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Rutgers Women’s Basketball On Six Game Winning Streak & 3-0 B1G Start

Stasha Carey leads a balanced and defensive minded team

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Rutgers vs Ohio State Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Rutgers women’s basketball team soared into the new year with the program’s biggest win in a decade and continued its strong play over the past weekend. After shocking #4 ranked Maryland on the road on New Year’s Eve by the final score of 73-65, the Scarlet Knights dispatched Brown and Penn State to extend its winning streak to six games. Defense has been the cornerstone for their success, as they have held every opponent below their season scoring average. Here is how they won and what’s next for C. Vivian Stringer’s team, who are now 11-3 on the season and 3-0 in the Big Ten.

Rutgers 73 Brown 52

It was a relatively close contest with Rutgers leading by 5 points at the half and 8 points entering the fourth quarter. However, they dominated the last frame of the game, outscoring the visitors from the Ivy League 24-11. The lead grew to as large as 25 points before winning by 21. Noga Peleg Pelc led the way with 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting and 5 of 7 from three-point range. Stasha Carey was solid on the inside, producing a line of 12 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal. Defensively, Rutgers held Brown to 36% shooting overall and forced 15 turnovers. The Scarlet Knights also dominated on the boards with a +19 rebounding margin, including +14 on the offensive glass, which led to a 20-5 edge on second chance points.

Rutgers 74 Penn State 61

The Scarlet Knights trailed by 3 points after the first quarter, but controlled the game the rest of the way behind a strong shooting night, making 47% from the floor and sinking 15 of 17 free throw attempts (88%). Arella Guirantes had another strong performance this season, leading all scorers with 24 points on 10 of 17 shooting, including 2 of 4 from three-point range. No other Rutgers player scored in double figures, but CC Cryor was solid with 9 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Victoria Harris had 8 points and 6 rebounds. Penn State shot just 37% from the floor and committed 16 turnovers, as strong defense remains the strength of this Rutgers team.

Stasha Carey Named To Big Ten Honor Roll

It was announced on Monday that Carey was named t the conference’s weekly honor roll for her effort last week. She averaged 11.7 points on 57.1% shooting and 6.0 rebounds per game during the three victories. Carey was also a perfect 10 for 10 from the free throw line in those three contests. While she had a quiet game in the win against Penn State (5 points, 2 rebounds), Carey is currently averaging 10.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season.

National Rankings

Rutgers received 41 votes in the latest AP Poll that was released on Monday afternoon. They are behind Miami (44 votes) and are the top two teams outside of the top 25 in the poll. The Big Ten has five ranked teams: #9 Maryland (13-1); #17 Iowa (10-3); #18 Minnesota (12-2); #23 Michigan State (11-3); #25 Indiana (14-1).

What’s Next

Rutgers will hit the road for two consecutive conference games. First they’ll travel to play Illinois this Wednesday. The Illini are 9-5 on the season and 1-2 in Big Ten play. Then on Sunday, Rutgers will visit Nebraska, who are 2-1 in Big Ten action and 7-7 overall.