The Rutgers women’s basketball team ended a two game losing streak with a 72-41 blowout victory over Illinois (10-10; 1-8) on Thursday night at the RAC. After a high scoring first quarter that had the Scarlet Knights leading 25-19, the defense took over and held the Illini to just 22 points in the remaining three quarters. A 19-0 run between the first and second quarters blew the game open, as Rutgers led by 18 points at the half. RU dominated in the interior, holding a +20 rebounding margin, an 44-12 advantage with points in the paint and 16-4 edge in second chance points.
Arella Guirantes scored a game high 20 points, as well as 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Jordan Wallace came through with double-double, as she scored 14 points on 50% shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked 2 shots. KK Sanders was the third Rutgers player to score in double digits with 12 points and she added 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Tekia Mack also contributed an all-around effort with 6 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Mael Gilles was held scoreless, but had 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.
It was a good night for the bench of Rutgers as well, as Danielle Migliore scores 8 points including two three-pointers, Zippy Broughton has 6 points and 2 assists, while freshman Maori Davenport also had 6 points, as well as 3 rebounds and a blocked shot.
RU shot 41.4% while holding the Illini to 26.4% from the floor. The Rutgers defense had 8 steals and season high 10 blocks, resulting in 20 turnovers by Illinois. They took advantage with an 19-8 edge in points off of turnovers.
The Scarlet Knights are now 16-4 overall and 6-3 halfway through Big Ten play. After losing to a Michigan and Michigan State By double digits last week, they responded with a dominant effort at the RAC on Thursday night. Rutgers now heads back on the road to face Minnesota (13-8; 3-7) on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. It’s an important game they need to win in order to stay in the top five of the conference as they are currently in 5th place and 2.5 games out of first.