Rutgers had No. 2 Michigan State on the ropes as they were only trailing by one possession at halftime. Then coach Tom Izzo worked his March Magic to perfection in the locker room. The Spartans came out firing on all cylinders by outscoring Rutgers 54-25, and completed the regular season sweep with a 97-66 triumph in Piscataway, New Jersey Wednesday.
MSU advances to 12-5 in conference play, tagging behind recently crowned Big Ten Champion No. 12 Indiana. Meanwhile, Rutgers remains winless in Big Ten play in a very disappointing 2015-2016 campaign.
Bryn Forbes’ performance was one for the record books, as he shattered the Big Ten three-point record with 11 made threes. He surpassed John Diebler of Ohio State, who had 10 three pointers against Penn State back in 2011.
Denzel Valentine’s former high school teammate scored roughly one-third of the Spartan’s 97 points with 33, leaving Eron Harris (15) and Valentine (14) in the dust.
Matt Costello recorded back-to-back double-doubles with 15 boards and 10 points, while Valentine had a relatively quiet night with only 14 points. However, he was two rebounds and two assists short of marking his third triple-double this season.
The most pleasant surprise was Marvin Clark stepping up big time. It was a great turnaround game for the sophomore, who established his presence by coming off the bench and knocking down 10 points.
Michigan State overall shot nearly 49% from the field, and 52% from beyond the arc. Their offensive rebounds (23) almost matched Rutgers total rebounds (24). The Spartans outrebounded the Scarlet Knights 50-24, which resulted in several second chance points for the away team.
The Ohio State Buckeyes are the only thing that are standing in front of Michigan State and the beginning of the always exciting Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis next Thursday. MSU is seeking to send out its senior class on a high note, by achieving the sweep of the Buckeyes on senior day this Saturday in front of the Green and White faithful. Can the great senior trio of Valentine, Forbes, and Costello close out their careers in style?