Game 7: Rutgers Women’s Basketball at Iowa
Credit Source: Rutgers University Athletics
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers women’s basketball returns to Big Ten play on the road at Iowa on Thursday, Dec. 31 at 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT) on Big Ten Network+.
Scarlet Knights head coach C. Vivian Stringer returns to her old stomping grounds at Iowa, where she went 269-84 in 12 seasons as the Hawkeyes’ head coach with a trip to the Final Four in 1993. Stringer owns a conference-record 224 regular season Big Ten victories, which includes 169 wins at Iowa from 1983-95 and 55 at Rutgers (RU joined the Big Ten in 2014-15).
Stringer’s offense is firing on all cylinders, scoring 80 or more points in four consecutive games for the first time since the Hall of Fame coach took the reins in 1995 – the first time overall “On the Banks” since the 1990-91 squad scored 90-plus in five-straight. The historic offensive run has been powered by two-time reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Arella Guirantes, who became the third player in program history to record a triple-double last time out in the 84-41 victory over Manhattan.
|ON THE AIR|
- Watch on Big Ten Network+
- Listen on WRSU 88.7 FM (Play-by-play: Ronnie Wielenta and Brant Wolff)
- The Hawkeyes, similar to the Scarlet Knights, are receiving votes in both national Top 25 polls following their 5-1 start to the season, including going 1-1 in the early Big Ten slate. Iowa defeated Wisconsin, 85-78, at home before an 86-82 loss at Michigan State.
- Freshman Caitlin Clark leads the conference and ranks fourth nationally in scoring with 27.0 points per game. She is the second Big Ten freshman to win both the conference’s Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week awards simultaneously three separate times in a season. On the day before Guirantes’ triple-double, Clark recorded one with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Western Illinois. The freshman also ranks seventh in the nation with 7.0 assists per game.
- Iowa has two players averaging more than 20 points a game, with Monika Czinano (20.5ppg) joining Clark.
- The Hawkeyes are averaging 90.0 points per game, ranking seventh in the nation. They lead the Big Ten with an .803 mark from the free throw line.
TRIPLE DOUBLE: Arella Guirantes became just the third player in Rutgers history to record a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists in the win over Manhattan on Dec. 23. It was the first since Khadijah Rushdan in 2011 and just the sixth triple-double performance in the Rutgers record books – Hall of Famer Tasha Pointer recorded four. It was the fifth triple-double across the country this season, and the third in the Big Ten. Guirantes earned a second consecutive and fourth career Big Ten Player of the Week honor following the triple-double.
WATCH OUT: Redshirt senior guard Arella Guirantes, the returning Big Ten scoring champion, was selected the Big Ten Coaches Preseason Co-Player of the Year and was unanimously voted to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team by the coaches and media. She is on four national watch lists: the Wooden Award for Most Outstanding Player, the Naismith Trophy and Wade Trophy for National Player of the Year, and the Meyers Award for the top shooting guard.
RANKS: 16th in national scoring (23.0ppg), Top 5 in Big Ten in scoring, assists, blocks & steals
SHINE ON: True freshman Diamond Johnson, the No. 6 overall recruit in the nation according to ESPN, is one of 20 named to the Nancy Lieberman watch list for the country’s top point guard. The Neumann Goretti product earned Rutgers’ first ever Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor on Dec. 21 with 16.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game during a 2-1 week. Johnson has scored in double-figures in all six of her games, including 21 and 23 in the most recent back-to-back games.
THOU SHALL STEAL: Rutgers leads the country with 16.3 steals per game and is fourth in the nation in turnover margin at 10.2 through six games. RU’s 22 steals at Wisconsin were its most in a game since 23 against FDU in 2017 and the most in a conference game since 22 against Penn State in 2015.
THAT’S OFFENSIVE: Rutgers has scored 80 or more points in four consecutive games for the first time in the C. Vivian Stringer era “On the Banks” – the first time since the 1990-91 season. The Scarlet Knights rank seventh in the nation in scoring margin through six games at +34.3, scoring 86.0 points per game (17th in the nation).
