Coming off a win over Nebraska, the Rutgers women’s basketball team has won back-to-back games after defeating Northwestern 70-54.
The Scarlet Knights (7-3, 3-3) earned their first ranked win of the season, taking down the No. 21 Wildcats (11-4, 9-4) on the road.
The starters played most of the roles throughout the game, with all five logging at least 30 minutes on the court. Only three bench players came in for Rutgers, registering 2 points between them.
Most of the game was a competitive matchup, with the score staying within a 7-point difference for the first 35 minutes. In the last 4:22 of the game, the Knights put together a 12-1 run, with Northwestern missing its last 12 field goal attempts.
A balanced offensive attack helped push Rutgers to victory, as 4 of the 5 starters finished with at least 14 points. Sophomore forward Tyia Singleton led the charge with 17 points, setting a new career-high.
“I’m proud of my work in the practice gym,” Singleton said. “I put that weight on my shoulders, and I know it would be hard to win without me stepping up. I took my time, focused on layups and the fundamentals. My team trusts me, and that's something we need to be successful."
Senior forward Tekia Mack provided a double-double in the victory, complimenting her 16 points with 13 rebounds. This was Mack’s first double-double of the season and her fifth in her college career.
Fifth-year senior guard Arella Guirantes added 15 points for the Knights, pushing her past 1,500 career points and placing her 13th all-time in program scoring. Guirantes shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line, bringing her to 23 consecutive shots from the line.
Freshman guard Diamond Johnson continued to be an active scorer for Rutgers, finishing with 14 points and shooting an efficient 4 of 6 from behind the arc. Johnson has scored in double digits in every game she has played on the Banks and is now in the top five for three-point shooting in the nation with her .500 percentage.
Defensively, the Knights did a good job of defending the Wildcats’ top offensive options. Northwestern’s two leading scorers, Lindsey Pulliam and Veronica Burton were both held to less than 10 points for the game. The duo combined for 4 baskets on 23 attempts and also committed four turnovers.
"We are excited, happy and appreciative that everyone worked extremely hard and everyone made major contributions," said head women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer. "It wasn't any one person. Everyone wanted to eat, and everyone came to the table. As we head toward March, we need that level of confidence every game."
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