Rutgers blown out on the road by Minnesota
The Rutgers women’s basketball headed into its road matchup against Minnesota seeking to end a five-game losing streak. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as the Scarlet Knights (6-19, 3-9) were blown out by the Golden Gophers (13-12, 4-8) by a score of 80-46 on Saturday afternoon.
There have been two recurring themes that have consistently given Rutgers trouble this season: Getting to the free throw line and performing well during the third quarter. Against the Gophers, those two things were without a doubt the difference in a blowout that never really got close. The Knights were only able to get to the free throw line nine times, making seven of those shots. On the other hand, Minnesota took 34 free throws, making 27 of them. A 20-point difference in free throws alone is enough to determine the outcome of a game.
What is even more surprising about the Gophers stat is that they shot 25 free throws in the first half alone. Despite only making 18 of those, the sheer volume of foul shots not only created a huge score difference, but it also put Rutgers in foul trouble.
As a team, it collected 28 team fouls with two members of the front court fouling out. Freshman center Jordan Wallace collected her fifth foul with just over four minutes remaining in the game while sophomore center Victoria Harris got called for her fifth with 2:43 remaining in the game. Junior guard Jazlynd Rollins and sophomore Aliyah Jeune were skating on thin ice, finishing the game with four fouls apiece.
Head coach C. Vivian Stringer has constantly said that her team needs to be more aggressive on offense and attack the basket more. Junior guard Shrita Parker has talked about the numerous plays they have drawn up to get players to the foul line, but there is some element of disconnect, as the Knights have been disproportionately outscored at the charity stripe during Big Ten play.
The Minnesota player that took advantage of Rutgers' fouling tendencies was sophomore guard Kenisha Bell, who was 11-12 from the free-throw line and scored 19 points on the day. Freshman guard Gadiva Hubbard also scored 19 points to go along with 8 rebounds. Rounding out the Gophers in double figures was junior guard Carlie Wagner with 12 points.
For the Knights, it was just Rollins and Parker in double figures, with 10 and 11 points, respectively.
Rutgers turned the ball over 19 times in this game, with Minnesota’s 32 points off turnovers resulting in a nearly perfect success rate off of the Knights turnover. Of the Gophers 12 turnovers, Rutgers was only able to muster out 8 points.
During this game, the Knights reverted back to their early-season struggles of shooting from the three. Despite the losses, Rutgers has been shooting the ball much better in conference play. On Saturday, there was not much success to be found, as they made just 3 of 19 attempts from behind the arc.
The Knights will return to action when they host Purdue in Big Ten play on Wednesday night at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
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