April 18, 2019 | 60° F

UConn overpowers Rutgers, ends Knights' season

Photo by Tian Li |

In what ended up being her final game as a Scarlet Knight, senior wing Betnijah Laney managed to chip in 11 points and just four rebounds. Rutgers struggled all night long to keep up with top-seeded UConn, which advanced to the Sweet 16 after pounding Rutgers, 91-56, on its home floor in Storrs.

In a rematch of two former Big East rivals, the 8-seed Rutgers women’s basketball team fell once again to the top-seeded Connecticut Huskies, 91-55, last night.

Despite an impassioned effort in the first 10 minutes by the Scarlet Knights, the Huskies proved why they are considered the favorite to win their third national championship in a row.

The Knights carried some momentum from their win against Seton Hall Saturday into their game against UConn, trailing 21-16 at the 10:52 mark.

But the Huskies began to pull away as their offensive execution overcame the Knights’ stingy defense.

Rutgers managed to force nine turnovers in the first half, but UConn still went into halftime with a commanding 51-31 lead.

When the second half started, the Huskies opened up on a 13-2 run to put the game out of reach for the Knights.

The mounting injuries and lack of depth Rutgers had was exposed by UConn in this game.

Without their defensive leader, senior guard Syessence Davis, the Knights were unable to apply their normal defensive pressure that has frustrated opponents all season long.

This allowed the Huskies to control the tempo of the game and play their style of offense for much of the night.

It showed on the stat sheet, with UConn shooting a collective 48.5 percent from the field while draining 11 three-pointers.

The Knights’ perimeter defense had been struggling over the past few contests, and the Huskies took full advantage of it last night with their dazzling long-range game.

UConn’s forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, scored 23 points in the game to lead all scorers.

Four Huskies managed to score in double-figures, a testament to their offensive proficiency this season.

Injuries to the frontcourt also played a factor in UConn’s victory, as it dominated the Knights on the boards and out-rebounded them 53-30.

Junior center Rachel Hollivay, still recovering from her March 6 knee injury, only recorded six points, four rebounds and one block.

It was sophomore guard Tyler Scaife who led the way for the Knights, scoring 16 points in the contest.

Senior wing Bentijah Laney and junior wing Kahleah Copper registered 11 points each, but Rutgers was unable to find any sort of rhythm on offense.

And while they were able to force 16 turnovers on the Huskies, Rutgers was once again unable to convert them into enough points to make the game competitive.

UConn limited the Knights to 34 percent shooting from the field. It was the lowest field goal percentage for Rutgers in its past five games.

With the loss, the Knights finish 23-10 on the season. Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer now falls to 8-34 all-time against UConn head coach Geno Auriemma.

The Huskies once again advance to the Sweet 16, the 22nd year in a row they have done so.

For updates on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

Conor Nordland

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