Rutgers Women's Basketball Showcasing a More Complete Team in Early Season Wins
Rutgers women’s basketball defeated Coppin State on Saturday, a 107-33 win not only an impressive flexing of muscles by the Scarlet Knights but a result which showcased an impressive offensive arsenal.
And while no one will confuse Coppin State as a powerhouse or a juggernaut, Rutgers still turned heads with their onslaught of points. For a team and program known for grinding out wins and playing a defensive brand of basketball, the flash of points was certainly encouraging.
Following the win, head coach C. Vivian Stringer noted that the team’s offensive development, which is highlighting driving and then kicking out for open shots, is helping things to connect early as the offense takes on its own identity. It is a major reason why Rutgers shot 54.9% from the field and 52.2% from three-point range.
Rutgers made 12 three-point attempts, a program record. Stringer called it an offensive mindset “to dribble, to attack…To continue to attack and push the ball down people’s throat, basically.”
“I think we’re running a lot more. We’re running and we’re pressing,” Stringer said.
“We seldom we play an entire game with a press but we did. We’re staying in the attack mode.”
Senior guard Khadaizha Sanders, who had 16 points and nine assists in the win, saw the development of the offense on Saturday. A year ago, Rutgers struggled to score points, their 64.1 points per game was second worst in the conference.
Of course, this was balanced by a defense that led the Big Ten in points allowed.
“Obviously as we’ve always been known as a pretty good defensive team. So we want to keep that up, putting a lot of pressure on the ball,” Sanders said after the game.
“Forcing the other team to turn the ball over, just basically turning our defense into offense. Pretty much the same thing – taking good shots as we did today.”
Where this leaves Rutgers, a tournament team a year ago, is showing signs of developing and growing beyond just their defensive trademark. Something that could and should help come the conference schedule given that there are four Big Ten teams currently ranked.
“I think the team would agree that we are all contributing in a big way, one for all, all for one. Everyone is really encouraging each other,” Stringer said.
“I’ve said it before that there have been times that I’ve had teams that have had more like individual talent but this is the most talented but the group that works the hardest and works together extremely well.”