Despite jumping to a 12-point lead early in the first quarter, the Rutgers women’s basketball team was defeated by Michigan State 61-45, extending their losing streak to eight games. The Scarlet Knights (7-15, 0-10) remain the only team in the Big Ten to have not won a conference game this season.
Graduate student guard Shug Dickson and senior guard Lasha Petree helped establish the early lead, with each scoring 6 points to put Rutgers up 16-4 before the Spartans (11-9, 5-4) were forced to use a timeout. Following the break in the action, Michigan State responded with an 11-2 run and cut the lead to 3 at the end of the first quarter. The Knights made 8 of their 11 field goal attempts in the 10 minutes.
The second quarter saw the Spartans gain control of the game, taking the lead 3 minutes in. Rutgers had struggles shooting after their efficient first quarter, making just 2 shots on 17 attempts. Michigan State built on its lead, taking an 8-point lead into the halftime break. Petree led the Knights offense in the first half, scoring 11 points and hitting all three of her three-pointers.
Coming out of halftime, Rutgers and the Spartans traded baskets for most of the third quarter. Michigan State held its lead for the entire 10 minutes, with the Knights only cutting the deficit to 4 before being answered. Rutgers could not take advantage as the Spartans outrebounded and shot their opponents.
The fourth quarter saw Michigan State clinch its victory, doubling the lead and ending the game on a 7-0 run. The Knights fell to 7-6 at Jersey Mike’s Arena on Livingston campus this season and are now 6-6 all-time against the Spartans.
Rutgers had three scorers reach double-digits as Petree led the team with 15 points on five made shots. Dickson finished with 13 and graduate student forward Osh Brown added 10. Michigan State was led by Nia Clouden, who led the game with 17 points and six assists. Taiyier Parks contributed a double-double off of the bench, finishing with 11 points and pulling down ten rebounds.
The Knights will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska, for their next game against Nebraska tomorrow night. That game will take place at 8 p.m. and will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
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