virginia, and led the Cavaliers to three Final Fours.

After missing what would have been her senior year with an injury, Scaife returned to a team that had won just six games the previous season, and she made an immediate impact. She leads the team with 19.2 points per game, which is the sixth-best average in the Big Ten, and is the main catalyst behind one of the most improved teams in the country. 

In her first season on the Banks, Scaife led all freshmen in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) in scoring, averaging 14.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, and was the AAC Freshman of the Year.

A year later, when the Scarlet Knights moved to the Big Ten, Scaife remained a constant, averaging 14.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. She also averaged 18.5 points per game in two games during the NCAA Tournament.

As a junior, Scaife was once again a stalwart for the team, averaging 17.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. 

In addition to being Rutgers’ best current scorer, Scaife has also been climbing the school’s all-time scoring leaderboard, passing many Knights legends along the way. 

She’s currently in third with 2,092 career points, and needs 120 more to pass alumna Cappie Pondexter and become the second-highest scorer in Rutgers history — a feat she has five more regular season games to accomplish as well as the Big Ten Tournament and possibly the NCAA Tournament, which is looking more and more likely after the team defeated No. 13 Michigan last weekend. 

In 25 games so far this season, Scaife has scored more than 20 points in 14 of them — including a seven-game stretch in December — while starting in all but two contests. 

In games against currently ranked teams, Scaife boasts an even more impressive 20 points per game, highlighted by a 27-point outburst against No. 23 North Carolina State and 20 points versus No. 7 South Carolina. 

Scaife is also up for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award, which is given out by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.  

As her storied career at Rutgers comes closer to the finish line, there’s little doubt that Scaife’s jersey will one day be hanging in the rafters of the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC). And winning a national award or two would put the icing on the cake of her last year on the Banks.

For updates on the Rutgers women's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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