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In the midst of a tough stretch of its schedule, tonight’s game against South Florida appeared weeks ago to be the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s best chance at securing head coach C. Vivian Stringer’s 900th victory. Now that the Bulls (19-7, 8-5) enter the Louis Brown Athletic Center winning five of their last six, including recent victories against No. 12 Louisville and No. 21 Syracuse, Stringer may end up looking beyond this game. A four-game losing streak for Rutgers (14-12, 5-8) supports that possibility. After Saturday’s 61-48 loss to St. John’s, Stringer is without answers.
Senior forward Monique Oliver has been Rutgers’ top scoring option with 10.2 points per game and ties for the team lead in rebounding with 5.2 per game. The Knights face a South Florida team tonight that has won five of its last six.
NEW?YORK — As the Rutgers women’s basketball team relies on its youth, it is increasingly likely that the Scarlet Knights do not play in the NCAA Tournament until at least 2014. Some of the St. John’s upperclassmen shined, but freshman guard Aliyyah Handford put them in position to dominate. “We all step up,” said St. John’s guard Briana Brown. “When someone goes down, we all step up. That’s just what we do for each other.”
Rutgers head women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer can only promise one thing about winning her 900th game after the Scarlet Knights’ 61-48 loss to St. John’s. “You know what, I’m going to get it before I die,” she said. “That much you can count on.” Stringer’s joking aside, Rutgers left the Carnesecca Arena on Saturday with its fourth consecutive loss on the back of its youth. Stringer was every bit as dumbfounded as freshman forward Rachel Hollivay when she passed a ball to nobody out of bounds with 1:54 left.
Head coach C. Vivian Stringer has little explanation for her team’s slump.
With its worst offensive performance of the season Wednesday against No. 21 Syracuse, the Rutgers women’s basketball team is simply looking to move on. Its opportunity to do that comes tomorrow, when it takes on St. John’s in Queens. The Scarlet Knights (14-11, 5-7) continue their brief road trip with a rematch against the Red Storm (14-10, 8-4) after falling to them last month in their Big East opener. As the likelihood of clinching an NCAA Tournament berth becomes bleaker as losses accumulate, the team that played Tuesday cannot afford to reappear.
Rutgers needs more from the backcourt tomorrow against St. John’s, including sophomore point guard Shakena Richardson. Richardson and sophomore guard Syessence Davis went scoreless Wednesday against?No. 21 Syracuse, playing a combined 63 minutes.
A three-game winning streak seemed to be the ignition for a push toward clinching an NCAA Tournament berth. The spurt turned out to be a small spark that was quickly extinguished for the Rutgers women’s basketball team. After improving to 5-4 in Big East competition just more than a week ago, the Scarlet Knights have lost three consecutive contests to return below .500 in the league. There is no way to bypass the obvious indications that Rutgers (14-11) is struggling and in danger of ending its 10-year run of NCAA tournament appearances.
Senior forward Chelsey Lee’s knee injury has forced greater production from the Knights’ younger forwards.
Senior forward Monique Oliver (34) has been the Knights’ steady interior force despite playing through a bone bruise in her ankle, limiting her during games and practices. Oliver has started the last two games at the five since senior forward Chelsey Lee sustained a knee injury.
For a while, it looked like junior forward Monique Oliver might carry Rutgers head women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer last night to her 900th victory. The odds were against the Scarlet Knights and Oliver, who has played limited minutes because of a bone bruise in her ankle. But even with her contributing 23 points and 16 rebounds, Syracuse further delayed Stringer’s 900th win in the Knights’ 58-45 loss last night at the Carrier Dome.
Rutgers head women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringers’ pursuit of her 900th win has given the Scarlet Knights positive attention, but it is one of the last things Stringer wants to discuss. Stringer has given a similar answer each time when asked about it, and her torment in this situation is always visible in her face. She never discusses the milestone with her players. Sitting next to sophomore guards Shakena Richardson and Syessence Davis in Saturday’s post-game press conference might have been the first time any player saw her anguish in the situation.
Head coach C. Vivian Stringer wants to finally get her 900th victory.
In its 65-45 loss to No. 3 Connecticut on Saturday, the Rutgers women’s basketball team’s younger players displayed their value and potential to a team that continues to develop talent. In front of a crowd of nearly 5,400, the Scarlet Knights challenged the Huskies early on, and head coach C. Vivian Stringer liked what she saw. “I am particularly encouraged because it was freshmen and sophomores,” Stringer said.
Rutgers women’s basketball and Connecticut fans alike gave a standing ovation as time expired in No. 3 UConn’s 65-45 victory Saturday at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. The Scarlet Knights (14-10, 5-6) had something to be proud of in the 20-point loss. For part of it, they were aggressive, pushed the ball inside, made outside shots and rarely turned the ball over. But eventually as the Huskies (24-1, 11-1) persisted on defending to create turnovers, it worked.
Sophomore guard Shakena Richardson attempts to dribble past a UConn defender in Saturday’s 65-45 loss to the Huskies.
Sophomore guard?Syessence Davis defends Connecticut guard Moriah Jefferson on a fast break. Jefferson’s height advantage created mismatches for Rutgers’ backcourt.
Senior forward Monique Oliver faces off against Connecticut center Kiah Stokes in the post. Oliver recorded seven points and six rebounds Saturday.
With its NCAA tournament berth chances looking very slim, the Rutgers women’s basketball team returns to its own hardwood tomorrow for a matchup with No. 3 Connecticut. DePaul snapped the Scarlet Knights’ three-game winning streak Tuesday, which also spoiled head coach C. Vivian Stringer’s first attempt to collect her 900th career win. Rutgers’ road woes continued, and it came up short in a game that came down to the final possession.
Senior guard Erica?Wheeler tied for the Knights’ lead in scoring Tuesday against?DePaul with 12 points, which freshman forward Rachel Hollivay also scored. Wheeler has been one of Rutgers’ most steady offensive players this season, averaging 10.2 points per game.