Bloodied Sidibe briefly wears Rutgers coach’s ceremonial uni

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In this photo provided by Rutgers, Rutgers’ Awa Sidibe (1) is seen on the court during an NCAA college basketball game against Maryland in Piscataway, N.J., Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. Sidibe wore the ceremonial No. 1 jersey given to coach Coquese Washington when she was hired in May after the Rutgers guard got blood on her uniform during the game. (Thomas Gilbert/Rutgers Athletics via AP)

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Awa Sidibe briefly wore the ceremonial No. 1 jersey given to coach Coquese Washington when she was hired in May after the Rutgers guard got blood on her uniform during the Scarlet Knights’ 78-67 loss to No. 13 Maryland on Monday.

Officials noticed blood on Sidibe’s No. 11 top in the first half, and the only available uniform on the bench was the one given to her coach a little over seven months ago. The ceremonial jersey mistakenly had gotten into the equipment bag Monday morning according to a Rutgers spokesperson.

The senior put it on and was easy to spot because Washington’s name is on the back. All other Rutgers uniforms just have a number on the back. Sidibe wore it for a few minutes before trying to switch to a No. 5 top. Officials insisted she stay with the ceremonial jersey.

“I didn’t notice it until after a few minutes,” Washington said. “I thought it was a random backup jersey. Then I was like, ‘That looks like the jersey I had at the press conference!’ We laughed about it on the bench briefly and then we went back to the game. I guess in theory I had a little eligibility left and got some game time today thanks to Awa.”

Sidibe, who finished with six points and six assists, switched back to her No. 11 for the second half after getting a new uniform from the locker room.

She was checked again for blood in the third quarter, but the officials let her keep on her No. 11 when no blood was found on the jersey.

“There were a lot of uniform issues this game that I’ve never seen take so many possessions, so much time,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “That’s a first time in all my years. I’m impressed they could dig that out.”

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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