The Rutgers women’s basketball team was able to keep the score close in an 82-70 loss against Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights (4-6, 0-1) played their first Big Ten matchup of the season on a day honoring and naming the Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus court after Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer.
The No. 4 Buckeyes (8-0, 1-0) came into Piscataway at the top of the Big Ten standings. They defeated 5 of their first 7 opponents by at least 30 points but only defeated Rutgers by 12 points.
At the 5:26 mark of the first quarter, junior guard Erica Lafayette made a jumper to make the score 5-4 in favor of Ohio State. From then on, the Buckeyes went on a 15-2 run to end the first quarter. Two different Ohio State players scored successful shots from beyond the arc.
The second quarter opened up with back-and-forth scoring possessions. At the 8:29 mark, the Buckeyes were up 27-10 over the Knights.
Rutgers trailed Ohio State by 1 point, 23-22, in second-quarter points and were down to the Buckeyes 43-28 at the half. Freshman guard Kaylene Smikle made a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the first half of play on a high note for the Knights.
Throughout the third quarter, Rutgers was able to prevent Ohio State from taking over the game. At the 3:25 mark, senior guard Kai Carter hit two back-to-back free throws to give the Knights an 8-point deficit as they trailed the Buckeyes 53-45. Rutgers led Ohio State in third-quarter points, 21-18.
The fourth quarter featured much of the same tempo. The Knights kept the Buckeyes from a larger lead but ultimately could not make stops and were unable to find the right momentum for the win. Turnovers hurt Rutgers as Ohio State led in the game in the category 21-10.
Forward Rebeka Mikulášiková led the Buckeyes in with 31 points and six rebounds. She was 11-for-16 on field goal attempts. Smikle led the Knights in points for yet another game with 21 on the afternoon.
Overall, Rutgers shot 49.1 percent from the field while shooting 27.8 percent from beyond the arc. On the flip side, Ohio State shot 53.4 percent from the field with a 42.1 three-point percentage.
The Knights will next face off against their second Big Ten opponent in an away matchup against Illinois. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois, and will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network+ and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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