PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Rutgers women's basketball team closes out its current road swing meeting the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the lone meeting between the two schools on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 8 p.m. (ET).
|Game Eighteen: Nebraska (4-12, 0-4 Big Ten)
|Date||Tuesday, Jan. 10|
|Time||8 p.m. EST|
|Location||Pinnacle Bank Arena | Lincoln, Neb.|
|Live Stats||Live Stats|
|Game Notes||Rutgers | Nebraska | Big Ten|
|Stats||Rutgers | Nebraska|
B1G TRIP CONTINUES
The Rutgers women’s basketball team will be looking to put Saturday’s loss at Illinois behind them when they take on Nebraska in the lone meeting with the Cornhuskers on Tuesday night.
The Scarlet Knights suffered a 78-41 loss to the Fighting Illini at State Farm Arena in Champaign, Illinois on Saturday afternoon to snap a two-game win streak. Three Scarlet Knights finished in double figures with Shrita Parker, Kandiss Barber and Desiree Keeling all finishing with 11 points. Keeling was short of her second career double-double ending the game with nine rebounds.
The Cornhuskers enter Tuesday’s game at 4-12 overall and 0-4 in Big Ten play. Nebraska is coming off a 93-73 loss at Michigan State on Saturday and will be looking to snap a six-game losing streak and pick up its first conference win of the season. The Cornhuskers’ last victory was an 83-61 decision against San Jose State on Dec. 9.
Nebraska is led by 2016 Big Ten Rookie of the Year, Jessica Sheppard. Sheppard, a sophomore forward, is averaging a double-double at 18.0 ppg and 10.4 rpg. Sheppard is eighth in the conference in scoring and second in rebounding, sitting behind Nia Coffey of Northwestern (11.2 rpg).
Freshman guard Nicea Eliely is the Cornhuskers’ second-leading scorer at 8.0 ppg.
LAST TIME VS. NEBRASKA
The tenth-seeded Rutgers women’s basketball team rallied from a nine-point fourth quarter deficit and reclaimed the lead in the final minute of Big Ten Second Round Tournament game to get past Nebraska, 66-63, on March 3, 2016.
Shrita Parker reset her career best with 18 points, with her previous high of 14 also set against the Cornhuskers. Kahleah Copper followed with 17 points, while Tyler Scaife rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points in the win. Rachel Hollivay finished with a game-high ten rebounds.
Nebraska was led by Natalie Romeo with a game-best 23 points, 21 of which came from three-point range. Allie Havers followed with 16 points in the loss.
Rutgers and Nebraska opened the first quarter trading points, but the Scarlet Knights were able to hold the edge on the scoreboard, extending its lead to 10-6 midway through the frame. After nearly two scoreless minutes for the Huskers, Romeo connected on a 3-pointer to bring the margin to 10-9 with 4:12 to go in the quarter. However, Scaife responded with a jumper to ignite a 13-0 run for RU to close out the first and extend its edge to 23-9.
Although the teams would continue to trade points, RU held at least an 11-point edge through the first three minutes of the second frame. The Huskers would cut the margin to 26-18 with a three-pointer from Esther Ramacieri at the 5:14 minute mark. The Scarlet Knights re-extended its edge to 28-18 on a three-point play from Copper.
Nebraska, however, would go on to generate a 13-2 surge capped by three consecutive three-pointers for Romeo, which tied the score at 31-31 with 2:09 to go in the second quarter. Khadaizha Sanders halted the Cornhusker run with a 3-pointer of her own to put RU back in front 34-31 with 1:38 to go.
Rutgers would hold on to its edge, 34-33, entering the locker room for halftime.
Although RU would strike first in the third frame on a jumper from Victoria Harris, Nebraska established a 6-2 burst on two Romeo buckets from beyond the arc. Romeo’s three-pointers gave the Huskers their first edge of the night at 39-38 with 6:09 to go in the third quarter.
Despite Nebraska going on to lead by as many as six points on two occasions, RU was able to cut the deficit to two, 48-46, on back-to-back baskets from Parker with 1:18 to go in the third. The Huskers tacked on two free throws to end the third quarter to hold on to a 50-46 lead.
Trailing 58-50 at the 7:22 minute mark of the fourth quarter, a 3-pointer from Parker ignited a 7-0 run for RU, bringing the Scarlet Knights within one, 58-57, with 5:03 remaining on the clock. However, Romeo hit her seventh 3-pointer of the night to push the Scarlet Knight gap back to four at 61-57 with 4:32 to go.
Rutgers never let up, using a 7-2 run to reclaim the lead at 64-63 with 1:12 remaining. The Scarlet Knights went ahead for the first time since the midway point of the third quarter.
The defense held strong in the games waning seconds, as Parker tacked on two free throws to push the lead to 66-63. It was Cornhusker ball with three seconds remaining, but Romeo’s three-pointer was off the mark. Briyona Canty grabbed the rebound to seal the win.
Rutgers, which hasn’t been primarily known for it’s 3-point shooting prowess, has certainly been hot from downtown as of late.
Against Penn State on New Year’s Eve and Wisconsin on Jan. 4, the Scarlet Knights combined to go 18-of-26 and shoot 50% from long distance. Notably, in those two games, RU went 6-of-8 from 3-point range in the fourth quarter.
