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Rutgers women's basketball drops 3rd straight game in loss at Michigan State

The Rutgers women's basketball team is in a three-game slump after winning two straight conference matchups. – Photo by

The Rutgers women’s basketball team fell in an away matchup against Michigan State yesterday by a score of 85-63. The Scarlet Knights (8-13, 2-7) have now dropped three straight games by deficits of over 20 points against Big Ten Conference opponents. 

The game did not start out well for Rutgers. The Spartans (11-9, 3-6) cruised to a 9-0 start, and the Knights scored their first points nearly three and a half minutes into the game.

By the end of the opening quarter, Michigan State was up large and led by a score of 27-10. In the opening quarter, the Spartans scored buckets from eight different players and drained three shots from beyond the arc.

Michigan State hit three more three-point field goals in the second quarter, and while the Knights only trailed by 5 in second-quarter points, they still found themselves in a deep 22-point hole. The Spartans led 48-26 at halftime.

Rutgers found a lot more success in the third quarter. Freshman guard Kaylene Smikle hit three straight layups for a small 6-0 Knights run. A three-pointer from freshman guard Antonia Bates and two free throws from Smikle helped Rutgers lessen what was once a large deficit to just 11 points. From then on, though, Michigan State scored 9 straight points and erased any chance the Knights had of a comeback.

While Rutgers led the Spartans in third quarter points 18-15, Michigan State still led overall with a score of 63-44 heading into the final quarter of play. In the fourth quarter, the Knights would decrease their deficit to 18 points, but the Spartans kept their command and ended the game with a double-digit victory over Rutgers.

Forward Taiyier Parks came off the bench and led Michigan State in points with 14 as well as rebounds with seven. Guards Matilda Ekh, Moira Joiner and Abbey Kimball all followed with 13 points of their own. Eleven different Spartans scored baskets in the afternoon contest.

Smikle outpaced all of her teammates with 27 points. Senior guard Kai Carter scored the next best with 11 points. Senior guard Awa Sidibe committed three early fouls and played a team-low 15 minutes.

The Knights will look to get out of their slump when Penn State comes to Jersey Mike's Arena on Livingston campus this Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network+ as well as 88.7 WRSU-FM.

For more updates on the Rutgers women's basketball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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