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Rutgers Women’s Basketball Opens Season At James Madison

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NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Northwestern vs Rutgers Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Rutgers women’s basketball team will be looking for much improvement after they finished with a record of 6-24 in 2016-17. They also finished 3-13 in the Big Ten. Following the season, three of the team’s leaders transferred out of RU.

Despite all this, things are certainly looking up this time around.

Coach C. Vivian Stringer has added several transfer players to the team. One of them, Arella Guirantes, will sit out the season after transferring from Texas Tech. The other four will be eligible to play.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick will start for the Lady Scarlet Knights after sitting out last season after transferring from St. Joseph’s. During her time there, however, she finished fourth in school history in scoring (1,359 points) and tied the school record for three-pointers made in one season (72).

Ciani Cryor, a transfer from Georgia Tech, averaged 5.7 points per game and 2.4 assists. Niagi Greene, transfer from Miami, averaged four points per game. Both will be eligible to play immediately.

The biggest transfer of all will be Caitlin Jenkins, who is transferring for the second time. She started her career at Georgia Tech in 2014-15, where she recorded an outstanding 14 double-doubles.

She transferred to Southern University (Shreveport, LA), where she led her team to the Region 23 championships. The team is hopeful she can do what she did at her two former schools, but this time in Piscataway.

No player is expected to have a bigger impact for the women Scarlet Knights than Tyler Scaife. She averaged 17.2 points per game during the 2015-16 campaign. Unfortunately, she missed the entire 2016-17 season due to a medical redshirt, but is back for her senior campaign. Scaife is expected to lead the Scarlet Knights as they look to bounce back from a down season a year ago.

Coach Vivian Stringer will also be looking to show why she was given the four-year extension she received back on Nov. 2. Despite Rutgers’ record last season, she is still one of the winningest coaches in women’s college basketball history.

The extension for Stringer is already paying dividends on the recruiting trail, as Rutgers signed 5-star point guard and the No. 24 overall prospect [according to ESPN’s Hoopgurlz] in the 2018 class in Zipporah Broughton.

The women will kick off their season tonight when they play at James Madison. Their home opener is on Sunday, Nov. 19 against Wake Forest. Big Ten play kicks off on Thursday, Dec. 28 against Purdue.