Chris Iseman, Asbury Park Press
Published 2: 54 p.m. ET March 22, 2021
The win used to be there for Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights precise couldn’t maintain on.
Sixth-seeded Rutgers misplaced a 12-point lead and fell to No. 11 BYU, 69-66, in the first round of the females’s NCAA Tournament at Strahan Area in San Marcos, Texas, on Monday.
The Cougars will face the winner of No. 3 Arizona and No. 14 Stony Brook in the 2d round.
For the Scarlet Knights, it ends a trying season that included a month-prolonged terminate because of a pair of COVID-19 assessments within the program.
However Rutgers overcame it and went on a trudge, reeling off nine consecutive victories to finish the trendy season with a excessive-energy offense and smothering protection.
The Scarlet Knights, who fell to Iowa in the 2d round of the Huge Ten match, regarded poised to transfer on in the NCAA Tournament, however couldn’t maintain on slack.
Arella Guirantes finished with 30 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, whereas Diamond Johnson had 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Guirantes tried to lead the Scarlet Knights to the win in the closing minutes.
Tegan Graham hit a 3 with 1: 18 to breeze in the fourth quarter to position BYU up by four, however Guirantes answered with a triple of her contain.
With 30 seconds left, Mael Gilles fouled Shaylee Gonzales as she shot a 3-pointer and Gonzales made all three contemptible photos to position the Cougars relieve up by four.
After Gonzales made two more key free throws with 24 seconds left, Liz Martino drained a 3 from the comely nook to bring the Scarlet Knights to within two with five seconds to breeze.
However after a Guirantes contemptible, Paisley Harding made one of two to if truth be told seal the game.
Harding used to be the catalyst for BYU, finishing with 28 points on 8-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-9 from the perimeter, to relieve firm with five rebounds.
Three takeaways from the upset:
Rutgers used to be up 12 points slack in the third quarter and looked find it irresistible used to be on its technique to a convincing victory, however it all fell aside in the fourth quarter.
The Scarlet Knights’ offense went wintry and a chronic scoring drought ensued – Rutgers went five-plus minutes with out a basket.
In the intervening time, BYU took advantage.
The Cougars went on a 12-0 bustle to decide on the lead, with Harding doing great of the work.
Turning it over
Both teams dedicated loads of turnovers – Rutgers had 20 and BYU 19.
However BYU capitalized, scoring 22 points off Rutgers’ turnovers whereas the Scarlet Knights had 13 off the Cougars’.
In a shut game love this, it made a disagreement.
Up subsequent for Guirantes
Rutgers has skill coming relieve subsequent season, notably Johnson, however the Scarlet Knights will seemingly face the subtle activity of replacing Guirantes’ manufacturing.
Guirantes, who used to be in tears after the game, came relieve this season believing she had more to perform at Rutgers, delaying her WNBA future.
However now she will presumably be heading off to begin her pro occupation.
It’ll be a advanced loss for Rutgers to attract up.
Train Chris Iseman on Twitter @chrisiseman