Rutgers tie RAC three-point record in win over Wisconsin
The Rutgers women’s basketball team is a completely different group than the one that started the season.
The Scarlet Knights tied a Rutgers Athletic Center record for most three-pointers made in a game, draining 11 shots from range en route to a convincing 68-52 victory over Wisconsin on Wednesday night.
Rutgers (5-11) was able to force 22 turnovers and the Badgers (5-10) did not have a single player in double figures.
The Knights shot an unprecedented 50 percent from the field, including 58 percent from three-point range.
Sophomore guard KK Sanders continues to emerge as a star player for the Knights, as she had a game-high 16 points and proved her point guard skill set, dishing out 8 assists and getting 4 steals. She was 4-7 from behind the arc, leading the team in three-pointers made and attempted on the night.
Junior guard Shrita Parker added 15 points of her own and was the most efficient shooter on the team, knocking down 3 of her 4 attempts from three.
Sophomores Aliyah Jeune and Victoria Harris were also in double figures for the Knights, as they contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively. Jeune fouled out with just over 5 minutes remaining.
Having three other teammates in double-figures made Sanders’ job as the point guard much easier, as they found ways to get open and she found ways to get them the ball.
“I really think it was a lot of focus from my teammates on just knowing where the shot’s gonna be at," Sanders said. “I think I was just trying to do a good job of giving them the ball in a good spot so that they could shoot it and they did a good job of it.”
Shrita Parker’s job as the two-guard is to score points in many different ways. When Sanders is on like she was Wednesday night, Parker has less pressure on herself to score.
“When she’s good, it makes everyone else good," Parker said of Sanders. "When she’s comfortable it makes me feel comfortable. When she’s got the game under control, I feel like I’m good, I feel like I’m in the flow.”
Late in the game, the Badgers went on a run and turned a 20-point lead into a 10-point lead, but the Knights were able to make just about all of their free throws at the end and didn’t let Wisconsin get any good looks from the field.
“We knew that we were still ahead, so it wasn’t so much of a panic, it was just that we knew we needed to regain control,” KK Sanders said of how they halted the Badgers run. “Make sure that we’re making them take tough shots and that were getting stops. Also, offensively, making sure that we’re scoring still because there’s still time left.”
This is the Knights’ second consecutive victory, and the first time they have won back-to-back games this season.
They are much improved from the beginning of the year when they started 2-9, with multiple blowout losses along the way. Although they are better, head coach C. Vivian Stringer is aware that her team still needs to prove they can play well consistently.
“Until we do this several times, we’re not gonna know who we are. We like what we’re seeing and we’re gonna continue to work towards that,” she said. “We spend a lot of time, a lot of hours breaking things down,” said Stringer. “We look better, we feel better, so we can keep things going.”