The Rutgers women’s basketball team came out firing on all cylinders on Thursday night, jumping out to a 15-2 first quarter lead over Virginia en route to a 73-63 victory. The Scarlet Knights established control behind its defense, forcing 8 first quarter turnovers and never trailed the entire game, with the visitors never getting closer than 5 points behind. It was the third consecutive win against a high major opponent, as Rutgers moved to 7-1 on the season, its best start since the 2014-2015 season, while UVA dropped to 4-5. The matchup was part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, which the Big Ten won in part due to this victory.
Arella Guirantes, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week and leading scorer in the conference, scored a team high 20 points on 5 of 12 shooting, as well as 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Tekia Mack produced her third double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, while point guard KK Sanders had 14 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Jordan Wallace was a force inside with 13 points, 7 rebounds and a blocked shot.
As a team, Rutgers shot 49% from the floor, while holding Virginia to just 37%. They’ve held every opponent this season to below 40% shooting and lead the nation in field goal percentage defense. RU also made 5 of 14 shots from behind the arc for 35.7%, while converting 20 of 26 shots from the free throw line (76.9%).
Up next, Rutgers hosts Towson (3-5) this Sunday at 2 p.m. at the RAC. They’ll host Southern (2-4) on December 12th and Marshall (5-3) on December 15th, followed by an almost two week break before beginning Big Ten play at Wisconsin (5-3) on December 28th.