Rutgers Women’s Basketball: Scarlet Knights vs. Michigan Wolverines Preview
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights will be more than happy to return home to the RAC on Sunday afternoon after dropping two straight on the road. The Scarlet Knights return for a matchup with the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday at noon. It will be the second meeting of the season between the two teams. Michigan took home the victory in the first meeting, 71-57, in Ann Arbor back on January 26th. The Scarlet Knights will look to avenge that loss on Sunday and split the season series between the two.
Since their last meeting, the Scarlet Knights have gone just 2-3, while the Wolverines have gone 3-2, including a win over 18th ranked Iowa. This will be the ninth meeting all-time between the two teams, with Rutgers leading the series, 5-3. The home team has won the last five matchups between the two. Michigan has won three of the last four overall. This one will be a matchup between offensive firepower and defensive will.
The Wolverines lead in almost every offensive category between the two, while the Scarlet Knights hold the advantage in every defensive category. Michigan holds a better scoring offense, shooting percentage, and three-point shooting percentage than Rutgers, in addition to also recording more assists. On the other end, the Scarlet Knights own a better scoring defense while recording more rebounds per game, steals per game, and blocks per game. Notably, the Scarlet Knights also average less turnovers than the Wolverines.
Keys to Victory
Controlling Michigan’s Offense: The Michigan Wolverines hold the 48th best scoring offense in the nation, averaging 72.2 points per game. That, combined with the 16th best shooting percentage in the nation, makes their offense a lethal weapon. However, the Scarlet Knights are built for stopping high powered offenses.
The Scarlet Knights enter the matchup with the 19th best scoring defense in the country, only allowing 55.4 points per game. Rutgers also holds the 8th best field goal percentage defense in the nation, allowing opponents to shoot only 34% from the field. It appears the Scarlet Knights are the perfect counter for the dangerous Michigan offense. However, Rutgers struggled mightily in its last game with a top offensive team in Maryland. If the Scarlet Knights hope to get back on track, their vaunted defense is going to have to step up on Sunday.
Arella Guirantes: Arella Guirantes is the 23rd leading scorer in the nation, with 19.1 points per game. She has consistently carried Rutgers to victory all season long. However, Guirantes has struggled slightly of late, failing to reach her season average in three of the last four. If the Scarlet Knights hope to defeat the Wolverines, Guirantes may have to put the team on her back.
Home Dominance: Despite all the struggles Rutgers has had of late, including losing five of their last seven, the RAC has been their saving grace all season. The Scarlet Knights are 10-2 at home so far this season and have lost only one game at the RAC in 2020. Rutgers is in the midst of its worst stretch of the season. A return home may be just what the team needs to rekindle its spark.
Following their matchup with the Wolverines, the Scarlet Knights will head out to Evanston for a matchup with Northwestern on Wednesday at 8 p.m. After that, the Scarlet Knights will return home for three straight games.
Latest posts by Robert Laura (see all)
- Scarlet Knights Fall in Big Ten Quarterfinal - March 6, 2020
- Scarlet Knights Take Down Wisconsin to Advance to Quarterfinals - March 5, 2020
- Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament: Scarlet Knights vs. Wisconsin Badgers Preview - March 4, 2020
- Scarlet Knights Take Down No. 18 Iowa in Overtime Thriller - March 1, 2020