Skip to content

Rutgers women's basketball team takes on No. 14 Michigan, Michigan State in pivotal week

The Rutgers women's basketball team has won 2 out of its last 3 conference games and enters a make-or-break portion of the season that starts against No. 14 Michigan. – Photo by

The Rutgers women’s basketball team will enter a pivotal week of games after splitting its road trip against Minnesota and Maryland last week. The Scarlet Knights (8-11, 2-5) will play against Michigan at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus tomorrow. Afterward, Rutgers will hit the road again to take on Michigan State this Sunday.

The Knights have played fairly well as of late after defeating Nebraska and earning their first conference victory of the season under head coach Coquese Washington. Rutgers traveled to the Williams Arena in Minneapolis and took down the Golden Gophers (8-10, 1-6) in one of its best team victories this season.

The Knights, unfortunately, fell to the then-No. 9 Terrapins (14-4, 5-2) last weekend 80-56 but still produced solid numbers against a talented team. Rutgers did not lose a quarter by more than 9 points during the night.

It is clear that the Knights are still fighting despite their overall losing record. That fight will continue against two more Big Ten rivals: the No. 14 Wolverines (15-3, 5-2) and the Spartans (10-8, 2-5).

Michigan is currently tied for the third-best overall record in the Big Ten and has remained a contender for the conference championship. The Wolverines have scored an average of 76.7 points per game (PPG) while allowing opponents to score 60.6 PPG. Michigan makes just less than half of its field goals with a 48 percent field goal average and makes more than one-third of its shots from the arc with a 34.9 percent three-point percentage.

Three players scored at least 16 PPG for the Wolverines. Forward Emily Kiser leads the team with 17.2 PPG, guard Laila Phelia is second on the team in PPG with 16.3 and guard Leigha Brown rounds out the trio with an average of 16 points.

Kiser also leads the team with seven rebounds per game, whereas Brown leads the team in total assists with 98, outpacing the second-team leader in assists by 42. Phelia, with a 40.3 three-point percentage, poses a three-point threat. All three players have the potential to make a big impact for Michigan.

The Wolverines defeated Michigan State this past Saturday 70-55. While Michigan has proved to be a better team than the Spartans so far this season, Michigan State has proven to be at least a little challenging with its more than .500 winning percentage and an 83-78 win over No. 6 Indiana.

The Spartans have averaged 79.9 PPG while allowing opponents to score 63.3 PPG. Michigan State shoots 43.5 percent from the field and 33.6 from beyond the arc. The Spartans have three players with a field goal percentage of at least 53 percent.

Guard Kamaria McDaniel leads Michigan State in PPG with 14.3 while guard Matilda Ekh follows with an average of 12.9 PPG. Ekh also has a strong free throw percentage with a near-perfect 91.3 success rate from the stripe.

This upcoming slate of games could be the most pivotal for Rutgers yet. The Knights will face off against the Wolverines tomorrow in Piscataway with tip-off scheduled for 8:30 p.m. That game will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network as well as 88.7 WRSU-FM.

Rutgers will then head to the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan, to take on the Spartans on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. with the game being broadcasted on Big Ten Network+ as well as 88.7 WRSU-FM.

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

Related Articles

Join our newsletterSubscribe