Women’s Hoops Outdone at No. 18/21 Northwestern

Scarlet Knights’ 28-point fourth quarter effort not enough for a comeback


EVANSTON, Ill. (Feb. 19, 2020) – Rutgers women’s basketball (18-8, 8-7) fell 82-65 at No. 18/20 Northwestern on Wednesday evening at the Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Rutgers fought until the end, producing its highest fourth-quarter scoring effort of the season with 28 points. The comeback attempt would fall short as the Wildcats shot 59 percent from the floor, including a 10-of-20 mark from three-point range.

The Scarlet Knights’ aggression paid off at the free throw line, where their 17-of-18 team performance was the best of the 2019-20 campaign.

Graduate student point guard Khadaizha Sanders passed out six assists as she became the 10th player in Rutgers women’s basketball history to surpass 400 career assists.

  • Arella Guirantes scored all but four of her points in the second half, finishing with 19 and five rebounds. She was a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line.
  • Jordan Wallace netted 16 on another efficient shooting performance, going 8-of-11.
  • Tekia Mack was the third Scarlet Knight in double-figures, adding 12 with six boards.
  • Khadaizha Sanders dished out six assists, her most in a game since Jan. 16, to move her over 400 for her career.

Rutgers suffered a brutal combination of a cold shooting stretch and allowing the Wildcats a 9-0 scoring run early in the second quarter. Northwestern used that momentum to finish off a 21-8 period, providing enough of a cushion to keep the home team’s advantage in double-digits for the remainder of the game.

  • Wallace got going early with six of Rutgers’ first 10 points, and the RU defense kept a high-octane Wildcat attack at bay. Mael Gilles converted a late bucket, and Wallace beat the first quarter buzzer with a floater to set Northwestern’s slim lead at 16-14 after 10 minutes of play.
  • Tough defense continued into the second quarter, where Northwestern snuck ahead by nine (27-18) on a 9-0 run while forcing RU into an 0-of-6 stretch from the floor. KK Sanders ended a 7:30 drought from the floor with a floating jumper in the paint, Tekia Mack made two from the line after a strong drive, but the Wildcats scored before the horn to finish a 21-8 second quarter and led 37-22 at the halftime break.
  • The Wildcats exploded for 27 points in the third quarter. Tyia Singleton scored all seven of her points in the period to continue the fight, but Northwestern stayed ahead by 20-plus.
  • Rutgers didn’t go away quietly, opening the fourth on a 14-4 run with four different Scarlet Knights getting in on the scoring action. The Wildcats answered with a quick 7-0 counterpunch to regain control.
  • With her four assists, Sanders became just the 10th player in Rutgers history to surpass the 400-career assist milestone. She takes over 10th all-time with 401, surpassing Syessence Davis (2011-15). Tasha Pointer is the all-time leader at RU with 839.
  • Wallace has scored 12 points or more in three of her last five games.
  • Guirantes produced her 25th double-figure scoring game of the season, and 59th of her career.
  • Guirantes, with 1,156 career points, is now the 30th highest scorer to play for Rutgers – surpassing Brittany Ray (2006-10).
  • Rutgers has now outscored 22 of 26 opponents in points in the paint, averaging 12.7 more points per game down low over their opponents.
  • Rutgers has had at least two double-digit scorers in 25 of 26 games and moves to 16-3 when three or more score in double-figures.
  • Northwestern leads the all-time series over Rutgers 6-4 and 5-2 as Big Ten opponents in the regular season.

With three games remaining in the regular season, Rutgers stands in a tie for sixth place in the Big Ten with Michigan and Purdue. The top four seeds receive a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament in March, while seeds 5-10 secure a single bye. Seeds 5 and 6 play their first game against a team that played in the opening round.

The Scarlet Knights play their final three regular season contests at home, beginning with Ohio State on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. at the RAC, airing live on Big Ten Network.