NEWS FROM DOWNTOWN
Rutgers had one of it’s best night’s from beyond the arc in recent memory in the 68-52 victory over Wisconsin on Jan. 4.
The Scarlet Knights hit 11 3-pointers, the most made 3-point field goals since RU connected on 12 back on Dec. 7, 2006 at DePaul.
The 11 shots from downtown are also the most by the Scarlet Knights in RAC history and ties the RAC WBB record set by Providence when the Friars drilled 11 3-pointers on Jan. 2, 1996.
Four different Scarlet Knights sank shots from long range against the Badgers led by KK Sanders’ four 3-pointers, which ties RU’s season high.
RU also had another notable long range game earlier this season. After shooting just 13.3% (2-of-15) from 3-point range at Wake Forest on Nov. 17, the Scarlet Knights showcased their 3-point prowess in the following game at Virginia. Rutgers went 8-of-16 (.500) against the Cavaliers on Nov. 20.
Leading the way against the Cavs was sophomore Aliyah Jeune, who knocked down four of her eight attempts from downtown. It was the most 3-pointers made by a Scarlet Knights since Shrita Parker drained four against Ohio State (1-24-16) and Tyler Scaife at Saint Joseph’s (11-13-15).
Also recently, the Scarlet Knights hit seven shots from long range (7-of-17) in the Big Ten home opening win over Penn State.
3pt FG Made in Game Since 2002-03
12 - at DePaul - December 7, 2006
11 - Wisconsin - January 4, 2017
10 - Kean - December 15, 2010
10 - Seton Hall - March 7, 2009
10 - Syracuse - March 1, 2008
10 - at LSU - April 1, 2007
10 - Florida - November 28, 2006
9 - Louisville - January 14, 2012
9 - Robert Morris - March 22, 2008
9 - vs. Cincinnati - February 3, 2007
8 - Virginia - November 20, 2016
8 - at St. Joseph’s - November 13, 2015
8 - USF - February 26, 2013
8 - Iona - December 18, 2011
8 - at UConn - March 7, 2011
8 - at Marquette - February 19, 2011
8 - St. John’s - January 5, 2008
8 - Michigan State - March 20, 2007
8 - North Florida - November 25, 2005
8 - Princeton - December 8, 2004
RU DEFENSE ON THE B1G OFFENSE
Rutgers tackled the Big Ten’s top offense in Michigan in its Big Ten opener on Dec. 28. While the Wolverines emerged with the 63-50 win, Michigan had entered the contest averaging 81.0 ppg.
Michigan’s 63 points were the fewest scored by the Wolverines in a victory this season. The previous low was 66 in a 66-44 win over Western Michigan on Nov. 21.
Shrita Parker has been on fire the last four games, including tying her career-high with 18 points vs. Penn State in the Big Ten home opener on Dec. 31.
In the last four games, the junior guard has averaged 15.0 ppg.
Against the Lady Lions on New Year’s Eve, Parker shot a blistering and career-best 70% (7-of-10) from the floor.
Parker followed by going 3-of-4 from 3-point range in the next game against Wisconsin, as one of four Scarlet Knights to connect from distance.
IN A CRUNCH
Shrita Parker is not who the opposition wants at the line when the game is on the line. The Virginia Beach, Virginia native has missed only three free throws to date and is 34-of-37 (.919) from the stripe. She has gone perfect from the line this season eight times.
Her free throw prowess came in handy in the 57-53 victory over Bucknell on Dec. 3. As the Bison closed in on the RU advantage, Parker iced two free throws with 17 seconds remaining to put the game away.
Parker was also clutch the following game against three-time CAA champion James Madison. She drilled a three-pointer with less than a second remaining in the first overtime to knot the score at 71-71, forcing an additional five minutes on the court.
THE HANDOFF AND TAKE AWAY FROM KK SANDERS
Over the last six contests, KK Sanders has averaged 6.5 assists per contest.
Sanders had a 10-assist performance against Seton Hall on Dec. 13. Prior to her 10 helpers against the Pirates, the last Scarlet Knight to hand out 10 or more assists was Briyona Canty with 12 in an overtime battle at Purdue on Feb. 25, 2016.
Sanders is averaging 4.4 assists on the year placing her in a tie for eighth in the Big Ten.
Opponent offenses may also want to watch out for the Kankakee, Illinois native who is averaging 2.5 steals per game, which is third in the Big Ten.
Sanders most recently reset her career benchmark in the category with five at Houston on Dec. 10 and again on New Year’s Eve with Penn State. She previously had a career-high four thefts at Elon and Virginia earlier this season.
KK Sanders and Shrita Parker are among the league leaders in time on the court this season. The two Scarlet Knights average 34.8 and 34.7 minutes of playing time respectively, the second and third most minutes of any Big Ten player. Only Tori Jankoska of Michigan State has more playing time with 35.1 minutes per matchup.
Rutgers returns home to meet Michigan State on Saturday, Jan. 14 on BTN at noon. Lisa Byington and Christy Winters-Scott return to Piscataway to call the game. It will be Military Appreciate Day with Rutgers camo hats available for the first 500 fans. Additionally it will be the "Hoops 4 Troops" game. The program gives basketball fans an opportunity to donate tickets to active-duty and veteran members of the armed forces. Donated tickets are 80% tax deductible and contribute to priority points. For military organizations interested in participating, please contact 1-866-445-GORU.
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