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RU WBB: Rutgers Blows Out Michigan on Senior Day


Photo: Chris Nalwasky, Double G Sports

Photo: Chris Nalwasky, Double G Sports

The Rutgers women’s basketball team kept their NCAA Tournament chances alive with an impressive 72-50 win over the Michigan Wolverines on Senior Day Sunday afternoon at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway.

Senior student-athletes Ariel Butts, Briyona Canty, Kahleah Copper, Alana Ferruggiaro, Rachel Hollivay, and Cynthia Hernandez were honored pregame. And fitting, Butts put down the games first two points on a layup after she corralled an offensive rebound.

Butts would go onto to finish with five points and seven rebounds.

The always emotional one way or another Hollivay totaled seven points, six rebounds, and of course, three blocked shots which she recently called her “bread-and-butter”.

The Scarlet Knights (17-13, 8-10) only led 12-9 at the end of the first quarter, but Rutgers outscored Michigan 22-14 in the second to take control with a 34-24 lead at the half.

They never looked back.

Copper notched her 10th double-double of the year with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Late in the third quarter she went down, but returned early in the 4th and didn’t let an ailment get to her.

She was as fearless as ever, driving to the hoop getting a basket and the foul for a three point play.

The point guard Canty dished out a game-high six assists. But not only did the floor general pass the ball to her teammates, she netted nine points of her on.

Hernandez has been out with a leg injury, but the former team manager turned walk-on Ferruggiaro got her self about a minute of playing time as well at the end of the game as the fans cheered off the senior one last time at the RAC.

Head coach C. Vivian Stringer talked about her group of seniors after the game.

“This group has been the backbone of this team for quite some time,” Stringer said. “Bri started around her sophomore year, Kah has been starting since freshman year and the same thing with Rachel,” Stringer said. “That’s the reason why I want for them to have the ultimate success at the highest levels … They have taken starting roles since freshman year.

“They’ve made everyone on this team extremely proud. They have gown in many ways that most people would not even understand. I think they are going to appreciate their next stage in life.”

Rutgers now enters the Big Ten Tournament as the 10th seed, facing off against No. 7 Nebraska on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Indianapolis.

“We appreciate the fact that we have another 40 minutes, and if we play like we did today and are all out, there’s no stopping us in terms of us losing because this group is very capable,” Stringer said.

The Scarlet Knights split the two regular season matchups with the Cornhuskers this season with each team winning on their home court. However, this game will be on a neutral court and the stakes will be higher. If Rutgers wants to make the big dance, they will need a strong run in the Big Ten Tournament.

It all starts Thursday.

“It’s a new season,” Copper said. “We have a new slate and are ready to attack it. I think we’re confident and we’re ready.”

Follow me @ChrisWasky on Twitter.



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