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Rutgers men remain winless in Big Ten after falling to No. 12 Michigan State

Rutgers men's basketball head coach Eddie Jordan at Big Ten Media Day.

Rutgers men’s basketball head coach Eddie Jordan at Big Ten Media Day.


Heading into its game against Michigan State, the Rutgers men’s basketball team had to feel good about its recent play.

After playing competitively into the second half against Iowa and Michigan, the Scarlet Knights aimed to pull of its first win in Big Ten Conference play.

However, the Knights reverted to its old ways against the Spartans. After playing a tough first half, Rutgers let the game get away from them and lost in blowout fashion, 96-62.

The loss dropped Rutgers to 6-16 on the season, and 0-9 in the Big Ten.

Much like its past two contests, the Knights came out strong and played Michigan State with the toughness and competitiveness needed to hang with the top tier of Big Ten opponents.

The Spartans opened up a 29-13 lead to begin the game, and it seemed that the Knights were down and out only 10 minutes into the contest.

But Rutgers fought to come back, and executed its most efficient offense of the game over the last 10 minutes. Freshman guard Corey Sanders, who finished with 17 points, was the main catalyst for the Knights. His ability to drive into the lane and find the open man helped the Knights climb out of its early deficit, and they went into halftime down 44-33.

Once the second half began, the game quickly got out of hand for Rutgers. Much like tis previous contests in the Big Ten, the Knights simply looked out of gas by the time the second half started.

The Spartans opened up the second half with a three, which was indicative of the entire game for them.

Michigan State finished the contest 17-32 from three-point range, and racked up 28 total assists.

Conversely, Rutgers totaled only 13 assists and made seven three-pointers.

The contrast highlights the state of the Spartans’ offense, which is operating at full capacity, compared to that of the Knights’ who have not been at full strength all season.

Rutgers got contributions from its normal contingent of Sanders, senior guard Omari Grier and sophomore guard Mike Williams. Sanders and Grier had 17 points, while Williams totaled 18.

The Knights did not get much from its other positions, as the rest of the team totaled only 10 points in the contest.

Rutgers has not won a game since Dec. 28, prior to the beginning of conference play. The Knights will welcome its next game, which is at home against Illinois.

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