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Rutgers women's basketball holds on to defeat North Carolina Central

The Rutgers women's basketball team controlled most of the game against North Carolina Central, claiming the program's third win of the season in a 21-point victory. – Photo by

The Rutgers women’s basketball team hosted North Carolina Central tonight for a midweek matchup. The Scarlet Knights (3-1, 0-0) took the victory over the Eagles (1-3, 0-0) for their second win in a row at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus, giving them another winning record for their first homestand of the season. 

Rutgers got on the board first and did not let up after that. The Knights dominated most of the game, never letting North Carolina Central take the lead or even get close.

Rutgers went into halftime with a 35-17 lead, allowing the Eagles to only score 7 points in the second.

The Knights were able to take control of the game for the first two quarters. They controlled most of the pace and forced several turnovers to keep North Carolina Central from scoring while they were able to rack up the points.

Going into the final 20 minutes of play, the Eagles really started to spark. Their defense started to come alive, and in the third, they outscored Rutgers. 

North Carolina Central started to close the gap even further in the final frame, with a shot from Aniya Finger getting the team within 9 points with 5 minutes left to play. 

This closeness gave the Knights the sense of urgency that they needed to get back into the game both offensively and defensively and started playing smarter, going back to controlling the Eagles.

A turnover made possible by senior center Kassondra Brown gave the Knights a double-digit lead. After that, Rutgers started to run away with the game, not letting the opponent get a chance to come back. 

The Knights took the victory with a 66-45 final over North Carolina Central.

Senior guard Awa Sidibe was the superstar of the night, collecting 18 points, six assists and six rebounds. Sidibe also went 2-2 at the free throw line. 

Alongside Sidibe, junior guard Erica Lafayette and freshman guard Kaylene Smikle each had 12 points a piece, providing a big hand in the win. 

Over the last few games, the core of this team is really starting to be sewn together and showing that the group can compete despite the small number of athletes on the roster. 

Rutgers will play again this weekend in the Bahamas in the Battle 4 Atlantis, facing off with Tennessee on Saturday at noon.

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

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