The Rutgers women’s basketball team will see its season continue for at least one more day as it defeated Penn State 75-50 in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Scarlet Knights (11-19, 3-14) now move on to face the fifth-seeded Indiana tomorrow.
The first quarter was controlled by junior forward Tyia Singleton, who scored 8 points as Rutgers shot 47 percent. The Nittany Lions (11-18, 5-13) could not get the long-range jumper going, making just 1 of their 8 three-point attempts.
The second quarter saw both defenses step up, as the two teams started a combined 3 for 12 from the field. Leilani Kapinus gave Penn State the lead but was quickly countered by graduate student guard Shug Dickson’s three that started an 8-1 run for the Knights. Dickson finished off the quarter with a three-point play, and Rutgers took a 31-25 lead over the Nittany Lions going into the halftime break.
The best scoring defense in the Big Ten came out in Indianapolis, as Penn State was held to just 28 percent shooting from the field and 21 percent from behind the arc. The Knights contrasted this with an efficient performance, hitting 4 of their 7 threes and shooting 44 percent on field goals. Dickson matched Singleton with 8 points at the half, and graduate student forward Osh Brown pulled down nine first-half rebounds.
Rutgers came out hot in the second half, hitting its first three shot attempts and almost immediately doubling the lead. The Nittany Lions responded with two free throws, but the Knights started another 6-0 run and extended the lead to 16 less than 4 minutes into the third quarter.
Penn State’s offense was held in check again, missing its first ten shot attempts and six three-point attempts. They would end up shooting just 14 percent in the third as Rutgers outscored them 23-11, holding an 18-point lead going into the final 10 minutes. Brown almost scored more than the Nittany Lions herself with 9 points.
The fourth quarter saw more of the same from the Knights, opening up with a 6-0 run and truly putting the game out of reach with a 24-point lead. Rutgers was able to rest its starters for the final 5 minutes as it defeated Penn State for the second time this season.
Brown led the game with 18 points and added 13 rebounds for another double-double this season. Dickson and Singleton were the other two Knights to finish with double-digit scoring.
Rutgers will face off against the Hoosiers (19-7, 11-5) 25 minutes after the conclusion of the 11:30 a.m. game between Purdue and Michigan State. The game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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