After a five week pause due to COVID-19 positive results within the program, the Rutgers women’s basketball team was back in action on Sunday at the RAC. The Scarlet Knights went wire to wire to defeat Nebraska 78-62, avenging a loss to the Huskers on January 3, the last time they had played before Sunday’s return. After establishing a 12 point lead in the first quarter, Rutgers controlled the game the entire way.
Tekia Mack led the way with a monster game in which she scored a career high 26 points on 10 of 16 shooting, as well as 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Freshman Diamond Johnson registered her third game scoring 20+ points, finishing with 22 points on 8 of 11 shooting, including 4 of 7 from three-point range. She added 3 assists and 3 steals. Arella Guirantes scored 17 points but was only 5 of 21 from the floor, but finished with a team high 6 assists and had just 1 turnover, as well as 2 steals. Tyia Singleton had 6 points and a career high 11 rebounds, while Mael Gilles had 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.
The Scarlet Knights forced 19 turnovers and swiped 13 steals, taking advantage in holding a 19-10 edge in points off of turnovers. RU held Nebraska to 42.0% shooting, while shooting 49.2% from the floor, including 40% from three-point range and 75.0% from the free throw line.
“It was worth the wait,” said head coach C. Vivian Stringer. “Tekia and Arella did everything we needed them to do as leaders of this team, and Diamond certainly didn’t look like a freshman out there. For us to come together like this after not being able to play, I’m confident we’ll be hitting our stride real soon when it counts the most.”
Rutgers is now 6-3 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play. The Huskers fall to 9-7 overall and 7-6 in the conference.
After missing eight games during the month plus long break, Rutgers is working with the Big Ten to reschedule as many postponed games as possible. Nothing has been announced as of yet.
The Scarlet Knights return to action on Thursday, February 11th to face no. 20/22 Northwestern (11-3; 9-3) on the road in a game airing live at 4 p.m. ET on BTN. It is a tremendous opportunity for Rutgers to notch its biggest win of the season against a team that’s won three in a row and seven of its last eight. Expect head coach C. Vivian Stringer to rely heavily on her starters, as four of them played 39 or more minutes in the win over Nebraska.