F.A.M.I.L.Y.: In a complete team victory over Hampton on Dec. 18 (94-45), all 10 players who checked into the game scored at least one basket. RU passed out 25 assists, its most in a game in three years. RU has had at least four players score in double-figures in five consecutive games.
WELCOME TO THE B1G: Rutgers is one of the youngest teams in the nation with eight newcomers and 71 percent of the roster starting the season with two years experience or less in Division I. RU is one of just 32 teams across the nation with 10 or more players on the roster with two years experience or less.
IN THE POLLS: Rutgers began the season receiving votes in both national polls: 1 point in the AP media poll and 7 points in the coaches poll. RU is up to 6 points this week in the AP and 7 points in the coaches poll.
FUTURE IS NOW: C. Vivian Stringer and her staff have secured the No. 8 nationally ranked recruiting class for 2020 according to ESPN, led by the signing of No. 6 ranked prospect Diamond Johnson out of Neumann Goretti in Philadelphia, one of four recruits ranked in the Top 55 – Sakima Walker (#21), Chyna Cornwell (#48) and Liz Martino (#53). Blue Star Basketball ranks the class No. 5 in the nation.
- Rutgers has scored 80 or more points in four consecutive games for the first time since the 1990-91 squad scored 80-plus in five straight wins in January of a 23-7 campaign.
- RU’s 32 forced turnovers vs. SHU were the most in a game since forcing 38 against Penn State in 2014-15.
- Rutgers allowed just a .167 shooting percentage (4-28) by SHU, its lowest allowed in a game since Iona managed .167 (7-42) in 2011.
- RU had two 20-point scorers vs. SHU (Guirantes 25, Johnson 21) for the first time since the 2019-20 season opener at South Alabama (Guirantes 27, Mack 21).Rutgers’ 25 assists vs. Hampton were the most in a game since 25 vs. FDU on Dec. 20, 2017.
- Zippy Broughton’s points-assists double-double against Hampton (10pts, 10ast) was Rutgers’ first since Ciani Cryor (12pts, 11ast) vs. Maryland on Dec. 31, 2018. It was Rutgers’ best individual assists performance since Cryor’s 10 at Indiana on Feb. 18, 2019.
- RU’s 87 points against Maryland were the most scored on the Terps since 88 in 1978.
- RU’s 87 points against Maryland were Rutgers’ most in a Big Ten game since joining the conference in 2014-15 … and most in a conference game since 90 vs. Seton Hall in the Big East in 2013.
- Arella Guirantes has three career 30+ point games, all against Big Ten opponents.
- Guirantes’ 30+point double-double vs. Maryland was Rutgers’ first since Kahleah Copper had 30 and 10 against St. Joseph’s on Nov. 13, 2015.
- With Diamond Johnson at 17.5 points per game, a look at the Top 5 freshman scoring averages in team history:
- 1. Cappie Pondexter (02-03) – 18.3ppg
- 2. Patti Sikorski (76-77) – 15.8ppg
- T3. Kathy Glutz (76-77) – 15.5ppg
- T3. June Olkowski (78-79) – 15.5ppg
- 5. Sue Wicks (84-85) – 14.9 ppg
- Arella Guirantes: Triple-doubles (1st – 1)
- Team: Steals/gm (1st – 16.3)
- Team: Turnover margin (4th – 10.2)
- Team: Turnovers forced (5th – 24.7)
- Team: Scoring margin (7th – 34.3)
- Team: Scoring defense (10th – 51.7)
- Team: FG% (12th – .495)
- Arella Guirantes: Blocks/gm (14th – 2.7)
- Arella Guirantes: FT made (14th – 40)
- Arella Guirantes: Assists/gm (16th – 5.8)
- Arella Guirantes: Pts/gm (16th – 23.0)
- Team: Scoring offense (17th – 86.0)
- Team: FG% defense (17th – .322)
- Team: Blocks/gm (17th – 6.0)
- Team: FT% (23rd – .773)
- Arella Guirantes: Double-doubles (25th – 3)