Are Kassandra Brown and Destiny Adams Invaluable?
Unfortunately, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-18) after coming off a nail-biting victory against Nebraska Huskers (15-8) couldn’t follow suit against the Maryland Terrapins (13-10), 67-59. Initially, the Scarlet Knights were still being forced to compete without their leading scorer, Kaylene Smikle, forcing them to rely on some of their other key players. This season, star forward Destiny Adams has helped bring another dimension to this team. The Knights being plagued with injuries all season, forced others like Adams and senior Kassondra Brown to step up on both sides of the ball.
“Early in the game, we went to that lineup [small ball lineup] because of the foul trouble, but it worked a little,” Rutgers head coach Coquese Washington explained. “We have confidence in all nine of our players, so whatever lineup seems to be working at that particular moment is what we will end up going with.”
Normally, Brown has come off the bench, however the spark she brings is invaluable. Due to teams focusing on her triple-threat scoring, she naturally helps her teammates get easier looks. Yet, in this game, Brown didn’t get much opportunity to be as impactful as she’s proven in the past. It was clear, that the Terrapins came out with a game plan to mitigate and apply pressure on her early, ultimately leading to early foul trouble. Naturally, this limited her minutes until the final quarter where she proved to be very efficient and effective.
“Tonight, they [Maryland] were very tough in the paint and tough on the glass and they were aggressive drawing fouls,” Washington stated. “I thought Maryland’s aggressiveness helped them get to the free-throw line, especially late in the game.”
Final Stretch for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Before the B1G Ten tournament, the Scarlet Knights have three home games remaining and three games on the road. Despite being injured all season, the Scarlet Knights look to build on the season moving forward as they acquire more and more talent. The foundation of the Knights appears to be set and Washington has successfully built a culture for future recruiting classes to follow.
Veteran players like Brown and center Chyna Cornwell allow space for young players to grow and follow. Brown is said to have tremendous energy and respect among the women on the team. The respect the coaches and her peers have for her speaks volumes and only increases in how she impacts the game while on the court. She not only leads by example but she also leads by providing wisdom and guidance to younger players.
What’s Next for Rutgers?
Rutgers will be back on the road for a rematch against Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.
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