Michigan State basketball blown away in return to action, losing to Rutgers, 67-37


PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Michigan State basketball’s return to competition could not have started much worse.

Rutgers scored the first 15 points in 15 minutes and dominated defensively. After 20 days off, the Spartans looked equal parts rusty and flat at both ends.

Yet they clawed back to make it a one-possession game just before half, only to emerge from the locker room plagued by the same issues — turnovers, shots getting blocked and defensive breakdowns.

There was little Tom Izzo could do on the sideline as he watched MSU come back after nearly three weeks off with a lifeless 67-37 defeat Thursday night at Rutgers, the Spartans’ lowest scoring output since 2008 and their first loss to the Scarlet Knights in 12 meetings.

MSU suffered a 43-36 loss to Iowa on Jan. 12, 2008. But the Spartans’ circumstances this time were significantly different.

It was MSU’s first game in 20 days, since a 55-54 home loss to Purdue on Jan. 8. The Spartans (8-5, 2-5 Big Ten) are begging to look more like a team that will be fighting to simply be on the bubble for the NCAA tournament rather than the three-time defending conference champion.

MSU played both senior guard Joshua Langford and freshman forward Mady Sissoko in their return from COVID-19. Sophomore Steven Izzo also made the trip and got in the game in the final minute, with freshman Davis Smith and junior Gabe Brown remaining in isolation along with assistant coach Dane Fife.

No MSU player reached double figures as the Spartans shot just 28.6% overall. The players Izzo has been counting on to be his Big Three — Aaron Henry, Joey Hauser and Rocket Watts — combined for 17 points on 8-for-22 shooting, five rebounds and 10 turnovers.

Henry’s seven points led MSU, while Marcus Bingham had seven rebounds and four points. Langford played 21 minutes and finished with three points on 1 of 8 shooting, while Sissoko went scoreless in four second-half minutes.

The Scarlet Knights (9-6, 5-6) scored 33 points off 21 MSU turnovers in the game. But it was the opening salvos of each half that crushed the Spartans.

That included eight points in the first 5 minutes of the game off five MSU giveaways and nine points off four more turnovers in the first 4-plus minutes of the second period. Rutgers outscored the Spartans, 26-2, in those two stretches.

Myles Johnson had 13 points and 14 rebounds to lead Rutgers, which had five others score between eight and 11 points.

MSU will return to East Lansing on Friday, then depart for Columbus, Ohio, a day later. The Spartans face No. 15 Ohio State on Sunday afternoon, then No. 7 Iowa on Tuesday, a rescheduled game from Jan. 14 that began the three-game stretch of postponements for the Spartans.

Contact Chris Solari: [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari. Read more on the Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State basketball sluggish in return, losing to Rutgers, 67-37

Originally published


Source link


Scoop Sky is a blog with all the enjoyable information on many subjects, including fitness and health, technology, fashion, entertainment, dating and relationships, beauty and make-up, sports and many more.

Related Articles

Back to top button