After a spirited fourth quarter comeback on Wednesday to advance to the Big Ten Quarterfinals, Rutgers was unable to be generate the same magic against Indiana on Thursday. The Hoosiers established control of the game in the second quarter and the Scarlet Knights were never able to get closer than 8 points of the lead the rest of the way. Indiana won in its home state by the final score of 78-60.
First Team All-Big Ten selection Arella Guirantes scored a game high 30 points, half of the entire team’s production, but it wasn’t enough. She attempted very few uncontested shots and finished just 7 of 22 from the field, but was an impressive 15 of 16 from the free throw line. She added 4 rebounds.
KK Sanders had 14 points on 5 of 13 shooting and 3 rebounds. Tekia Mack played a physical game inside, finishing with 7 points and 14 rebounds. Mael Gilles finished with 7 points and 5 boards.
Ali Patberg led Indiana with 28 points on 7 of 13 shooting and 12 of 13 from the charity stripe, along with 9 rebounds.
Rutgers shot just 30.2% from the field and was never able to generate any rhythm on offense. They did shoot an impressive 25 of 33 from the foul line for 75.8%. However, the Hoosiers shot 42.1% from the floor and an even better 24 of 27 from the foul line for 88.9%.
A key factor in the loss was Indiana holding a 24-9 advantage with points off of turnovers. They were also +5 on the boards and held a 26-18 edge with points in the paint.
Rutgers is now 22-9 on the season and will await its NCAA Tournament fate on Selection Monday on March 16. As of Friday morning, ESPN’s Charlie Creme projected the Scarlet Knights as an 8 seed, while RealTimeRPI projects them as a 10 seed. I’ll post an update on NCAA Tournament projections closer to the reveal next week. For now, Rutgers needs to rest up and prepare for its next game later this month, despite the opponent and destination unknown.