No. 21 Rutgers women beat No. 19 Nebraska 46-43
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) In her first year back in the Big Ten, C. Vivian Stringer became the conference's all-time winningest women's basketball coach.
Stringer earned her 177th career Big Ten win when No. 21 Rutgers beat 19th-ranked Nebraska 46-43 on Thursday night.
The Hall of Fame coach, who passed Rene Portland of Penn State for the No. 1 spot, won 169 of those games when she was coaching at Iowa. This is Rutgers' first season in the conference.
''I had many years (at Iowa) that were great times with my husband and kids growing up. It brings back a lot of memories,'' Stringer said of the milestone. ''I didn't know anything about it so that was a surprise. I was just trying to figure out how to get through this game we're playing.'
Betnjiah Laney had 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead Rutgers (17-5, 8-3 Big Ten). She was impressed with Stringer's record.
''It's great that she has all those wins so she's doing something right,'' the senior forward said. ''It's really great to play for a Hall of Fame coach who has a lot of knowledge. Her milestone speaks for itself.''
Rutgers led 26-17 at the half before Nebraska (17-5, 7-4) closed to 28-26 with 14:33 left in the game. Then the Scarlet Knights took control scoring 10 of the next 12 points, including six by Tyler Scaife.
Her layup made it 38-28 with 9:22 left. Nebraska cut it to 44-41 with 31.8 left on a free throw by Tear'a Laudermill.
Laney hit two free throws two seconds later to make it a five-point game and Nebraska couldn't close the gap.
''You get two defensive-minded teams playing and it's the first one to 40 is going to win,'' Nebraska coach Connie Yori said. ''They got to 40 before we did. They are hard to score against and we were limited without our point guard. Got some good looks in the second half we didn't make.''
After the game, Rutgers played a video tribute to Stringer on the video board.
Laudermill scored 16 points on 5-of-28 shooting and Emily Cady added 13 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Cornhuskers.
Nebraska was missing starting point guard Rachel Theriot because of an ankle injury suffered in practice on Tuesday. Theriot is averaging 16.5 points and 5.2 assists.
Like the frosty weather outside, both teams were cold from the field, combining to shoot just 27 percent from the floor.
The Cornhuskers got off to a poor start and trailed 7-0 before hitting their first shot. They missed their first six shots and it didn't get much better for the rest of the half. Nebraska finished the first 20 minutes making just 6 of its 34 shots.
Rutgers wasn't really able to take advantage of the poor shooting and only led by nine at the half.
Nebraska: This was the first meeting ever between the schools and was the team's first trip to New Jersey since 1999 when they played in the St. Peter's Holiday Classic. ... Nebraska had won its last 17 games in February over the past few years.
Rutgers: Stringer coached at Iowa from 1983-95 and is fourth all-time in winning percentage in the conference. ... It was Laney's 15th double-double this season.
Yori was non-committal whether Theriot would be available for Sunday's game at Maryland.
''We'll see,'' she said. ''Whether she's playing or not, I don't know. I don't know how much practice time between now and then she'll have.''
This was the first time in Theriot's three-year career that she missed a regular-season game.
COMING UP BIG
After losing four of their first five games to Top 25 teams this season, the Scarlet Knights have won two straight over ranked opponents, beating Minnesota and Nebraska.
Nebraska is at No. 5 Maryland on Sunday.
Rutgers visits Michigan on Sunday.
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