#10 Michigan State Beat Rutgers 77-65 Official Game Thread
Hondo S. Carpenter
Breslin Events Center
East Lansing, MI
After a bitter loss to Duke, MSU looks to rebound in the winning columun tonight as they open Big Ten play vs. Rutgers.
Here are five quick points about tonight's game courtesy of the MSU SID
1. Series History
Michigan State and Rutgers meet for only the 10th time in program history ... The Spartans lead the head-to-head series, 9-0, and have won all eight meetings since Rutgers joined the Big Ten Conference ... The Spartans swept a pair of games last year, beating Rutgers on the road in late November, 78-67, and then posting a 71-60 win at the Breslin Center in February ... After winning the first four meetings against Rutgers by at least 20 points when the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten Conference, the last four games in the series have been decided by nine points, including an MSU overtime win during the 2017-18 season ... The teams first played on Dec. 19, 1970, with MSU posting an 81-71 win to capture the team championship at the Lobo Invitational in New Mexico.
2. Last Meeting with Rutgers
Cassius Winston scored 28 points and handed out eight assists as then-No. 10 Michigan State used a big second half to come from behind to beat Rutgers, 71-60, in a Big Ten Conference game at the Breslin Center on Feb. 20 ... Xavier Tillman had a double-double 19 points and 10 rebounds, while senior guard Matt McQuaid chipped in 11 points and five rebounds and redshirt senior Kenny Goins added five points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
3. In Big Ten Conference Openers
Michigan State is 15-9 in Big Ten Conference openers under Head Coach Tom Izzo ... MSU won last year’s Big Ten opener on the road, beating Rutgers, 78-67 ... The Spartans are 8-1 in Big Ten home openers under Izzo ... The last time MSU opened Big Ten Conference play at home was on Dec. 3, 2017 against Nebraska, an 86-57 win ... The last time the Spartans lost a Big Ten Conference home opener was during the 2014-15 season, when Maryland beat MSU, 68-66.
4. Spartans Through Eight Games
Senior guard Cassius Winston leads MSU, and ranks fourth in the Big Ten, in scoring, averaging 17.1 points per game … Winston is also third in the league in assists, averaging 6.1 per game ... Junior forward Xavier Tillman is second on the team with 13.3 points per game and tops the team, and is fourth in the Big Ten, with 9.8 rebounds per game, while adding 2.4 assists per game ... Sophomore forward Aaron Henry, who scored a season-high 18 points against Virginia Tech, is third on the team with 10.7 points per game, while adding 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists ... MSU has five other players averaging at least 4.0 points per game, led by sophomore forward Gabe Brown, who is averaging 8.0 points, 3.6 rebounds ... Freshman guard Rocket Watts adds 6.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists ... Freshman forward Malik Hall, who had nine points and eight rebounds against Duke, is averaging 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds ... Sophomore forward Marcus Bingham Jr., who has started the last three games and scored 13 points against Duke, is averaging 5.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks ... Sophomore forward Thomas Kithier is averaging 4.9 points and 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
5. Michigan State Falls to Duke, 87-75, in Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Michigan State pulled to within single digits early in the second half, but could not get any closer en route to an 87-75 loss to Duke in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game at the Breslin Center Tuesday night … Junior forward Xavier Tillman scored 20 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Spartans, while sophomore forward Marcus Bingham Jr. added 13 points and three blocks and senior guard Cassius Winston chipped in with 12 points and seven assists ... Michigan State went into the break trailing by 16 points, 45-29, but used a 9-1 run over the opening 2:30 of the second half and pulled to within eight points, 46-38, on a 3-pointer from Winston at the 17:32 ... Duke responded with an 8-0 burst and held MSU scoreless for nearly two minutes as a 3-pointer from Joey Baker pushed the lead back to 16 points, 54-38, with 15:55 to play
Make sure you keep refreshing this story for updates from the game and comment in the comment section below with fans from all over the world.
STARTERS: Gabe Brown, Marcus Bingham Jr (MBJ), Cassius Winston, Aaron Henry and Xavier Tillman
1st Media Timeout of the 1st half. #10 Michigan State leads Rutgers 11-4. 15:36 Winston has five. Spartans have one turnover.
2nd Media Timeout of the 1st half. #10 Michigan State leads Rutgers 14-11. 11:54 Winston has six. Spartans have two turnovers
3rd Media Timeout of the 1st half. #10 Michigan State leads Rutgers 19-13. 7:57 Winston has eight. Spartans have two turnovers
FINAL Media Timeout of the 1st half: #10 Michigan State leads Rutgers 32-28. 3:53 Winston has eight. Spartans have six turnovers
HALFTIME: 33-28 MSU
2nd Media Time out of the 2nd half: #10 MSU leads Rutgers 43-39. 11:04 Cassius Winston has 13. MSU has 9 turnovers.
3rd Media Time out of the 2nd half: #10 MSU leads Rutgers 50-48. 7:37 Cassius Winston has 15. MSU has 10 turnovers.
FINAL Media Time out of the 2nd half: #10 MSU leads Rutgers 64-55. 3:01 Cassius Winston has 17. MSU has 11 turnovers.
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