Rutgers suffers worst loss of season in Champaign
One game removed from one of their best shooting performances ever, the Rutgers women’s basketball team couldn’t find any success behind the arc and were blown out by Illinois, 78-41 in Champaign Saturday afternoon.
The story of the game was Illini freshman Petra Holešínská. The Czech Republic native nearly doubled her 9.1 points per game average in the first half alone, as she had 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting from deep at halftime. She finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds to help Illinois improve to 7-9 on the season.
Rutgers (5-12) has struggled when opponents have one player that can do damage from behind the arc.
The Knights were not as hot shooting themselves. Their team field goal percentage was an uninspired 18.5 percent as they made just one three-pointer on nine attempts.
Holešínská herself outscored Rutgers at that point in the game, as Illinois took a 30-16 lead into the locker room.
The Knights were put to sleep in the third quarter, as they were outscored 25-8 and had little chance to come back from the 31-point deficit in the final period.
Helping put the Knights away for Illinois was freshman point guard Brandi Beasley, who chipped in 13 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists.
Rutgers did have three players in double figures, as sophomore center Desiree Keeling, junior forward Kandiss Barber, and junior guard Shrita Parker all had 11 points. But it also saw sophomore forward Aliyah Jeune held scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting, while sophomore point guard KK Sanders had just 2 points and 2 assists.
The Knights appear to be a completely different team on the road.
They have yet to win a game away from the Rutgers Athletic Center, losing all eight away trips by double-digit margins.
Head coach C. Vivian Stringer has won two consecutive Big Ten games when there was a point it was questioned whether her team would win any. But this is another hurdle that the Hall of Fame coach will have to work to get her team over, as half of their remaining games are on the road.
The Knights will be back in action Tuesday night at Nebraska, where they will tip off at 8 p.m.
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