Fresh off of its 76-63 season opening victory on the road at James Madison, the Rutgers women’s basketball team cruised to an 84-67 win Monday night at Temple.
The game was a homecoming for one Scarlet Knight who played high school basketball in Philadelphia and sophomore guard Ciani Cryor certainly made the most of it by posting 11 points, the second-highest total for Rutgers.
The Knights were led by senior guard Jazlynd Rollins, who scored 12 points off of the bench on 5-8 shooting. Rollins also had three steals and four blocks in the game.
Rutgers, who now improves to 2-0 on the season, was able to win the game based on a team effort in which 11 different players scored buckets. The team started off hot from three-point range early on, before finishing 7-18 from deep by the end of the game.
A huge part as to why so many players get minutes on this Knights team is the return to head coach C. Vivian Stringer’s full court press defense, which exhausts opposing teams as well as her own. With such a deep bench this season, Stringer is able to keep fresh legs on the court at all times to better run her system.
It was clear that the press defense got to Temple, as Rutgers forced 23 turnovers, converting those turnovers into 28 points.
Senior guard Tyler Scaife, who led the team with 26 points in the first game, posted 10 points on 4-14 shooting from the field. Despite her struggles from the field, her teammates were able to pick her up. Starting center Victoria Harris scored 9 points while also hauling in seven rebounds.
The biggest difference in the game was clearly the Rutgers bench. It outscored the Temple bench by an eyebrow-raising 52-14 margin.
The Owls were lead almost entirely by Tanaya Atkinson, who scored an impressive 30 points on an even more impressive 13-17 shooting from the field. Atkinson also had 13 rebounds in the loss. Temple now moves to 1-1 on the season after their 96-72 win against Delaware State to start the season.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that the new-look Knights have completely forgotten about last season’s team that only won six games. This group, led by talented transfers and a deep bench, should continually give teams fits throughout the season with their multiple rotations off of the bench combined with the press defense.
Rutgers has already surpassed its road win total from last season, where it failed to win a single road game. So far this season, both of its wins have come on the road.
The Knights will look to improve to 3-0 on the season as it takes on Charlotte (1-1) in yet another road contest on Thursday.