Rutgers women’s basketball trailed Penn State 51-43 soon after at the start of the fourth quarter after the Nittany Lions produced a 9-1 run on Sunday at Jersey Mike’s Arena. The Scarlet Knights responded with 28 points in the final frame, the most in any the season, to stun PSU 71-62 for their first Big Ten win of the season. Rutgers avenged a 52-48 road loss to Penn State (9-15; 3-11) back in December.
The game changed with RU behind 56-53 with four minutes to play. What came next was a 14-0 run that showed the fight of a team that has never quit despite the adversity they’ve faced this season.
Osh Brown led the way and her three-point play gave Rutgers the lead for good with 2:28 to play. In the win, she produced an NCAA leading 58th double double of her career and 9th of the season with a 20 point, 11 rebounds, 3 steal, 1 block effort. She was 4 of 10 from the floor and a clutch 12 of 15 from the foul line.
After Brown gave Rutgers the lead, Sayawni Lassiter and Victoria Morris hit back to back three-pointers and combined for the next 12 points in the final two plus minutes for the game to seal the victory. Morris led the bench with 12 points and 2 rebounds including 2 of 2 from behind the arc and 6 of 8 from the foul line. Lassiter had 11 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds while making 3 of 5 from three-point range.
Rutgers had another big effort from Lasha Petree, who finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Here back to back three’s closed the gap in the fourth quarter. She was 3 of 4 from deep overall and along with Brown, played a game high 36 plus minutes.
Rutgers was +7 on the glass, held Penn State to only 36.7% shooting and 6 of 20 (30%) from behind the arc, as well as 9 points below their scoring average. The defense has been there most of the season and and has now held opponents 17.2 points below their scoring average over the last five games.
While shooting just 38.8% from the floor as a team, the Scarlet Knights made 9 of 17 shots from three-point range for 52.9% and made 24 of 29 attempts from the free throw line for 82.8%. They made the most threes and took the most free throws in a Big Ten game this season.
The Scarlet Knights are now 8-17 overall and 1-12 in Big Ten play. They’ve lost six conference games by single digits, including a 4 point loss to No. 21 Ohio State last week. This team was dealt a difficult situation with head coach C. Vivian Stringer taking a prolonged leave of absence. This group has shown resiliency and deserve a lot of credit in continuing to play hard game after game. They’ll look to continue playing well on Thursday, February 17 at Minnesota (12-14; 4-9).