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Rutgers women’s basketball team defeats Purdue to extend winning streak

Senior forward Tekia Mack and the Rutgers women’s basketball team continue to make up for lost time, having defeated Purdue and staying unbeaten since their return from hiatus. – Photo by Rutgers Women's Basketball / Twitter

The Rutgers women’s basketball team defeated Purdue 75-57 to extend its winning streak to three games. The Scarlet Knights (8-3, 4-3) remain undefeated since coming back from their five-week hiatus due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) issues within the program.

Throughout the first two quarters, the game was close and Rutgers took a 34-31 lead into the half. In the third quarter, head women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer implemented a full-court press defense and the Knights started the third quarter with a 13-0 run. From there, Rutgers did not look back and the Boilermakers (6-11, 3-10) were down by six or more points for the entire half.

The Knights were led by their starters, four of whom played all 40 minutes. Fifth-year senior guard Arella Guirantes was a major contributor yet again putting up 30 points, five blocks, five rebounds and five assists while shooting 61 percent from the floor. 

Senior forward Tekia Mack continued her production on the court with 12 points, two steals and four rebounds. Freshman guard Diamond Johnson also chipped in with 19 points and added two career highs with six assists and nine rebounds.

Purdue was led by junior guards Brooke Moore who finished with 17 points, two assists and two rebounds, and Kayana Traylor finished with 13 points and five assists. While the Boilermakers shot approximately 56 percent from the three-point line, they only shot approximately 45 percent from the field.

Rutgers' offense was effective as it shot approximately 52 percent from the floor, 45 percent from the three-point line and approximately 83 percent from the free-throw line.

The Knights were also active defensively and on the glass, getting 30 rebounds compared to Purdue’s 22 and 6 blocks compared to none for the Boilermakers. While Rutgers was well below its average of 14.2 steals with only five steals this game, it still committed four fewer turnovers than Purdue.

The Knights look to keep their momentum going when they match up with Minnesota on Wednesday at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

"We're getting focused on playing our best basketball of the season heading into March," Guirantes said. "We will hold ourselves to that standard."

For more updates on the Rutgers women's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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