The Rutgers women’s basketball team opened its 2021-2022 season on Tuesday night at Jersey Mike’s Arena with a dominant 59-38 victory over St. Peter’s. With head coach C. Vivian Stringer on a leave of absence this season, it was announced after the game that wins and losses this season will be applied to the record of acting head coach Tim Eatman. In earning his first victory, the Scarlet Knights displayed a stifling defense effort that’s been the trademark of the program under Stringer.
Rutgers forced 34 turnovers, had 21 steals and held the Peacocks to just 22.2% shooting from the floor. 14 different players saw time with 11 different scorers. RU had a 9-0 run in the first quarter that put them in control and kept St. Peter’s at bay the entire game.
They were led by guard Liz Martino with 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting to go along with a career high 6 assists and 4 steals. Ball State transfer Osh Brown controlled the game inside with 8 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Sakima Walker added 9 points on 4 of 7 shooting and 4 rebounds. Florida State transfer guard Sayawni Lassiter had 5 points, 5 assists and 3 steals in her debut.
“It’s a great time to be a Scarlet Knight alongside our Big Ten Champion field hockey and women’s soccer teams,” said acting head coach Timothy Eatman. “We’re looking forward to the challenge of living up to that standard of success. We were proud of playing with great effort and passion, although we didn’t make a lot of shots, those things are going to come in time.”
An encouraging sign was Rutgers dishing out 21 assists on 22 made field goals in the game. However, it was a sloppy debut as the Scarlet Knights committed 25 turnovers. RU shot 40.0% from the floor, 29.4% from behind the arc and 58.8% from the free throw line. For such a new group with six players making their Rutgers debut and tinkering with different lineups in a season opener, some inconsistency is to be expected.
The Scarlet Knights will next play South Alabama at home on Friday, November 12 at 7 p.m. and it will air live on B1G+.
The postgame press conference with Tim Eatman, Osh Brown and Liz Martino is below, as well as game highlights.