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Rutgers women’s basketball aim to keep NCAA Tournament streak alive this season

The road to March is now set as the regular season schedule was recently announced for the Scarlet Knights.

Indiana v Rutgers
Joiya Maddox is one of a few returning players this season.
Photo by Benjamin Solomon /Getty Images

The Rutgers women’s basketball team has added eight newcomers to the roster for this season, including six transfers. It will be a unique challenge for head coach C. Vivian Stringer, who returns for her 27th season on the banks. Replacing last year’s top five leading scorers and a core group that produced two top three finishes in the Big Ten over the last three seasons won’t be easy. Establishing clear roles and good team chemistry is key to the team’s success this winter.

While preseason practice doesn’t begin until later this month, the road to making a 17th NCAA Tournament appearance with Stringer at the helm in Piscataway is now known. Rutgers announced their complete schedule for the 2021-2022 season last week in conjunction with the Big Ten. It features 12 non-conference games and 18 league games.

The Scarlet Knights open the season with five consecutive home games beginning on November 9 against St. Peters, South Alabama, Fairfield, Stony Brook and Harvard .

On Thanksgiving weekend, RU will play DePaul, Vanderbilt, and national runner-up from last season, Arizona, in the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The game against DePaul has some added intrigue as former All-Big forward Tekia Mack transferred from Rutgers to the Blue Demons after last season to play in her hometown of Chicago for her final collegiate season.

Rutgers will then visit Pitt as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on December 1. Big Ten play begins for the Scarlet Knights a few days later against Maryland, who are the defending Big Ten Tournament champs and made the Sweet 16 last season. They’ll then visit Penn State as part of two conference games taking place in early December.

The rest of the non-conference schedule wraps up at home against Delaware State, Central Connecticut State and Wagner.

Conference play goes into full swing right before the new year as Indiana visits the RAC. The Hoosiers finished second in the conference last season, one spot ahead of RU, but the two teams didn’t play as the only scheduled game was postponed due to COVID-19.

Other Big Ten foes set to play in Piscataway this season include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue and Iowa.

Additional league games on the road include Purdue, Michigan, Nebraska, Maryland, Ohio State, Northwestern, Minnesota and Illinois.

The postseason tips off with the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament on March 2-6 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Rutgers will look to make its third consecutive NCAA Tournament for the first time since Stringer led the program to 10 straight appearances from 2003-2012. It’s important to note that RU was 22-9 and in line to make the 2020 NCAA Tournament as well, which would have given them the opportunity to earn a fourth consecutive bid this season, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The Scarlet Knights are 49-8 at the RAC over the last four seasons and tickets for this season can be purchased here.

Here is the complete slate for the season ahead for Rutgers women’s basketball.

2021-2022 Schedule

Nov 9 vs. St. Peter’s

Nov. 12 vs. South Alabama

Nov. 14 vs. Fairfield

Nov. 16 vs. Stony Brook

Nov. 19 vs. Harvard

Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Nov. 25 vs. DePaul (neutral site)

Nov. 26 vs. Vanderbilt (neutral site)

Nov. 27 vs. Arizona (neutral site)

Dec. 1 at Pittsburgh (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)

Dec. 5 vs. Maryland

Dec. 9 at Penn State

Dec. 12 vs. Delaware State

Dec. 14 vs. Central Connecticut State

Dec. 18 vs, Wagner

Dec. 30 vs. Indiana

Jan. 2 at Purdue

Jan. 6 vs. Minnesota

Jan. 9 at Michigan

Jan. 16 vs. Wisconsin

Jan. 20 at Nebraska

Jan. 23 vs. Ohio State

Jan. 27 at Maryland

Jan. 30 vs. Michigan State

Feb. 7 at Ohio State

Feb. 10 at Northwestern

Feb. 13 vs. Penn State

Feb. 17 at Minnesota

Feb. 20 vs. Purdue

Feb. 24 vs. Iowa

Feb. 27 at Illinois

Big Ten Tournament March 2-6