After an 18-point fourth quarter comeback to defeat Harvard last week, the Rutgers women’s basketball team went winless in the Paradise Jam over Thanksgiving weekend, dropping games to DePaul, Vanderbilt and Arizona.
In their opening game of the tournament, the Scarlet Knights (4-4, 0-0) trailed by 10 after the first quarter. The Blue Demons (5-2, 0-0) shot 69 percent from the field to take the early lead. The second quarter saw DePaul once again outscore Rutgers, but a 10-3 run at the end of the half kept the game within 11 points.
Graduate student guard Shug Dickson made her debut in the first half, as the transfer from Missouri scored her first points as a member of the program.
The third quarter saw the Knights try to recreate the result of their last game, scoring 27 points and making it a one-possession game going into the fourth. In the final 10 minutes, Rutgers was able to cut the deficit to 2 points, but a 2-minute scoreless run and clutch baskets from the Blue Demons sealed the game.
Graduate student forward Osh Brown had an impressive game scoring and on the boards, recording 20 points and 20 rebounds. She is the first Knight to record a 20-20 double-double since 2014, grabbing a double-digit rebound total for the 63rd time in her career.
"(Brown) is a warrior,” said acting head women's basketball coach Timothy Eatman. “She plays hard and is relentless going downhill. I'm so happy for her because she's reaping the benefits of how hard she works at practice. Anytime a player works that hard, that consistently, you're going to have a great chance to find success."
In the next game, Rutgers struggled out of the gate, only registering 8 first-half points against the Commodores (4-4, 0-0).
"We have to find a way to start better,” Eatman said. “Every one of these games, we've started slow.”
The Knights tried to come back with 18 fourth quarter points, but their first half was too much to overcome, and Vanderbilt was able to hold on for an 11-point victory. Graduate student guard Jailyn Mason led with 9 points, hitting a three in the fourth quarter to try for a comeback.
To close out the three consecutive days of games, Rutgers again was only able to muster 8 first-half points as the No. 9 Wildcats (7-0, 0-0) took a 38-point lead into the break. The Knights were only able to cut the lead to 36, falling 80-44.
Freshman guard Kierra Sanderlin set her new career-high with 8 points in as many minutes. She shot 3-for-4 from the field, and hit her first three-pointer at the collegiate level.
Rutgers will have a chance to end its losing streak tomorrow night when it faces off against Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The game tips off at 6 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the ACC Network.
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