No. 13 seeded Rutgers women’s basketball defeated No. 12 seed Penn State in resounding fashion 75-50 in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday in Indianapolis. The two teams split the home and home series in the regular season but the Scarlet Knights led for most of the rubber match to advance to the second round. They’ll face No. 5 seed Indiana on Thursday at approximately 2:00 p.m. ET.
Rutgers led the Big Ten for a third straight season in scoring defense, allowing just 60.1 points per game. They held the Nittany Lions to just 24% shooting from the floor including just 4 of 23 from three-point range for 17%.
The Scarlet Knights dominated inside, holding a commanding 54-32 rebounding advantage and outscored PSU 40-20 with points in the paint. RU shot 43% from the floor, 4 of 13 for 31% from behind the arc and 11 of 15 for 73% from the charity stripe.
Osh Brown dominated inside and led all scorers with 18 points on 8 of 11 shooting. She also grabbed 13 rebounds for her double-double of the season and an NCAA leading of her career. Brown added 3 assists, turning in one the best performances of her season.
Point guard Shug Dickson continued her strong play with 14 points on 5 of 14 shooting along with 9 assists and 7 rebounds.
Tyia Singleton contributed 10 points on 4 of 10 shooting and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Two other players were big on the boards with guard Jailyn Mason and Awa Sidibe each grabbing six rebounds apiece. Mason added 3 points, 3 assists and a steal. Sidibe also had 2 assists, 2 blocks and a steal.
Rutgers is now 12-19 on the season and has won two in a row after beating Illinois last weekend. The Scarlet Knights are now 6-7 all-time in the Big Ten Tournament.
A victory over the Hoosiers in the second round would mark the program’s fifth consecutive trip to the Big Ten Quarterfinals. This will be the first meeting of the season between the two schools after their December 30 game was cancelled due to Covid protocols. Indiana is 19-7 and overall and was 11-5 in Big Ten play.
The coaching staff, led by acting head coach Tim Eatman and the players, deserve lot of credit for playing so well down the stretch of this season. They never gave up after losing their first 12 game in Big Ten play. They’ve now won four of their last six contests, all against conference foes. On Thursday, they have the chance to keep the season alive, a prospect no on thought possible a few weeks ago.