Rutgers surpasses last season's win total with win over Siena
The Rutgers women’s basketball team came away with a 59-47 win over Siena at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Scarlet Knights improved to 7-2 on the season, surpassing last season’s win total of six.
Rutgers continued to be a problem for opponents on defense, forcing the Saints (3-4) into committing 20 turnovers, marking the eighth game this season where the Knights forced opponents into committing 20 or more turnovers. The only game where they did not achieve this feat came against No. 3 South Carolina.
Fifth-year senior guard Tyler Scaife continued to play extremely well, posting 18 points on 6-14 shooting, in just 18 minutes of play. Scaife came into the game averaging 20.1 points per game and ranked seventh on the all-time scoring list in program history. With her 18 points, she now moves into sixth all-time on that list, with 1,790 career points scored.
“Coach Stringer allows me to shoot the ball," Scaife said. "She gives me the green light and allows me to take smart shots. She believes in me, so I'm going to keep shooting.”
Sophomore guard Ciani Cryor also played well, scoring 10 points on 4-7 shooting, while also having three steals in only 14 minutes played. The five-foot-five-inch guard continues to be a solid scoring option off the bench for Stringer as she averages 6.9 points per game, good enough for third highest on the team.
Rutgers played phenomenal defense throughout the game, holding Siena to only 28.8 percent shooting from the field and 22.7 percent from three-point range. The Saints were led by Kollyns Scarbrough, with 10 points on 50 percent shooting.
“She’s quick, she’s got a great spirit and when she’s on the floor, I have confidence she’s going to do everything she can to win,” Stringer said of Cryor. “I see the growth with her everyday. She’s a special player and she’s going to have to continue to work hard, just as we all do.”
One of the defensive stars of the game for the Knights was junior forward Caitlin Jenkins. Despite only having 1 point in 23 minutes played, the six-foot-three-inch forward had an astounding six blocks, while also adding two steals and eight rebounds.
Last season, Rutgers went 6-24 on the season, marking one of the worst seasons in the program's history, and the worst season for Stringer. The Knights were 3-12 in Big Ten play and lost 11 games straight to end the rough season.
“Defense is all about effort,” Stringer said at the post game press conference. “Defensive intensity and the way you play is about effort. The 55 defense is a great effort that we have to put forth as a team, and I think it has a personal way about feeding into how we play offense as well, so we need to get back to doing that better.”
Rutgers will take on ACC opponent Virginia (4-5) on Monday night at the RAC. It will be the second ACC team the Knights have faced this season, after beating NC State last week.
For updates on the Rutgers women's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.