Piscataway, N.J. –Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer has something special with Arella Guirantes and Diamond Johnson. These two are constantly pushing the ball up the court and creating opportunities for their teammates.
The Scarlet Knight women’s basketball (4-1) had five players in double-figures for a 99-30 win over Sacred Heart (1-2) on Sunday evening at the RAC in Piscataway, NJ.
RU was just too athletic, longer, quicker, and more physical from the inception of the game and made it difficult for Sacred Heart to get into their offensive sets.
Rutgers have now scored 80 or more points in three consecutive games for the first time since 1993-94 and had the game in hand in the first five minutes of the contest. The Scarlet Knights forced 32 turnovers, 18 swipes and hit the glass with 45-27 advantage.
“We have the firepower and that’s nice to see,” said head coach Vivian Stringer. “We’re still a work in progress, but this coaching staff is extremely happy where this team is considering how untraditional our preseason was, and being behind in conditioning and training. The veterans know what they have to do and the freshmen are coming long at a nice pace to get us ready for the rest of Big Ten play.”
Sacred Heart tied Rutgers 5-5 early in the contest but the Scarlet Knights scored 20 consecutive points before another Pioneers bucket went through the cotton. Diamond Johnson, Zipporah Broughton, and Arella Guirantes were in double-figures before the break. The swarming defense made it difficult for Sacred Heart to shoot over the zone. The Pioneers shot just a parsley 17 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 17 times before heading into halftime.
In the second half, Rutgers sprinted out a 26-0 run and put the game away for the Scarlet Knights. Some milestones for Rutgers, Johnson scored 20 points for the first time in her collegiate career and Sakima Walker chipped in a career-high of 12 points.
Guirantes finished the contest with 25 points and 10 boards for her second double-double of the season, while Johnson hit 21, making it five straight games to start her career scoring in double-digits. Broughton was 5-of-9 for her 13 points next to a team-best eight assists and career-high seven swipes.
Sacred Heart shot a dismal 17 percent for the game, finishing 8-of-48 from the floor.
Rutgers will play on Wednesday, Dec. 23 against Manhattan at 12 p.m. ET at the RAC. Big Ten play resumes on the road at Iowa on Thursday, Dec. 31 at 3 p.m. ET.
- The Scarlet Knights has scored 80+ points in three consecutive games for the first time since the 1993-94 season.
- The 32 forced turnovers were the most in a game since causing 38 against Penn State in 2014-15.
- At least four Scarlet Knights’ players scored in double-figures for the third straight game.
- Ranking second in the nation in steals per game with 16.0, RU held pace with another 18 steals against Sacred Heart on Sunday.
- RU has held all five opponents this season under their scoring average (Sacred Heart 64.0), adding up to 92 of its last 100.
- The Scarlet Knights improves to 43-8 (.850) at the RAC since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
- Rutgers moves to 2-0 all-time against the Pioneers.