Rutgers, college basketball
(Photo by Mark Carosiello - JSN)

Rutgers WBB Downs Northwestern

Rutgers Scarlet Knights women's basketball team faced off against Big Ten conference bottom dweller, Northwestern on Wednesday at Jersey Mike's Arena. Rutgers was able to secure the win after prolonged point deficits throughout the game.

The first quarter seemed to be moving in slow-motion, whether that be a good or bad thing... for almost half the time, the score remained at 0-0. With six minutes left in the first quarter, there is a total of six points on the board to kickstart this low scoring game. 

With just under four minutes left of the second quarter, Rutgers finally grasped a one point lead and hung on for a short minute just to go right back to a three-point deficit that cost them the half, leaving the courts with a score of 29-30.

The numerous turn overs and lack of effective rebounds was the definitive factor as to why the Scarlet Knights were consistently down by two or more points throughout all of the third quarter until the last thirty seconds when Rutgers shot a couple two-pointers to go up by two. Unfortunately for the Scarlet Knights, their fouls equated to tieing the game up.

With 3:30 on the click in the final minutes, Rutgers figured out how to put up six more points on the board than Northwestern, giving themselves opportunity to capitalize on their strengths and with less pressure than a deficit would allow. Points continue to rack up in Rutgers favor and all of a sudden they find themselves dug out of a hole and headed towards a win.

One thing is for certain, the girls are using the tools they have to really hone in on the fact that they are in the midst of a serious rebuild year. The Scarlet Knights have continued to be persistent on the court each and every time, whether it be three girls guarding the hoop to allow their shooter to make one of the few potential attempts. They are relentless in their teamwork and drive to be the best team, even when they do not quite have all the execution to prove this to be true. 

First year head coach, Coquese Washington goes into depth in regards to this very topic. “We try not to put success based on wins. I think that would be unfair to these kids because of the timing of everything,’’ she said. “You can’t come into the season basically in June or July and expect all these things to happen. So we’ve talked from day one about building the culture and laying the foundation." 

The Scarlet Knights conquered Northwestern with a convincing score of 62-48. The girls were excited that they were able to find a way to pull out a win well after the point in which things became too close for comfort. 

Junior and veteran, Chyna Cornwell gives good insight as to how her team was able to come out in the fourth quarter and outscore Northwestern 20-6. The turn around was an impressive display of will-power and determination.

“We just had to lockdown on defense and focus on our defensive principles, lots of communication on both offensive and defensive end, we had to run the floor harder and push the ball in the second half. It was also important to force the other team to have turnovers so we would be able to score off their turnovers. Basically we just focused on getting a lot of stops on the defensive end.”

Support your Scarlet Knights on Big Ten Plus for an away game at Wisconsin, February 20, 7 P.M.