PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The Rutgers women's basketball team begins Big Ten Tournament action on Wednesday when the No. 14 Scarlet Knights tipoff against the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers at approximately 4 p.m. on BTN.
|Game Thirty: B1G First Round - No. 11 Wisconsin (8-21, 3-13 Big Ten)|
|Date||Wednesday, March 1|
|Time||Approximately 4 p.m. EST|
|Location||Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Indianapolis, Ind.|
(Lisa Byington, Vera Jones & Christy Winters-Scott)
|Radio||Rutgers IMG Radio Network - WCTC 1450 AM
WRSU 88.7 FM
(Sean Griffin and Jake Ostrove)
|Game Notes||Rutgers | Wisconsin | Big Ten Tournament Central|
|Stats||Rutgers | Wisconsin|
THE B1G NEW SEASON
The Scarlet Knights matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers for a third time in 2016-17 in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. No. 14 Rutgers and No. 11 Wisconsin will tipoff following the day’s other first round contest featuring No. 12 Illinois and No. 13 Nebraska at approximately 4 p.m.
Rutgers is coming off a 73-45 loss at the hands of No. 12/9 Ohio State at the RAC on Sunday. Junior guard Shrita Parker, who has led the Scarlet Knights in the last six games, led the team with 16 points. Sophomore forward Aliyah Jeune was RU’s other double figure scorer with 10 points.
While the Buckeyes held a 37-17 advantage at the intermission, with the Scarlet Knights shooting only 22 percent in the first half, RU showed some spark in the third quarter. Out of the break the Scarlet Knights went 8-of-14 (57%), including 3-of-6 from long distance to outscore Ohio State, 19-16, in the frame.
The Badgers enter postseason play at 8-21 overall and posted a 3-13 mark in Big Ten play this season.
After downing Rutgers, 53-41, on Feb. 18, Wisconsin earned a 59-55 victory at home over Illinois, but closed out the season with a 71-60 loss at Iowa on Sunday.
Cayla McMorris tops the stat sheet at 12.5 ppg to along with 4.2 rpg.
Avyanna Young rounds out the Badgers in double figures with 10.8 ppg and a team-leading 7.1 rpg.
LAST TIME VS. WISCONSIN
Rutgers women’s basketball fell, 53-41, at Wisconsin on Feb. 18 at the Kohl Center.
Rutgers finished with two Scarlet Knights in double figures led by junior guard Shrita Parker with 16 points and six rebounds. Sophomore center Victoria Harris contributed 11 points and seven boards.
Avyanna Young paced Wisconsin with 14 points and six rebounds. Cayla McMorris was the other Badger in double figures with 10 points.
Junior guard Jazlynd Rollins hit a jumper from the free throw line to put Rutgers up 10-4 with 5:41 left in the opening stanza. However, the Badgers fired back with five unanswered to make it a one-point game. Wisconsin would pull within one on one other occasion before the end of the quarter, but Rutgers never relinquished the lead taking a 16-13 advantage into the second frame.
Rutgers was held without a field goal in the second quarter as Wisconsin outscored the Scarlet Knights 10-2 in the stanza to take control of the game.
There was just under four minutes remaining until the intermission when the quarter saw its first points. The Scarlet Knights and Badgers had combined to go 0-of-11 from the field to that point with the lone points belonging to Parker, who hit two free throws.
With RU holding on to a 17-13 edge coming out of a media timeout with 3:51 left in the quarter, Wisconsin connected on a trio of three’s to take the lead for good. The Scarlet Knights continued to be held without a field goal as Wisconsin entered the half up, 23-18.
After Young gave Wisconsin a 33-27 advantage at the 5:38 mark of the third quarter, RU held Wisconsin without a bucket for close to five minutes. The Scarlet Knights, meanwhile, proceeded to take a 6-0 run to tie the game. A Kandiss Barber putback tied the game at 33-33 with 1:19 left.
Wisconsin retook the lead before the end of the third quarter, but a Harris putback pulled Rutgers to within two, 37-35, with 6:44 remaining in the game.
The Badgers followed, however, with an 11-2 run to put the game out of reach.
Despite the short run, the Buckeyes would go on to lead by as many as 10 twice, ending the quarter with a 52-42 lead.
Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honoree Shrita Parker has been on fire since Big Ten play started. Against conference competition, the junior guard is averaging 13.2 ppg, including a career-high 20 points in back-to-back games against Iowa on Jan. 17 and Michigan State on Jan. 14.
Parker has scored in double figures in all but one Big Ten contest this winter and has led RU in scoring 12 of the 16 Big Ten contests to date. She has been the Scarlet Knights’ leading scorer in the last six-straight games.
The Scarlet Knights logged a season-high 16 steals in the Feb. 23 game at Northwestern. RU’s previous high was 14 in the win over Wisconsin on Jan. 4.
Leading the way was sophomore Khadaizha Sanders with five steals, tying her career mark in the category for the fifth time this season. Currently second in the league in steals at 2.6 per game, she has captured five or more steals in a contest on four occasions this season and three or more steals in a matchup 13 times.
Junior Shrita Parker also matched her career mark in steals against the Wildcats with four. She also had four thefts in the previous game at Wisconsin.
Joining in with tying their career-highs in steals was sophomore center Victoria Harris. Harris also registered four steals. She also collected four steals in RU’s win over Michigan State on Jan. 14.
HAULING IN WITH HARRIS
Sophomore center Victoria Harris has averaged 7.0 rpg in RU’s last four games with Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern and No. 12/9 Ohio State.
Most recently, the sophomore center grabbed eight boards against the nationally-ranked Buckeyes, her most since also hauling in eight rebounds in the Big Ten opener at Michigan back on Dec. 28.
The Snelville, Georgia native collected 11 points in the last meeting with Wisconsin 11 days ago. It was her largest scoring output since netting 10 in the first meeting with the Badgers to kick off 2017. Harris finished the game going 3-of-4 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
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 10 free throws to date and is 63-of-73 (.863) from the stripe. She has gone perfect from the line this season 12 times and ranks fourth in the conference in the category.
THE HANDOFF AND TAKE AWAY FROM KK SANDERS
KK 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.
More recently, Sanders handed out nine assists in the win over Michigan State on Jan. 14.
Sanders is averaging 4.1 assists on the year placing her 13th in the Big Ten.
Opponent offenses may also want to watch out for the Kankakee, Illinois native who is averaging 2.6 steals per game, which is second in the Big Ten.
Sanders most recently tied her career benchmark in the category with five in back-to-back games against Wisconsin on Feb. 18 and Northwestern on Feb. 23.
She has also had five thefts against Iowa on Jan. 17, on New Year’s Eve with Penn State and on Dec. 10 at Houston.
Sanders previously had a career-high four thefts at Elon and Virginia earlier this season.
NEWS FROM DOWNTOWN
Rutgers had one of its 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.
The winner of Wednesday’s first round matchup between the Scarlet Knights and Badgers will advance to play No. 6 Michigan State in the second round. That game will take place on Thursday at approximately 9 p.m.
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