Women’s Basketball Gets Ranked Road Win at No. 21/20 Northwestern
Credit Source: Rutgers University Athletics
Four Scarlet Knights score 14 or more in the double-digit victory, Rutgers’ first win in Evanston
EVANSTON, Ill. – Rutgers women’s basketball (7-3, 3-3) defeated No. 21/20 Northwestern (11-4, 9-4) on the road Thursday evening, 70-54, for its first victory in Evanston and its first ranked road win since December 2018.
The Scarlet Knights had four players score 14 or more points, led by a career-high 17 from redshirt sophomore center Tyia Singleton, who shot 7-of-9 from the floor. Quarters one through three saw Rutgers up one, tied, then up three before cementing the statement win and outscoring the Wildcats 23-10 in the fourth quarter.
“I’m proud of my work in the practice gym,” Singleton said. “We wouldn’t be Rutgers without a presence in the post. I put that weight on my shoulders, and I know it would be hard to win without me stepping up. I took my time, focused on layups and the fundamentals. My team trusts me, and that’s something we need to be successful.”
Before Rutgers’ fourth quarter flurry, the game had been tied six times with 13 lead changes. Rutgers held Northwestern without a field goal in their final 11 attempts from the floor, a span of 4:22, while using a 12-1 run to ice the game.
The Wildcats were the reigning espnW Team of the Week and were winners of three straight and seven of their last eight.
“We are excited, happy and appreciative that everyone worked extremely hard and everyone made major contributions,” said head coach C. Vivian Stringer. “It wasn’t any one person. Everyone wanted to eat, and everyone came to the table. As we head toward March, we need that level of confidence every game.”
Tekia Mack grabbed her fifth career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Arella Guirantes netted 15 and Diamond Johnson scored 14 on the strength of 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Mael Gilles, Guirantes and Johnson all had five assists, with career-high marks from Gilles (a senior forward) and Johnson (a freshman point guard).
The Scarlet Knights outrebounded the Wildcats, 36-27, and outscored the home team in the paint, 30-20. Fifteen of RU’s 25 field goals were assisted in a complete team victory that saw each team only turn the ball over 11 times. Northwestern and Rutgers came into the game at first and second, respectively, in turnover margin in the Big Ten.
Singleton’s career offensive day kept the game tight in the first half as the redshirt sophomore poured in 10 of her career-high 17 in the first 20 minutes. Northwestern had its largest lead of the first half, 28-22, with 1:17 ahead of the midpoint before Guirantes erased it in just 22 seconds on a pair of successful three-point plays. She would add her third three-point play of the game halfway through the third quarter for a 41-38 advantage.
That play, coupled with four straight points from Gilles to cap a 7-0 run, gave RU the lead for good. Mack netted nine of her 16 in the final quarter, while she and the rest of the defense took care of the rest.
The Scarlet Knights play another Big Ten contest on the road at Purdue on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. on Big Ten Network+.
- This marks Rutgers’ first ranked win on the road since defeating No. 4 Maryland on Dec. 31, 2018 by a score of 73-65.
- One game after setting a career-high in rebounds (11), Tyia Singleton recorded a career-high with 17 points, surpassing her previous best of 14 from Dec. 20 of this season vs. Sacred Heart.
- Diamond Johnson has scored in double-digits in all 10 games and now ranks in the Top 5 nationally with her .500 three-point shooting (26-of-52).
- Tekia Mack grabbed her first double-double of the season and fifth of her career.
- Mael Gilles (senior forward) and Diamond Johnson (freshman point guard) each had a career-high five assists.
- Arella Guirantes has 1,504 career points, the 13th most of any player to wear the Scarlet Knights uniform.
- Arella Guirantes has made 23 consecutive free throws. She made her final attempt against Manhattan then went a perfect 22-of-22 in her last four games.
- Rutgers had four players score in double-figures for the sixth time in 10 games. RU previously had five games in a row with four or more in double-figures from Dec. 11-23.
- Northwestern now leads the series, 6-5 overall and 5-3 as regular season Big Ten opponents. This was Rutgers’ first win in a Northwestern home game in five tries.
- Holding the Wildcats under their scoring average of 73.2, Rutgers has accomplished that feat in nine of 10 games this season and in 95 of its last 104 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 third time this season.