Scarlet Knights WBB Drops Second Straight
The Rutgers women’s basketball team dropped its second consecutive game on Thursday night, falling to the Michigan State Spartans 57-53 in East Lansing. The Scarlet Knights have now dropped five out of their last seven games. The Scarlet Knights continued to struggle in several areas, but their inability to protect a lead was their ultimate downfall.
The Scarlet Knights continue to struggle on the offensive end of the ball. The Scarlet Knights were held under their scoring average for the second consecutive game. Rutgers shot 44.2% from the field, yet only managed to put up 53 points. The Scarlet Knights continued to struggle with their three-point shooting, going just 1 of 6 from beyond the arc. On top of that, Rutgers did not manage to score a point off the bench.
Additionally, the Scarlet Knights continued to struggle on the road. Rutgers has now dropped four straight road games and fall to 5-5 away from home on the season.
Protecting the Lead
The biggest issue for Rutgers came with its inability to hold a lead at the most crucial point of the game. The Scarlet Knights led for 35:10 of the 40-minute game, with a 12-point lead being their largest of the game. The Scarlet Knights have excelled defensively all season long, yet their inability to close out the Spartans was their downfall.
The turning point of the game came when a 10-0 run turned a six-point deficit into a four-point lead for Michigan State. The Spartans run was fueled by their three-point shooting as they made nine three-pointers, including clutch shots down the stretch.
On the bright side for the Scarlet Knights, Jordan Wallace erupted for a career-high 19 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Arella Guirantes was held in check but still managed to put up 12 points with four rebounds and two assists. Additionally, the Scarlet Knights continued their dominance in the paint, outscoring the Spartans, 36-14, down low. Rutgers has outscored opponents in the paint in 21 of 24 games.
The Scarlet Knights will return home for a meeting with Michigan on Sunday at 12 p.m. at the RAC. Rutgers will look to avenge its loss to the Wolverines back on January 26.
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