Rutgers looks for 2nd win of season against Stony Brook
The Rutgers women’s basketball team came away with their first win of the season against Saint Francis, 95-52, on Tuesday night. On Friday, the Scarlet Knights (1-0) will now face Stony Brook at a new game time of noon at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC).
Before Tuesday's game, it was made aware that junior guard Ciani Cryor will not be playing the first 10 games of the season because of a team-policy violation. Her first game will be Dec. 15 against Louisiana State at the RAC.
Rutgers was able to get its first win before the Big Ten conference, which will start on Dec. 28 against Northwestern. With its first conference game at home amid a familiar crowd and environment, this should help them adjust to the levels the Big Ten requires.
Leaders of Tuesday night’s game included sophomore forward Mael Gilles. Gilles came away with 13 points and a team-high 16 rebounds on the night. She had her first double-double of her career against the Red Flash, a great way to start off the season and push her into Friday's coming game.
“Honestly it really feels great because I have been trying to get my confidence back, and just by rebounding, it helps me get my flow," Gilles said. "I am trying to get more double-doubles against the Big Ten teams.”
Another leader of the night was senior forward Caitlin Jenkins. Jenkins had her 19th career double-double. With a .857 field goal percentage, she was the sharpest shooter on the team.
On the cusp of 1,000 wins, head coach C. Vivian Stringer was not impressed with the level of play but with a changing lineup due to injuries, the team will have to make adjustments more quickly and have better communication. Her predicted 1,000th-win game will be on Tuesday, Nov. 13 against Central Connecticut at the RAC.
On the other side, Stony Brook head coach Caroline McCombs has been one of the most successful coaches in the program. Both McCombs and Stringer are eager for wins to add to their impressive tenures at each school. Although McCombs only has four seasons of coaching the Seawolves under her belt, she has a successful team that will test the Knights.
Freshman guard Noga Peleg Pelc ended Tuesday night’s game with a jumper buzzer beater 3-pointer. She ended the game with 15 points, tied with Jenkins. Her field goal percentage, though, was .417 — less than half of Jenkins'.
For the Seawolves, this will be their first game of the season. Last year, they finished 18-12 similarly to the Rutgers' record of 20-12. While the Knights play Big Ten teams unlike Stony Brook, they are both competitive teams that won’t settle for a loss on their season record.
Tuesday night's game led to a win, but not in the way it should have. There were a lot of miscommunication issues along with the fact that four players sat out of the game due to various reasons. There were also several muddled plays that need to be fixed before Friday’s game.
“I was reminded that we started a week earlier this year so that’s tough, especially when all of the perimeter players are new,” Stringer said. “It’s frustrating because there’s things that we would like to do that we can’t do. Given that it’s the first game, it is what it is, I thought that it wasn’t bad. We’re happy about that. We’re gonna let that go and focus on the next game in terms of getting better.”
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