Knights come up just short against Maryland behind backcourt success
The Rutgers women’s basketball team left it all on the court in College Park, Maryland, but ultimately came up just short against No. 3 Maryland, falling by a score of 80-71.
The Scarlet Knights (6-15, 3-5) took the Terrapins blow for blow during the first half, but Maryland (19-1, 7-0) blew Rutgers out of the water in the third quarter, outscoring it 26-13. The Knights fought hard until the final buzzer and held a 28-20 advantage in the final period, though it wasn’t enough to outdo the potent scoring offense that Maryland brought to the table.
The Terps had four players in double-figures, led by Kaila Charles with 18 points and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough with 17 points. Brionna Jones and Destiny Slocum each added a double-double, with Jones contributing 11 points and 13 rebounds while Slocum had 11 points and 11 assists.
Rutgers was able to keep the first half tight with the play of sophomore guard Jazlynd Rollins. She has mainly been a reserve player this season, averaging just 2 points per game. Scoring 15 points on 6-6 shooting through two quarters of play, she looked anything but a reserve. Rollins was joined by junior guard Shrita Parker and sophomore forward Aliyah Jeune in double figures, with Parker adding a team-high of 17 points and 7 assists and Jeune putting in 13 points.
Despite the loss, the Knights put forth one of their best performances of the season, with a single-digit loss on the road against one of the best teams in the country — a result not many people expected.
Rutgers led at multiple points in the first half, but Maryland kicked up the tempo in the second quarter and jumped out to a 7-point lead. Soon after, Rollins hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Aliyah Jeune hit another to bring the Knights within 1 point. Rutgers kept clawing back and would not go away.
In fact, it seemed as if the Knights had all the momentum going into halftime, until Destiny Slocum pulled up in front of the halfcourt line and drained a buzzer-beater that put Maryland up 4 points going into halftime. That set the tone for the third quarter when the Terps put Rutgers away for good.
Toward the end of the game, Maryland had extended its lead to 20 points. But with the game all but lost, the visitors would not quit, as a 14-5 run to end the game brought the Knights within single digits resulting in a much more respectable scoreline.
Rutgers will have plenty of time to recover after this physical matchup, as it is a week until the next game. The Knights are back in action Sunday afternoon as they host Northwestern at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) in a 2 p.m. tip-off.
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