Rutgers Women’s Basketball: Scarlet Knights vs. Nittany Lions Preview
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are in their worst stretch of the season so far, losing three of their last four. They look to get back on track when they face Penn State on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
It will be the 46th meeting all-time between the two teams with Rutgers leading the series, 27-18. Since joining the Big Ten, the Scarlet Knights have won eight of nine matchups between the two.
The Scarlet Knights defeated the Nittany Lions, 62-57, in University Park in their only meeting so far this season. A victory on Thursday would secure the third season sweep of the Nittany Lions since joining the Big Ten.
The Scarlet Knights hold the advantage in almost every major category so far this season. Rutgers (16-5) holds a clear advantage over struggling Penn State (7-15) in terms of record. The Nittany Lions have lost seven straight coming into Thursday nights matchup.
In terms of statistics, the Scarlet Knights hold the advantage in points per game, points per game allowed, and field goal percentage. Additionally, Rutgers leads in rebounds per game, assists per game, turnovers per game, steals per game, and blocks per game. Penn State only manages to lead in two categories, three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
Keys to Victory
Balanced Scoring: Rutgers is 16-2 so far this season when three or more players score in double figures. That second loss came on Sunday in Minnesota. Despite three players scoring in double figures, the Scarlet Knights still found themselves on the losing end. Outside of their top three scorers, the remaining Scarlet Knights tallied only 19 total points.
The Golden Gophers did a solid job of limiting Arella Guirantes throughout that game. In order for the Scarlet Knights to get back on track, they need to find more scoring throughout the lineup.
Home Dominance: The Scarlet Knights are 9-2 at home so far this season. In contrast, the Nittany Lions are only 1-6 away from University Park. Rutgers is 35-7 overall at home over the last three seasons. The Scarlet Knights look to continue their domination at home on Thursday night.
Rebounding: In their loss on Sunday, the Scarlet Knights were outrebounded, 50-43, by the Golden Gophers. Taiye Bello pulled in 22 of those rebounds herself. Rutgers cannot allow another dominating performance down low if it hopes to get back on track.
Despite Sunday’s performance, the Scarlet Knight have excelled in the rebounding department so far this season. Rutgers is averaging 40 rebounds per game and outrebounding opponents by an average of 4.1 rebounds per game.
Following their matchup with the Nittany Lions, the Scarlet Knights will travel to College Park for a meeting with No. 13 Maryland on Sunday at 12 p.m.
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