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Rutgers loses by 29 in Sunday afternoon matchup

The Rutgers women’s basketball team lost on the road to Maryland on Sunday by a final score of 79-50. 

It has now lost 4 of its past 6 games and will head to East Lansing, Michigan, for its next game with Michigan State on Thursday. The Scarlet Knights (17-6, 7-5) previously lost to the Spartans (11-11, 4-7), on Jan. 20 by 66-55.

Needless to say, things could be better for Rutgers.

Sunday began with the No. 13 Terrapins (20-4, 11-2) taking an early 7-0 lead off of four Knights turnovers that occurred within the first 2:30 minutes of the game. Junior guard Arella Guirantes had 2 of those 4 and ended with seven, a career high.

The turnovers contributed to Rutgers’ inability to catch up to the early lead Maryland built up in the first quarter, as the Terrapins led by at least 5 points from the halfway point of the period to the end of it. The Knights went into the second quarter of the game down 25-17.

The next period didn’t go much better for Rutgers. Putting up only 9 points compared to Maryland’s 19, the Knights found themselves in a 44-26 hole by halftime. Junior forward Tekia Mack scored 5 of her team’s points in the period off of free throws and the offense looked mostly dormant going into the final two quarters.

Once the second half commenced, whatever hope that still existed would soon be evaporated. The Terrapins built up a 27-point lead with less than 2 minutes remaining in the period and ended the quarter up 24 with a 68-43 lead.

The lead would be further extended throughout the fourth period, with Maryland eventually taking the win by a 29-point margin.

Despite Mack’s ability to contribute, as she finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block, Rutgers as a whole was unable to play an efficient game on Sunday. 

Guirantes, in addition to her seven turnovers, scored a team-high 15 points, but shot a dissatisfactory 5-of-18 from the field in the process. Graduate student guard Khadaizha Sanders committed four turnovers and scored 5 points on 2-of-6 shooting from the field. 

The remainder of the starting lineup included sophomore guard Zipporah Broughton and senior center Jordan Wallace, who scored 5 and 3 points on 2-of-7 and 1-of-7 shooting from the field, respectively.

The Knights, who are currently averaging 39.7 rebounds per game compared to their opposition’s 35.4, also lost the rebounding battle to the Terrapins. Rutgers grabbed 31 boards, 10 less than Maryland’s total.

The Knights also tallied only seven assists in the contest. The Terrapins ended the afternoon with 15.

Head coach C. Vivian Stringer expressed her thoughts on the performance following the conclusion of the game.

“We had too many turnovers, not enough assists or rebounds. It’s tough to win when you don’t rebound or move the ball,” Stringer said.

While Rutgers’ next opponent is Michigan State, which has not had much success in Big Ten play as of late, it is worth noting that 3 of the Spartans' past 4 contests were against ranked programs. The Knights will need to play an efficient, all-around game if they wish to extinguish any possibility of their opponent showing what was displayed in the two programs’ last matchup.

Rutgers has already clinched a winning-record for this season, but will need to step up its level of play if any chance of success is to be had on March 4 in the Big Ten Tournament.