The recognitions poured in before Rutgers' second game against Maryland as Betnijah Laney received the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Player of the Week award and Syessence Davis was added to the Nancy Lieberman Watch List. However, as the final buzzer sounded in College Park, the Knights left without taking the biggest prize of the season.
The Maryland Terrapins continued their dominant streak over conference foes as they defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 80-69. The loss ends Rutgers' six-game winning streak.
Rutgers made several runs to keep the game close throughout the night, but ultimately the Terps proved too strong to relinquish the lead as the game wore on. The Knights actually held the lead for about four minutes early in the first half, leading by as many as five points. However, an 18-2 run by Maryland would put the #5 team in the country up for good. RU would cut the lead to four at various points in the second half, but it wasn't enough in the end.
Each member of the Big 3 scored in double-digits, although Tyler Scaife was far from top form as she shot less than 25% in field-goal percentage for a scant 10 points. Betnijah Laney had a game-high 22 points, including six from beyond the arc. Kahleah Copper added 19 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Fellow starter Ariel Butts was a beast in the paint, blocking three shots and grabbing six offensive rebounds.
The Terrapins were hot all night, shooting over 50% overall. Four of five starters scored in double figures, including a team-high 19 points from G Lexie Brown. Maryland even shot well from three-point range, sinking 5 of 11 attempts.
While a win for Rutgers would have been huge down the stretch, this loss does little to hurt the team's chances in the postseason. The Knights are in good shape for a top seed in the Big Ten Tournament and can still make a push for the second-overall seed, as current #2 Iowa has a much tougher remaining schedule. Ohio State, currently tied for third with Rutgers, has a home against Iowa and ends the regular season at Nebraska (#22 in AP Poll).
Up next: Rutgers hosts the Purdue Boilermakers for a noon tip at the RAC on Saturday, February 14.