Indianapolis Star
National Basketball Association
Michigan St 71, Rutgers 60
When: 6:30 PM ET, Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Where: Breslin Center, East Lansing, Michigan
Officials: # Bill Ek, # Keith Kimble, # Kelly Pfeifer
Attendance: 14797

Cassius Winston scored 28 points, including 19 in the second half, to help No. 10 Michigan State overcome a sluggish start and beat visiting Rutgers 71-60 in East Lansing, Mich.

Winston added eight assists and five rebounds for the Spartans (22-5, 13-3 Big Ten). Xavier Tillman scored a career-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Matt McQuaid scored 11 and Kenny Goins pulled down 12 rebounds.

It was Michigan State's first game since junior center Nick Ward was knocked out with a broken hand, which required surgery and will keep him out for an indefinite amount of time. His absence appeared to have Michigan State out of sorts in the first half as Rutgers took advantage.

Outside of a roughly three-minute stretch, it was all Rutgers in the first half. The Scarlet Knights took a quick lead but watched it disappear as a 9-0 run put the Spartans ahead 15-9 with 12:44 to play in the half.

From there, Rutgers took over. The Scarlet Knights scored 14 straight points, capping a 19-3 run with five points in a row from Geo Baker that gave Rutgers a 28-18 lead. Michigan State managed to chip away slightly, but 9-for-30 shooting and eight turnovers left the Spartans in a 32-25 hole at halftime.

They started to find some momentum early in the second half as an 8-0 run pulled the Spartans within three. After Rutgers scored four in a row, Michigan State scored the next seven to tie the game at 40 on a triple from McQuaid with 12:36 to play.

Michigan State eventually finished off an 11-0 run with a pair of free throws from Aaron Henry to take a 44-40 lead with 11:20 left in the game. After a triple from Rutgers' Ron Harper Jr., the Spartans kept pouring it on, extending their lead to 53-43 on seven straight points from Winston and a put-back from Goins.

The Spartans pulled away from there and now prepare for their first showdown with rival Michigan on Sunday in Ann Arbor.

Baker scored 17 points to lead Rutgers (12-14, 5-11), while Harper added 11. Eugene Omoruyi and Peter Kiss each scored nine for the Scarlet Knights, with Omoruyi adding eight rebounds and five assists.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Rutgers   Michigan St
Geo Baker 17 Scoring Cassius Winston 28
Geo Baker 6 Assists Cassius Winston 8
Eugene Omoruyi 8 Rebounds Kenny Goins 12
Geo Baker 2 Free Throws Made Cassius Winston 9
Geo Baker 3 Steals Kenny Goins 2
Myles Johnson 2 Blocks Xavier Tillman 1
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Rutgers 60 39.7 5-20 9-17 12 27 4 7 11
Michigan St 71 40.0 7-20 20-22 14 42 1 4 14