PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) – Jelinn Penn scored 14 points to help No. 14 Indiana defeated Rutgers 66-56 on Tuesday to close 2019 for both teams.
Grace Berger added 13 for Hoosiers (12-2, 2-0 Big Ten), who continued to play mean defense. Indiana allowed only one team to score more than 70 points this season, and then it was – no. 2 Baylor.
Both teams struggled to score in the first half, as in the break, Indiana was in the lead with two points. Hoosiers started in the third quarter with a 21-point effort to take 46-36 lead. Indiana scored 16 of the last 24 points for the period to build her first double-digit advantage in the game.
Leadership increased to 13 points in the last quarter, and Rutgers staged a furious rally, breaking through 59-54 in the last minute, holding the Houciers without a point for 4:16. Alexa Gulbe completed two free throws for 31.1 seconds before the end of this drought and secured the victory.
Arella Girantes scored 23 points to lead the Scarlet Knights (11-2, 1-1), who showed the best result in 29 years.
The game began booming, with Indiana having a 9-8 lead after the first quarter. The two units came together to shoot just 7 by 29 from the field in the first 10 minutes. They also had 11 revolutions.
The Hoosiers team kept the lead 25-23 in half, and the Rutgers missed six of their last seven shots before the break.
HALFTIME ENTERTAINMENT: Although the crowd wasn’t particularly worried in the first half, they definitely stood on their feet, cheering on a group of frisbee dogs – the Mutts Gone Nuts – which performed halfway. Dogs not only caught frisbee, but also jumped the rope.
BOOST OFF THE BENCH: Baylor’s transmission Alexis Morris played in his second game for the Scarlet Knights. A sophomore in a red T-shirt got the right to play in Rutgers’ last game against Wisconsin after he spent a year because of transfer rules. She was fired by Baylor in 2018 for violating team rules. Big 12 All-Freshman had two assists in 11 minutes against Indiana.
Indiana was rated for all nine weeks this season after participating in the survey for only six weeks until 2019. … Penn became the 27th member of Indiana with 1000 points. The Younger Guard has 1.013 in her career. … Rutgers entered the game with 11 wins in the first 12 games. It was the best start of the 25-year-old training of trainer S. Vivian Stringer at school and the highest mark of the team since 1990.
Indiana: Illinois hosts Monday
Rutgers: Visits Purdue on Sunday.
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