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Rutgers women's basketball goes winless in Battle 4 Atlantis

Senior guard Kai Carter and the Rutgers women's basketball team had a difficult weekend in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, going 0-3. – Photo by Rutgers W.Basketball / Twitter

The Rutgers women’s basketball team dropped three straight games at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament at Paradise Island, Bahamas. The Scarlet Knights (3-4, 0-0) were outplayed by Tennessee in a 94-54 game on Saturday, lost to South Dakota State by a score of 75-56 yesterday and were defeated by Texas by a score of 82-44 this evening.

In Saturday’s game, the No. 23 Lady Volunteers (2-4, 0-0) started off hot with a 7-0 lead. Rutgers’ first basket came at the 7:45 mark when senior center Kassondra Brown hit a layup. The Knights ended the first quarter with 6 straight points but were still down 22-15. 

From then on, Tennessee took over and ended the second quarter on a high note when Jasmine Powell hit her fourth three-pointer of the half to extend the Volunteers' lead to 52-28 when both teams went to the locker room.

Rutgers had a tough third quarter as Tennessee outscored the Knights 30-4. When time expired, Rutgers saw its first real blowout of the season, losing by 40.

The following day, the Knights kept the first quarter close with the Jackrabbits (4-2, 0-0) yesterday but were still down 16-14 with freshman guard Kaylene Smikle scoring 8 of those points. Rutgers took its first lead of the day when Smikle hit a three-pointer at the 7-minute mark of the second quarter to make the score 22-21. 

South Dakota State took back the lead less than 2 minutes later and would keep that lead heading into halftime, up 32-26.

The Jackrabbits opened up the second half with 8 straight points off of two baskets from Paiton Burckhard and a three-pointer from Tori Nelson. By the end of the quarter, South Dakota State led by 22 points and was up over the Knights 56-34.

By the end of the game, Rutgers lessened the deficit to 19 but ended up losing the program's second straight game in the Bahamas. Smikle led all scorers with 22 points while senior guard Kai Carter added 6 points and four rebounds.

Early in today’s matchup, the Knights led the No. 19 Longhorns (2-3, 0-0) 4-2 until the 6:11 mark of the first quarter when Texas knotted it back up. Less than a minute later, Taylor Jones gave the Longhorns a 6-4 lead, and Texas would extend that lead to 13-9 when the first-quarter buzzer sounded.

The Longhorns scored 8 straight points to open up the second quarter, and Texas was up 21-9 at the 8:02 mark. By the first half’s end, Rutgers was down 32-20 to the Longhorns.

Texas carried its momentum into the third quarter as the team did not let the Knights creep back into the game. By the end of the third quarter, the Longhorns led by 53-37. 

Any efforts for a Rutgers comeback were not to be as the Knights scored just 7 points in the fourth quarter. Texas ended up winning by 38 points. 

Smikle led Rutgers in points in all three contests with 16 points against the Volunteers, 22 points against the Jackrabbits and 9 points against the Longhorns.

The Knights will next play against Cornell this Sunday at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus with tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network+ as well as 88.7 WRSU-FM.

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

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