College basketball: No. 4 Michigan State needs overtime to top Rutgers

Michigan State co-defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett calls out a play during their first practice of the season at their team practice facility in East Lansing on Monday

Jones led the team in scoring, with a 15-point average, before suffering a broken wrist in December.

Michigan State's Taryn McCutcheon scored a team-high 25 points in the win, hitting 6 of 11 shots from the field for a 54.5% field goal percentage. His aggressiveness could help break down MSU's vaunted defense and open up shots for others.

Can No. 4 Michigan State bounce back in a big way when the Spartans host Rutgers tonight at 7PM ET?

A struggling Wisconsin team coming off a stretch of underwhelming performances who's status in the Big Ten and on the NCAA Tournament bubble uncertain welcomes a last-place Michigan State team to the Kohl Center and looks to re-energize itself in the first home series of the new year. Charles managed only seven points but led with 10 rebounds. Rutgers is one of only two teams to out-rebound the Spartans in a game this season. Freshman Jaren Jackson has made a huge impact, blocking 56 shots while averaging 11.1 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Rutgers (11-7, 1-4 Big Ten) is by no means a world beater-they're now No. 12 in the Big Ten-so how have they been able to be the only other Big Ten team besides Ohio State University to go toe-to-toe with the No. 4-ranked Spartans? However, past year was an outlier as the games between these two teams average a 1.3 point differential in favor of the Spartans.


Omoruyi credited the preparation of the team and game planning by the coaches for their near-upset, but noted that it was hard to stay in the game when four players fouled out.

The Spartans used a 7-0 run to close the first quarter with a 17-15 lead. Averaging 13.8 points, she was particularly unsafe from the perimeter, where she led the team with 63 3-pointers in 17 games and shot 44.1 percent from beyond the arc. This season, that has changed significantly. After scoring 10 consecutive points, Michigan State led 55-43. In the frontcourt, the Spartans have the luxury of turning to seniors Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter, both back from knee injuries, while junior Kenny Goins is solid and versatile. Over the past four contests, Livers has scored in double figures three times and Poole twice. Rutgers is being led by Corey Sanders, who averages 13.8 points per game.

You could make a case that John Beilein and MI have exceeded expectations so far this season.

Head coach Tom Izzo said Rutgers was the most physically tough team MSU has played against this year.

Prior to their loss to Ohio State, the team shot well over 50 percent from the field in six-straight contests. That included nearly 20-point wins over North Carolina and Notre Dame.

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