Eight Straight! Women’s Hoops Sweeps Penn State
Scarlet Knights have their longest conference winning streak since 2004-05
Credit Source: Rutgers University Athletics
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Four Scarlet Knights scored in double-figures as Rutgers women’s basketball (13-3, 9-3) battled from behind in a 74-56 victory over Penn State (9-13, 6-12) on Tuesday evening, marking Rutgers’ first eight-game conference winning streak since 2004-05.
Rutgers holds firmly to a Top 4 position in the Big Ten standings, which would secure a double-bye in the conference tournament next week in Indianapolis. If no other makeup games are added beyond Rutgers’ regular season finale on Friday against No. 22/20 Ohio State, the Scarlet Knights will have already clinched that double-bye.
The defense also continued a streak not seen since the 2007 National Championship runner-up season, holding a seventh consecutive conference opponent under 60 points.
Arella Guirantes scored a game-high 21 with seven assists, Tekia Mack grabbed a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds to go with four assists, three steals and three blocks, Mael Gilles chipped in 15, and Diamond Johnson netted 14 in the victory.
Rutgers shot 12-of-12 from the free-throw line, and once again locked down the Nittany Lions defensively with 12 steals and nine blocked shots. RU also outdid PSU on the glass, 38-28.
“We’re excited, happy and proud with how our team responded, including the bench with how they were cheering us on,” said head coach C. Vivian Stringer. “We could count on everyone to contribute. We have a cautious optimism and a great belief in ourselves. We are in condition. Whatever we ask of this team, they will do it.”
The Scarlet Knights erased their largest deficit of the season in the win, as the Nittany Lions were out to avenge Sunday’s setback in the first quarter, making 5-of-7 from three-point range and storming out to a 16-2 lead.
Rutgers immediately erased the shortfall to start the second quarter on an 14-0 rally, starting with Guirantes’ triple to end the first, and ending with Diamond Johnson’s three and Gilles’ jumper putting RU in front, 23-21. Penn State only managed a 24 percent mark from the floor in the second, as Rutgers closed out the half strong on defense with seven blocks and seven steals at the break.
After the 16-2 deficit, RU outscored PSU 72-40 to close out the game and continue the winning streak into March.
The Scarlet Knights close out the regular season at home against No. 22/20 Ohio State on Senior Day – Friday, March 5 at 8 p.m., airing live on ESPN.
- Rutgers has its first eight-game winning streak in the Big Ten and first eight-game conference winning streak since the 2005-06 team went 16-0 in the Big East before making the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
- Rutgers held its seventh Big Ten foe in a row under 60 points. That is the longest streak in league play since the 2006-07 National Championship runner-up squad did it eight times consecutively in the Big East.
- RU had four players score in double-figures for the eighth time this season.
- Tekia Mack grabbed her second double-double of the season, and fifth of her career.
- Tekia Mack grabbed three steals and continues to rank third in the nation with her 3.3 steals per game.
- Arella scored 20+ for the ninth time this season, and 27th time in her career.
- Arella Guirantes has 1,626 career points, the 11th most of any player to wear the Scarlet Knights uniform.
- RU leads the Big Ten with 55.8 points allowed per game and a 22.3 average scoring margin.
- RU has outscored opponents in the paint in 15 of 16 games this season.
- RU improves to 10-0 when holding the lead at half.
- Rutgers leads the all-time series, 30-18, and 11-1 in Big Ten regular season contests. The Scarlet Knights have won six-straight over the Nittany Lions.
- Holding the Nittany Lions under their scoring average of 74.1, Rutgers has accomplished that feat in 15 of 16 games this season and in 102 of its last 111 since the start of the 2017-18 season.
- C. Vivian Stringer rolled out the Starting Five of Diamond Johnson, Arella Guirantes, Mael Gilles, Tekia Mack and Tyia Singleton for the ninth time this season in consecutive games.