Rutgers remains winless after 62-54 loss to Virginia

It turned in its best game of the season, but the Rutgers women’s basketball team still fell short against Virginia by a score of 62-54 Sunday afternoon.

Earlier in the season, head coach C. Vivian Stringer defended her team’s ability to shoot the three.

Against the Cavaliers (4-0), her team validated those comments and had its best game of the season shooting the ball. The Scarlet Knights (0-4) shot 45.7 percent from the field and were an impressive 8-for-16 from behind the arc. 

This was a performance that seemed impossible given the way they shot the ball the first three games of the season.

Rutgers outshot Virginia percentage wise, but the Cavaliers got more shots off and were able to convert all of their free throws at the end of the game. The Knights made 4 of their 5 free throw attempts, while Virginia was 11-for-13 from the charity stripe.

Both Rutgers and the Cavaliers came out hot early and the first quarter ended with Virginia holding a 22-17 lead in what seemed to set up a high scoring game. 

But the second quarter only saw 16 combined points, with the Knights outscoring the Cavaliers 10-6. Despite their valiant defensive effort, the Knights headed into the locker room down 28-27.

Virginia was leading throughout the whole game, but Rutgers was pesky and kept clawing back, especially in the second half. An 8-0 run by Virginia early in the fourth quarter seemed to put the game away for the Cavaliers, but a three-pointer from sophomore guard Aliyah Jeune brought the Knights within three points with just under four minutes remaining in the game.

Virginia fired right back, knocking down two straight jump shots, forcing Rutgers to foul in order to stop the clock. Cavaliers guard Breyana Mason knocked down 5 of her 6 free throws with under 30 seconds left to put the game out of reach for the Knights.

One issue that has plagued Rutgers this year has been fouling, but it was relatively good in that area for most of the game. 

Sophomore forward Victoria Harris stayed out of foul trouble early, but was frequently whistled in the second half and picked up her fifth foul with three minutes remaining in the game. Other than that, the only fouling was late in the game when they had to in order to have a chance to win the game.

The Knights are back in action Friday at 2 p.m. at Princeton, capping off their four-game road trip before returning to the Rutgers Athletic Center to face Bryant Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2 p.m.

For updates on the Rutgers women's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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