Rutgers hosts Central Connecticut State in historic game for Stringer

Last Friday, the Rutgers women’s basketball team outplayed Stony Brook in its second game of the season to help head coach C. Vivian Stringer to the 999th win of her career.

The Scarlet Knights (2-0) were able to stop the Seawolves' (0-1) comeback attempt in the second half, ultimately coming away with a 61-47 win. Stony Brook outscored Rutgers 31-30 in the final two quarters. Although it was a closer game than against Saint Francis, the Knights were still able to fend off the Seawolves for their second victory.

Four of the 14 Rutgers players were unable to play due to injury, including freshman guard Zipporah Broughton, who started the first game of the season, and walked off the court limping at the end of the previous game. 

“I was very nervous because I really haven’t ever seen as much devastation to one area of the game at one time," Stringer said.

Graduate student guard Charise Wilson played well in her second game on the Banks. A former star at Rhode Island, Wilson put 14 points on the board.

Wilson also shot a perfect 2-2 in 3-pointers, following right behind freshman guard Noga Peleg Pelc from behind the arc. Her field goal percentage was at an impressive 60 percent by the end of the game. 

"When (Wilson) knows exactly what she’s looking for and what the hits are, she’s gonna be tough. I see the growth everyday,” Stringer said. 

Pelc has quickly shown that she earned her spot as a Knight by commanding the court and not being afraid to take a 3-pointer given the opportunity. She helped push Rutgers to an 11-4 scoring run in the fourth quarter with a 3-point shot. 

Although Stony Brook fought back in the fourth quarter by cutting the Knights' lead to nine, it was not able to close the gap.

This Tuesday, Rutgers will play Central Connecticut State at 7 p.m. at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC).

Coming into Stringer’s potential 1,000th win of her career, the Knights will be playing the Blue Devils (0-2), who have lost their first two games of the season. Although it may sound like a clear win for Rutgers, Central Connecticut State does not give up without a fight. 

The Devils consistently have had close games in the first and fourth quarters but, in the second and third, tend to let the other team run away with a lead. 

After two losses, Central Connecticut State is eager to win, especially when there is a lot at stake for the Knights. 

“I want to get this last game over with. I know that we had to ask players to play out of position. I wouldn’t want it to put any pressure on them. They have to play. I can sit there, but they have to play,” Stringer said.

Players to look out for on Tuesday definitely include Wilson and Pelc, but another player to add to that list would be senior center Victoria Harris. Harris has effortlessly pushed herself to be one of the top players almost every game. Though her stats go unnoticed sometimes, her defense is what helped Rutgers to victory thus far.

Tuesday night’s game could be historic as Stringer looks to capture the 1,000th win of her career, a feat only five other women’s coaches in NCAA history have achieved. 

In a high energy game, she hopes for it to be over quickly. While Stringer sits courtside waiting for the game to be over, Wilson has another version of how the night can play out for the team.

“That game you just know we’re gonna have so much energy. It’s gonna be so exciting. We’re just gonna have fun with it. We’ll probably have so much more excitement,” Wilson said.

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

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