Rutgers grinds out Michigan State: Watch highlights, postgame pressers & more
Everything was going against Rutgers. They were down 8 points with under 17 minutes left in the game. Mawot Mag was out with an injury, and the Scarlet Knights were struggling mightily on offense. Instead, this team leaned on its veterans and it led to an important 61-55 victory over Michigan State at a raucous Madison Square Garden.
In a game that Rutgers held a -10 rebounding margin and shot just 38% from the floor, they earned a much needed win behind elite defense and an ability to close out the game. The Spartans shot just 34% from the floor including 4 of 21 from behind the arc. The Scarlet Knights are now 16-7 overall and 8-4 in Big Ten play in second place.
For my complete game recap, click here.
For game higlights, postgame pressers for both teams, my rapid reaction video, and the box score, scroll below.
Rutgers Postgame Presser
Michigan State Postgame Presser
AB’s Rapid Reaction Video
Rutgers Full Box Score
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February 5, 2023 at 2:39 am
A few observations from section 212:
1) While I thought that there would certainly be more RU fans in the building, it was 75%-80% RU and it was loud.
2) While MSU scored more points in the second half than the first, I thought RU’s defense was at its best in the final ten minutes. The first half, for both teams, seemed like two teams playing too cautiously with lots of sloppy play. In the second half it felt like RU went into attack mode on D. McConnell and Cliff were tremendous.
3) I have to go back and watch the tape but I imagine that Izzo was apoplectic in the locker room on whoever was guarding Paul in the final minutes. All credit to Paul for finishing, but I couldn’t believe that he was able to beat his man off of the dribble on consecutive possessions.
4) I was worried that Hyatt was also injured. Simpson…okay but Palmquist getting a run in the second half was puzzling. He is a major liability on D and he’s really a guy who can bust zones not man. Seemed odd.
5) Simpson stepping to the line and swishing his two free throws down the stretch was nice to see. His 18-footer was also a big shot.
6) Odd question: Since RU was the home team why were they on the road bench? MSU didn’t have to shoot into the RU student section in the second half. Anyone know why that was?
7) The officiating was brutal…for both teams. Far too many whistles. Let the kids play.
February 5, 2023 at 3:55 am
Wow! Great great win at MSG by the team! Tremendous defense by everyone, including Oskar, gets the job done. The captains put the team on their shoulders, as they should. We all hope that Mawat is okay and can play again this season. He kept RU in the game until he got injured.