The Rutgers women’s basketball team had its losing streak extended to four games, falling to Pittsburgh 58-50 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Scarlet Knights (4-5, 0-0) haven’t won since Nov. 19, where they came back from being down 18 points in the fourth quarter against Harvard.
Rutgers started off the game hot, taking a 5-point lead after the first quarter against the Panthers (6-2, 0-0). Graduate student guard Shug Dickson started off hot, scoring 6 points and adding two assists in the opening 10 minutes. Pittsburgh was stunted early by the Knights defense, shooting under 20 percent from the field and only making one three.
The second quarter was also successful for Rutgers, who was able to extend its lead to 10 in the first 6 minutes of the quarter. The ball was moved all around the court, as five different Knights scored in the second period. A late 5-0 run in the last 3 minutes saw the Panthers cut the lead to 3 points going into the break.
After halftime, both teams took turns going ahead, with multiple lead changes throughout the quarter. Liatu King caught fire for Pittsburgh, scoring 7 points and helping the Panthers end the quarter with a 4-point lead.
Freshman guard Kierra Sanderlin started the fourth quarter scoring, hitting two threes to put Rutgers back ahead by 1 point. The Panthers and the Knights would continue to battle, with a layup and resulting free throw from graduate student forward Osh Brown tying the game with just under 3 minutes remaining.
Rutgers was held scoreless for the rest of the game, and Pittsburgh was able to hit free throws and take a lead that they would keep until the final buzzer.
Dickson led the Knights in scoring for the game, dropping 10 points to go along with her six rebounds and three assists. Graduate student guard Jailyn Mason added 8 points and a team-high four assists, while Brown scored 7 and tied Dickson’s high of six rebounds.
The Panthers were helped by the return of their leading scorer, Jayla Everett, who did not participate in the Paradise Jam. Everett came back and starred, scoring 18 points in 33 minutes of play. King and Amber Brown both finished with double-digit scoring, as Brown also contributed seven rebounds.
Rutgers has the weekend to rebound before facing No. 8 Maryland on Sunday. The Knights will host the game at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus at 2 p.m., with the broadcast taking place on Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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