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Rutgers Women’s Basketball Routs Wisconsin 73-53

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The Scarlet Knights received a much needed victory after a difficult few days

Rich Graessle/Rutgers Athletics

It’s been a tumultuous week for the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Last Thursday it was announced after the Michigan game that suspended forward Caitlin Jenkins had been dismissed from the program stemming from an arrest earlier this month. On Sunday, it was announced head coach C. Vivian Stringer was taking a leave of absence due to health reasons. Then on Monday came a report that starting point guard CC Cryor had also been dismissed due to a violation of team rules. Despite it all, credit the remaining players for coming out Monday night ready to play, as Rutgers easily handled Wisconsin 73-53 at the RAC.

The Scarlet Knights played well for acting head coach Tim Eatman, who utilized a full court press most of the game. The pressure forced 24 turnovers from the Badgers,as Rutgers swiped 18 steals. RU capitalized by holding a 30-19 edge in points off of turnovers. They jumped out to a 17-11 first quarter lead, before shooting 64% in the second quarter that helped extend the score to 40-23 at the half. Wisconsin made just 3 field goals in the quarter, as Rutgers outscored them 23-12 in that frame.

The Scarlet Knights would lead by as much as 25 points in the second half before closing out a 73-53 victory. For the game, Rutgers shot 44.4% from the field, 30% from three-point range and an impressive 11 of 13 from the free throw line. Wisconsin shot just 37.5% from the floor, as well as only 18% from behind the arc. They also struggled from the line making just 62.5% on 24 attempts.

Rutgers was +11 on the boards and had a +4 turnover margin, although they need to be better with the basketball, as they committed 20 turnovers. They did hold a 38-30 advantage with points in the paint and Eatman utilized the bench with big minutes, as it paid off by RU outscoring Wisconsin’s reserves 39-13.

Credit Eatman and the rest of the staff for having Rutgers ready to play after a difficult few days for the program.

Tekia Mack was a spark off the bench once again, leading the team with 17 points on 6 of 12 shooting, as well as 7 rebounds and 4 steals. She has averaged 16.7 points over her last three games. Arella Guirantes was the only other Scarlet Knight to score in double figures with 13 points on 6 of 16 shooting. She added 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Victoria Harris had just 2 points on 2 shots, but led Rutgers with 9 rebounds and added 3 steals. The steady Stasha Carey had 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals.

At 11-5 overall, Rutgers is guaranteed of a top 5 finish in Big Ten play and one win away from clinching third place. They have a 1.5 game lead over fourth place Michigan, who lost to rival Michigan State on Sunday. With a 19-8 record and RPI ranking of 26, Rutgers would benefit from a strong finish to the regular season and strong showing in the Big Ten Tournament next week to solidify the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth in four seasons. They’ll wrap up the regular season this week, hosting Minnesota (19-8; 8-8) on Thursday for senior night, before traveling to Ohio State (13-12; 9-7) on Sunday.