In a lost season for the Rutgers women's basketball program, Shrita Parker uncovered her potential.
The junior guard was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by the media after averaging 11.7 points per game, including 14.1 in conference action and shooting 86.3 percent from the free-throw line.
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Parker led Rutgers (6-23, 3-13) in scoring in each of the final six games of the regular season and 12 of the 16 Big Ten matchups. She failed to reach double figures just once all season.
But Parker's emergence couldn't stop Rutgers from fulfilling nightmare preseason projections, enduring the program's second-ever 20-loss season. The Scarlet Knights finished in a four-way tie at the bottom of the Big Ten and received the lowest tournament seed based on tiebreakers.All-Big Ten Rutgers guard Shrita Parker vies for the ball against Ohio State in the regular-season finale.Mel Evans | AP
"I look forward to getting better based upon what we've been doing," said coach C. Vivian Stringer, whose team has lost 10 straight. "Anything is better than what we have done."
No. 14 Rutgers will face No. 11 Wisconsin at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The first-round matchup is a rematch of two regular-season games -- each team won on its home floor -- and is for the right to face No. 6 Michigan State on Thursday.
"It's almost like I want to work them really hard before we get there," Stringer said, "so that we calm down and sedate."
Stringer expressed disappointment that the Big Ten will not allow her to bring redshirting players in addition to her current roster on the trip. Rutgers' path to improvement next season starts with two-time All-Big Ten honoree Tyler Scaife's return as well as the addition of three transfers.
"I wish that the Big Ten allowed for those who can't play to come and (experience) the tournament atmosphere so they could evolve themselves," Stringer said. "It would help our overall team because so many of the people that will be playing a major role next year will not be there."
Ryan Dunleavy may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rydunleavy. Find NJ.com Rutgers Football on Facebook.
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