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Rutgers women's basketball starts regular season against Hofstra

The Rutgers women's basketball team will begin its 2022-2023 season against Hofstra in Piscataway.  – Photo by RutgersWBB / Twitter

The Rutgers women’s basketball team will open up its 2022-23 season with a home matchup this morning against Hofstra at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus. The game against the Pride will be the first of four straight home games to open the season.

After finishing 13th in the Big Ten with an overall record of 11-20 and a conference record of 3-14, the Scarlet Knights won their first Big Ten Tournament matchup against Penn State but lost in the next round to Indiana. Rutgers will look to turn things around with an opening-day win against Hofstra.

The Knights will enter the season with a new head coach. With C. Vivian Stringer now retired after 27 seasons with Rutgers, Coquese Washington was named the team’s third full-time head coach in its 48-year history.

Washington will lead a team of eight players onto the court for the Knights. The team features graduate student guard Abby Streeter, senior guards Kai Carter and Awa Sidibe, senior center Kassondra Brown, junior guard Erica Lafayette, junior forward Chyna Cornwell and freshman guards Antonia Bates and Kaylene Smikle. The only returning players for Rutgers from last season are Sidibe, Lafayette and Cornwell.

Washington said that Lafayette and Carter would both open the season as point guards by committee.

“Between (Lafayette) and (Carter), they will handle a lot of the ball-handling duties,” Washington said. “They have adapted very well to having the ball in their hands and kind of controlling the tempo of the game and controlling the flow of the game.”

Last season, the Pride went 8-20, with an in-conference record of 4-14 and an away record of 2-13. Hofstra will have 13 players on its roster when they play against the Knights.

Rutgers will have two games in its opening week of play. After their contest against the Pride, the Knights will play Seton Hall on Friday and NJIT on Sunday.

Rutgers and Hofstra will tip off their first game together in 45 seasons at 11 a.m. The game will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network+ and 88.7 WRSU-FM. The game will be celebrated as Recess Day, as the program will welcome students from local elementary schools to ring in the new season.

“We haven’t had a game day, so who is going to shine? Who is going to have adjustments? And they haven’t seen me on game day. How do they respond to our coaching and all those things? So, the expectation really surrounds growth,” Washington said. “We have to focus on growing and getting better so we are playing our best basketball in March when it counts the most.”

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

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