The Rutgers women’s basketball team went from a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pause to defeating a ranked team in a matter of days and for that, head women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer has been named ESPN National Coach of the Week.
Both of the Scarlet Knights’ (9-3, 5-3) victories last week came on the road. Rutgers was able to defeat a ranked opponent, besting No. 20 Northwestern 70-54. In West Lafayette, Purdue’s offense was stifled by Stringer’s signature press and managed to only put up 57 points as the Knights put up 75.
The victory against Northwestern was Rutgers’ first win against a ranked team away from the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) since December 2018.
A strong defensive effort has been prevalent recently for the Knights. In terms of scoring, they lead the Big Ten, allowing a conference-low 56.8 points per game. Rutgers is also swiping an average of 13.3 steals per game.
Although not in the same week that Stringer is being honored for, the Knights held Minnesota to 56 points while putting up 83 of their own. They forced consecutive five-second violations and grabbed 13 steals, eight coming from senior guard Tekia Mack.
After the two wins away from the Banks, Rutgers moved up in the NCAA Women's Basketball NET rankings to No. 12.
While her players have yet to win the awards they have been nominated for, Stringer joins a list of Knights already being recognized for accolades.
Fifth-year guard Arella Guirantes is on the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year watch list. Guirantes is also a part of the top 10 players for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award. Most recently, Guirantes became the fourth player from Rutgers to be a candidate for the Senior CLASS award. The award is given to a player who shows strength in the classroom, character, community and competition.
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