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Enjoying the Build: 4 Thoughts on Michigan State

Rutgers battles, but falls

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers played hard and looked locked in to start, but fell 78-67.

A Tired Team: In the first half, Rutgers was locked in, hitting key shots, playing tough defense, and had a chance to go up ten at one point early. But in the second half, it was a different story. You could tell this young team hadn’t had the experience of playing in games so close together. Geo Baker, Peter Kiss and the lot were hitting front iron with a lot of shots and just couldn’t get anything to fall.

Foul Disparity: Usually, the home team gets all the calls. But Rutgers, this season, appears to be more a jump shooting team, and Michigan State took it to the bigs. A couple of should have been no calls by the refs or were missed (particularly a travel by Nick Ward late in the second half that could have shifted momentum). The Spartans were clearly getting the favorable whistle. Rutgers had been called for 5 fouls before MSU had even gotten called for one.

Caleb McConnell: The freshman finally started to come into his own. With Geo Baker battling foul trouble early, the kid had to come in and did he perform. He stayed in front of MSU’s point guard and he scored seven points of his own, including a cool lay-up, a three and two foul shots. Because Caleb was good, Geo only had to play 28 minutes. That development can pay dividends as the season goes on.

Gritty Hit a Half Court Shot: