This past Saturday at the RAC, there was a lot of history being honored and also made by the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Before the game against Coppin State, Rutgers honored head coach C. Vivian Stringer on her 500th victory with the program in the season opening win over South Alabama.
As for the game itself, the Scarlet Knights scored a Stringer era high point total in a 107-33 rout of Coppin State (0-1). It was the most points scored by Rutgers since they posted 110 points in a win over St. Bonaventure in 1989, five years before Stringer took over the program. This team also tied the program record with 12 three-pointers in thew game, which was also a RAC record.
All five starters scored in double digits, which was the first time that’s happened in ssix seasons. Tekia Mack led the way with 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting and added 5 steals, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Arella Guirantes had 17 points on 5 of 15 shooting, as well as 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Mael Gilles scored 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting, while also adding 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. KK Sanders also had 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting, while dishing out 9 assists in addition to 4 steals and 3 rebounds. Jordan Wallace was a force inside, scoring 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting, while grabbing a team high 9 boards and blocking 4 shots.
Freshman Joiya Maddox shined off the bench, scoring a career high 14 points on 4 of 8 shooting overall, all from three-point range. Grad transfer Danielle Migliore added 8 points on 2 of 3 from three-point range, as well as 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.
As a team, Rutgers shot 54.9% from the field, 52.2% on 12 of 23 attempts from behind the arc, and made 17 of 22 free throw attempts (77.3%). Defensively, they held Coppin State to just 21.8% shooting from the field and forced 26 turnovers which led to a 42-3 edge in points off of takeaways. RU had a +13 turnover margin, a +23 rebounding margin, and held a 31-2 advantage in fast break points. It was a truly dominate performance. Rutgers is now 46-5 at the RAC in the past two plus seasons.
Also to note, sophomore guard Zippy Broughton made her season debut after missing the first game with a minor injury. She only played 2 minutes and missed her only shot attempted. Broughton figures to be a big part of this team’s plans moving forward as she works her way back into the rotation.
Up next, Rutgers (2-0) hosts Niagara (0-2) this Wednesday at the RAC at 6 p.m. ET as part of a doubleheader with the men’s team, who just beat the Purple Eagles on Sunday and host Drexel (2-1) at 8 p.m. ET.
Note: On Monday, Guirantes was named Big Ten Player of the Week for averaging 22.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in the first two games of the season!