Spartans blast Rutgers in Piscataway, 97-66

With the Indiana Hoosiers wrapping up the Big Ten regular season title on Tuesday, the goal for the Michigan State Spartans can continue playing for a double-bye in the Big Ten tournament. On Wednesday, they played the lonely, winless Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

The Knights hung around the MSU for one half but an offensive explosion in the second half propelled the Spartans to a 97-66 victory on the road.

Michigan State (25-5, 12-5 Big Ten) actually find themselves in a 4-point hole late in the first half, but climbed out of that in a hurry and held a 2-point lead heading into halftime. Safe to say whatever message Spartans head coach Tom Izzo relayed to his club was received. The Spartans opened up the second half on a 20-3 run to separate themselves for the remainder of the game.

Senior Bryn Forbes had another huge performance, scoring 33 points, all of which came from behind the long line on 11-18 shooting, setting a Big Ten record. Play of the Year candidate Denzel Valentine filled up the stat sheet once again, netting 14 points while totaling 8 rebounds and 8 assists but also turned it over 5 times. Matt Costello posted another double-double, chipping in with 10 points and grabbing 15 boards, 9 of which were of the offensive variety.

Rutgers (6-24, 0-17 Big Ten) has now lost both games to Michigan State this season by an average of 32.5 points and gave up 96 and 97 in both of those games. Knights’ freshman Corey Sanders was the lone bright spot, leading his team with 19 points and 6 assists, but 5 turnovers as well.

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Michigan State will close out its regular season at home on Saturday March 5th against Ohio State. Tip off is set for noon ET.

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