Monday, April 19, 2021

Final: Rutgers 67, MSU 37, Spartans start and finish poorly in 30-point blowout

January 28, 2021
<p>Then-sophomore forward Aaron Henry (11) shoots the ball during the game against Rutgers at Breslin Center on Dec. 8, 2019. The Spartans lead the Scarlet Knights at halftime, 33-28.</p>

Then-sophomore forward Aaron Henry (11) shoots the ball during the game against Rutgers at Breslin Center on Dec. 8, 2019. The Spartans lead the Scarlet Knights at halftime, 33-28.

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

First Rutgers started the game up 15-0.

Then Michigan State clawed back and got it to 22-19 late in the first half.

Then everything crumbled beneath the Spartans' feet.

Coach Tom Izzo and the Spartans fell, 67-37, on the road to Rutgers. A team the Spartans defeated, 68-45, stomped them after a three-week layoff from game action due to positive COVID-19 tests that ravaged their roster during that span.

After freshman Mady Sissoko and sophomore Steven Izzo, there was then Joshua Langford, then Gabe Brown and walk-on Davis Smith. And it was evident both in the starting lineup and in the entire game as the Spartans went to the bench.

MSU went through the first seven minutes of the game without a single point on the board and only scored 20 in the first half.

It was a clearly rusty team that placed sophomore guard Rocket Watts in the starting lineup once again. Watts finished with four points. Not a single player from MSU scored in double digits.

Rutgers improves to 9-6 with the win. MSU falls to 8-5 and 2-5 in Big Ten play.

A 10-0 run early on got MSU back into on the heels of a four-minute scoring drought from Rutgers, but the Scarlet Knights, with experience abound, weathered the storm on the way to a blowout win.

Junior forward Marcus Bingham Jr. led the Spartans in the first half with a mere four points. Bingham didn't score in the second half. Sophomore forward Malik Hall and junior guard Foster Loyer came off the bench to score a combined five points. MSU only scored 17 points in the second half.

Rutgers junior center Myles Johnson led the way for the Scarlet Knights, coming out with a total of 13 points and 14 rebounds, the starting center for the Scarlet Knights dominated the MSU bigs each of his 28 minutes of playing time.

Fellow Scarlet Knights star and senior guard Geo Baker, who scored 11, backed up Johnson.

Junior guard/forward Ron Harper Jr. didn’t show out like he did the first time and scored nine points on 3-of-15 shooting from the field.

The Spartans will travel to Ohio to play the No. 13 Buckeyes (13-4) in another heated Big Ten matchup on Sun., Jan. 31. Tipoff is scheduled for noon.

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