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Scarlet Knights Fall Short in Double OT Thriller

In one of the most tightly contested games of the year, the Minnesota Golden Gophers took down the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 73-71, in double overtime in Minneapolis on Sunday.

Despite a solid overall effort by the Scarlet Knights (16-5), key mistakes and trouble on the glass characterized the disappointing defeat..

Rutgers trailed by just one point in the final moments of the second overtime, when Maori Davenport fouled Taiye Bello on a desperation three-point attempt as the shot clock expired. The foul allowed Bello three critical free throw attempts. Bello hit all three and extended the Minnesota lead to 67-63.

The Scarlet Knights battled back, eventually bringing the deficit back to within two. As time expired, Khadaizha Sanders desperation three-point attempt at the buzzer came up short.

Despite the loss, the Scarlet Knights performed well in many aspects. Rutgers continued its domination in the paint, outscoring Minnesota, 34-22, down low. Additionally, the Scarlet Knights played outstanding defense throughout. Holding the Golden Gophers to just 32.1% shooting and 73 points.

Minnesota entered the day averaging 72.6 points per game. The Scarlet Knights were able to hold the Golden Gophers to their season average, despite two additional overtime periods.

Rutgers ran into trouble in two key areas, rebounding and scoring. The Scarlet Knights had no answers for Bello on the glass, as she pulled in 22 rebounds by herself. Eight of those boards came on the offensive end.

Additionally, the Scarlet Knights struggled to find offensive production outside of their top three scorers. Arella Guirantes battled throughout and ended with 19 points despite being limited by the defense for most of the game. Sanders finished with 17 and Tekia Mack had 16 for the Scarlet Knights.

Outside of those three, the remaining Scarlet Knights tallied just 19 total points. In order to get back to their winning ways, the Scarlet Knights need to find a way to score without relying too heavily on their top players alone.

Rutgers has now dropped three of its last four, all of which were against Big Ten opponents. The Scarlet Knights now look forward to returning home on Thursday night when they’ll face another Big Ten rival in Penn State.

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