It didn't take long for the 12th ranked Michigan State Spartans to get rolling against Rutgers, as they put on a display against the overmatched Scarlet Knights.
After some back and forth to start the game, Denzel Valentine and Bryn Forbes vaulted the Spartans to a 29-13 advantage early. At that point, it seemed like the Scarlet Knights were once again going to be dismantled and embarassed by a B1G team.
However, Corey Sanders stepped up and helped the Scarlet Knights close the defecit. They went on a 14-3 run and closed the Spartan lead to just 7. Plays like this were why Sanders was able to help the Scarlet Knights claw back from what seemed to be an insurmountable deficit.
Bryn Forbes was the star of the first half, though, as he totaled 18 points on 6-8 from 3-point range. He was unstoppable in the first half and was the thorn in Rutgers' side preventing them from getting any closer to the Spartan lead.
It was much of the same in the second half, as Rutgers tried their best to put up points, but the Spartans slowly broke away with a slew of offensive rebounds and 3-pointers.
With 13:30 left in the second half, Bryn Forbes put up a 3-pointer for the Spartans. Everyone on Rutgers stood still and watched. Not a single Scarlet Knight made an effort to box out or go for a rebound. It was as if they knew the shot was going in. However, it did not. MSU big-man Gavin Schilling pulled down an offensive rebound between 4 Scarlet Knights and kicked it out to Denzel Valentine who drained a 3.
That was the story of the second half. The Spartans dominated Rutgers behind the arc and on the glass. The discrepency between second-chance points and offensive rebounds was startling.
Quite frankly, it is no surprise to see Rutgers get dominated on the glass. With Shaq Doorson, Deshawn Freeman, and Ibrahima Diallo all out for the season, it is expected that Rutgers doesn't keep pace with the other big men in the B1G. However, everyone who plays point guard to small forward is healthy and they have a coach so Eddie Jordan has no excuse for the embarrassing perimeter defense.
The rest of the second half was much of the same, as the Spartans continued to dominate the overmatched Scarlet Knights. Michigan State showed no mercy, as they continued to chuck up three pointer while up by 30+ points late in the second half.
Truthfully, Michigan could've won by 40 and put up 100, but they decided to take it easy on Rutgers, who still couldn't make a shot with the reserves in. The final score was Michigan State 96, Rutgers 62.
Mike Williams led the Scarlet Knights with 18 points and Corey Sanders added 17 points and 5 assists.
Rutgers returns to action Wednesday at 6:30 against Illinois (10-11, 2-6).