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Rutgers women's basketball falls to No. 13 Maryland at home

Junior forward Chyna Cornwell and freshman guard Kaylene Smikle had strong outings but ultimately could not do enough to give the Rutgers women's basketball team the victory. – Photo by @RutgersWBB / Twitter

The Rutgers women’s basketball team was defeated by No. 13 Maryland in its first game of the New Year by a score of 78-67. The Scarlet Knights (6-10, 0-4) fell to the Terrapins (12-3, 3-1) despite outscoring them 23-11 in the fourth quarter. 

Guard Abby Meyers started the scoring for Maryland with two three-point shots. Meyers scored 14 points in the first quarter as the Terrapins outscored Rutgers 24-9. Maryland forced 11 turnovers in the first quarter. The Terrapins defense also managed to hold Rutgers to only eight shot attempts in the opening ten minutes of play. 

Despite the Knights slow start, they came out much more prepared in the second quarter and stayed within striking distance of Maryland. From the 5:32 mark to the 3:14 mark of the second quarter, both teams went on a non-stop scoring affair with Rutgers winning that small clash 10-7.

Overall, the Knights outscored the Terrapins 24-16 in the second frame, largely closing the gap that was made in the first. Rutgers set itself up for a comeback going into the second half, trailing the Terrapins 40-33

Coming back from halftime, Maryland reestablished its defensive dominance holding the Knights to just 11 points in the third quarter. The Terrapins came to life in the third closing the frame with a 67-44 lead.

While the Knights did outscore Maryland in the final frame 23-11, they were unable to fully close the gap and get the win over the nationally-ranked team. 

Four Terrapins hit double digit points by the game’s end. Meyers led the way with 22 points and four successful three-pointers. Guard Diamond Miller followed with 15 points for Maryland. Guards Shyanne Sellers and Lavender Briggs notched 12 and 10 points respectively. Briggs also led the team with 8 rebounds.

This win for the Terrapins keeps their incredible record against Rutgers going strong. Maryland has only fallen to the Knights once, making today its twelfth win against Rutgers since the two joined the Big Ten Conference back in 2014. 

Despite the loss, freshman guard Kaylene Smikle had another impressive outing. She scored 29 points for the Knights, her best total of the season so far. 

Rutgers will stay home and look to get its first Big Ten win against Nebraska this Saturday. The team will pay tribute to Theresa Grentz, the Knights' first full-time head coach, as well as celebrate 50 years of women’s sports at Rutgers University.

Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

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

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