BC exposes faulty play in early season
Rutgers head women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer said at the team’s Oct. 25 media day that she would be patient if the Scarlet Knights struggled early this season.
After Sunday’s 58-56 loss to Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., the Knights have already dropped three games.
With a 3-3 record and more tough nonconference opponents like Miami (Fla.) and No. 16 Tennessee on the schedule, Stringer has more reason for concern before Big East play begins.
Boston College guard Kerri Shields sent Rutgers’ record to .500 with a go-ahead lay-up with five seconds remaining.
Senior guard Erica Wheeler missed the following desperation shot, but she ended with arguably her most efficient game of the season.
Wheeler ended with 19 points off 8-for-15 shooting without turning the ball over. Still, the Miami native leads Rutgers this year with 17 turnovers.
Senior forward Chelsey Lee made a jumper with 30 seconds remaining to tie the game at 56. Lee came off the bench for the third straight game. She ended with six points and two rebounds.
Rutgers out-rebounded the Eagles, 28-23, but had to get creative with who was once their leading rebounder struggling
Freshman wing Kahleah Copper led the Knights with six rebounds. Sophomore forward Christa Evans and sophomore guard Syessence Davis followed with five and four, respectively.
Shields became the fourth Eagle (5-3) to score double figures in the game following her game winner.
Even though the Knights have a wealth of rebounders from several positions, that is not the case with scoring.
Rutgers entered the game with senior forward Monique Oliver and sophomore point guard Shakena Richardson as its double-figure scorers Thursday at Princeton.
Oliver, still not receiving her general workload as she recovers from an Achilles’ injury, scored only six points in 23 minutes.
Richardson scored five as Rutgers continues to struggle finding consistent scoring from the point.
Instead, Copper kept the Knights in the game with five minutes left with four of her six points.
Wheeler began a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer. Then Copper sank a jumper and two free throws to tie the game at 52 with four minutes to go.
The Knights did not lead after the score was 3-2, and they had to overcome sizeable Boston College leads throughout the game.
A 31-22 Rutgers deficit with 1:04 left in the first half tied the Eagles’ greatest lead all game.
But this game also says something about Rutgers’ scoring struggles. It averages only 56.5 points per game with only five players who average five points or more per game.
Shields’ final basket to put her in double figures was not only a game winner, but a mark of the balanced scoring that separated Boston College from Rutgers.
For updates on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, follow Josh Bakan on Twitter @JBakanTargum.