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WNBA playoffs feature Rutgers alumni

Epiphanny Prince is a Rutgers alumni and WNBA veteran who plays for the Seattle Storm. – Photo by Chris Poss via Swish Appeal

The Rutgers women’s basketball team's season has yet to start, but the WNBA playoffs included four Scarlet Knight alumni these past couple weeks competing for the championship.

A single-elimination game started off the first playoff round with two former Rutgers players going head-to-head. One of them was guard Essence Carson, playing with seventh-seeded Connecticut.

Alumna guard Kahleah Copper and her team, sixth-seeded Chicago, were the opponent. The game ended with a 94-81 final score, giving the Sun a win.

Former Knight center Kia Vaughn and fifth-seeded Phoenix lost against fourth-seeded Minnesota by 1 point in the second playoff round.

Alumna guard Epiphanny Prince and second-seeded Seattle obtained a double-bye for the playoffs and took a win against the Lynx during their first game of the semifinals.

Carson is a 12-year WNBA veteran signed by Connecticut this season after being waived by Washington. She was selected seventh overall by New York in the 2008 draft and was named a 2011 WNBA All-Star while playing with it.

Later, in 2016, she and Los Angeles won the WNBA Finals.

With Rutgers, Carson reached the National Title game in 2007 and earned an AP All-American Honorable Mention recognition. She was also inducted into the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame.

The four-year WNBA veteran Copper re-signed with the Sky after playing all 34 games last season, averaging 6.7 points, approximately two rebounds and 14.8 minutes per game. Drafted in 2007 by the Mystics, No. 7 overall, she finished that year No. 1 in three-point field goal percentage (.467). 

She ranks No. 3 on the Knights' all-time scoring leaders list with 1,872 career points, and was named the Women's National Invitation Tournament Most Valuable Player and received All-American Athletic First Team recognition in 2014. 

The 10-year WNBA veteran Vaughn spent the 2019 season playing in Turkey before signing with the Mercury this season. She averaged 6.1 points and approximately four rebounds per game this season.

She finished her collegiate career ranking No. 2 all-time at Rutgers for rebounds (1,079) and blocked shots (279).

On the Banks, she earned various honors, including All-Met Division I Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year and Big East Preseason Freshman of the Year recognitions. 

Prince, the 10-year WNBA veteran, was awarded the 2017 Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year, All-WNBA Second Team honors in 2015 and was named a WNBA All-Star in 2011 and 2013. 

Who will be the next Knight to win a WNBA championship? Only time will tell. 


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