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Winston scores 28, No. 10 Michigan State beats Rutgers 71-60

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Xavier Tillman got off to a shaky start, filling in for Nick Ward in the starting lineup for No. 10 Michigan State.

Tillman finished strong, scoring a career-high 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and Cassius Winston had 28 points help the short-handed Spartans come back to beat Rutgers 71-60 Wednesday night.

''It's going to bring our team closer together,'' coach Tom Izzo said. ''Whether we'll have enough, I don't know. We'll find out, but I'm not counting us out.''

Michigan State missed Ward and Joshua Langford on offense against defensive-minded Rutgers. Ward had hand surgery Sunday and Langford had season-ending foot surgery earlier this month, taking more than 30 points out of Izzo's lineup.

Tillman, in particular, made the most of his opportunity.

''It builds tremendous confidence,'' he said. ''But Sunday, we have to get off to a much better start. This was a big win for us.''

The Spartans (22-5, 13-3 Big Ten) moved a half-game ahead of No. 7 Michigan and No. 15 Purdue in the Big Ten standings. They will play against the Wolverines on the road Sunday.

Michigan State started 0 of 6 and trailed 32-35 at halftime after making just 30 percent of its shots. The Scarlet Knights led by 11 points early in the second half before Tillman had six straight points and Michigan State's best chance to score was off offensive rebounds.

''I thought we were getting in a little bit of a groove,'' Rutgers guard Geo Baker said after scoring 17 points. ''It felt good, but we were playing on the road and that team can explode at any time.''

Matt McQuaid made a game-tying 3-pointer with 12:39 left after Michigan State's fourth offensive rebound of the possession. Winston made a go-ahead layup the next time the Spartans had the ball and they ended up coasting to a double-digit victory.

''The game was won because we rebounded,'' said Izzo, referring to his team's 45-31 edge on the boards.

McQuaid, the only player on the team who shot well early in the game, scored 11 points and Kenny Goins had five points and 12 rebounds. Kyle Ahrens, who has been in and out of the lineup with injuries, limped off the court after aggravating his back injury in the second half.

Ron Harper had 11 points for the Scarlet Knights (12-14, 5-11) as they lost for the fifth time in six games.

''We just have to stay positive,'' Baker said. ''We're a really young team and we have to learn how to win.''

BIG PICTURE

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights compete hard in the Big Ten, but they don't have enough scorers to win consistently in the highly competitive conference. They connected on fewer than 40 percent of their shots against the Spartans.

''Our numbers offensively are up over last year,'' said coach Steve Pikiell, adding he's counting on four freshmen to play regularly.

Michigan State: Tillman didn't score until 5:39 left in the first half, but the sophomore forward scored the last basket of the first half and had six straight points early in the second half to cut the Spartans' deficit to five.

''Xavier had some problems in the first half,'' Izzo said. ''I thought he did a helluva job in the second half.''

PLAYMAKER

Winston complemented his scoring by finishing with eight assists.

''Cassius is the best point guard in the league and he played like it,'' Pikiell said.

UP NEXT

Rutgers: Host Minnesota on Sunday night.

Michigan State: Plays at Michigan on Sunday.

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Key Players
G. Baker
0 G
C. Winston
5 G
32.8 Min. Per Game 32.8
18.5 Pts. Per Game 18.5
7.4 Ast. Per Game 7.4
2.9 Reb. Per Game 2.9
36.4 Field Goal % 46.5
34.8 Three Point % 43.4
73.2 Free Throw % 82.0
+ 2 Ron Harper Jr. made layup 12.0
+ 1 Cassius Winston made 2nd of 2 free throws 25.0
+ 1 Cassius Winston made 1st of 2 free throws 25.0
  Personal foul on Geo Baker 25.0
  Defensive rebound by Xavier Tillman 28.0
  Peter Kiss missed 2nd of 2 free throws 28.0
  Peter Kiss missed 1st of 2 free throws 28.0
  Shooting foul on Matt McQuaid 28.0
  Lost ball turnover on Cassius Winston, stolen by Geo Baker 34.0
+ 1 Geo Baker made 2nd of 2 free throws 39.0
+ 1 Geo Baker made 1st of 2 free throws 39.0
Team Stats
Points 60 71
Field Goals 23-58 (39.7%) 22-55 (40.0%)
3-Pointers 5-20 (25.0%) 7-20 (35.0%)
Free Throws 9-17 (52.9%) 20-22 (90.9%)
Total Rebounds 31 45
Offensive 9 14
Defensive 18 28
Team 4 3
Assists 12 14
Steals 7 4
Blocks 4 1
Turnovers 9 14
Fouls 17 15
Technicals 0 0
17 PTS, 2 REB, 6 AST
28 PTS, 5 REB, 8 AST
12T
away team logo Rutgers 12-14 322860
home team logo 10 Michigan State 22-5 254671
Team Stats
away team logo Rutgers 12-14 67.9 PPG 42.2 RPG 12.6 APG
home team logo 10 Michigan State 22-5 78.7 PPG 43.5 RPG 18.7 APG
Key Players
0
G. Baker G 12.2 PPG 3.1 RPG 4.1 APG 35.4 FG%
5
C. Winston G 19.1 PPG 3.1 RPG 7.5 APG 47.2 FG%
Top Scorers
G. Baker G 17 PTS 2 REB 6 AST
C. Winston G 28 PTS 5 REB 8 AST
39.7 FG% 40.0
25.0 3PT FG% 35.0
52.9 FT% 90.9
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Baker 17 2 6 6/12 3/8 2/2 3 35 3 1 2 1 1
R. Harper Jr. 11 4 0 4/6 1/2 2/2 3 28 0 0 2 0 4
E. Omoruyi 9 8 5 4/13 0/1 1/2 1 33 1 0 2 2 6
M. Mathis 4 0 0 2/7 0/2 0/0 0 17 1 1 0 0 0
S. Doorson 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/2 1 17 0 0 0 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
G. Baker 17 2 6 6/12 3/8 2/2 3 35 3 1 2 1 1
R. Harper Jr. 11 4 0 4/6 1/2 2/2 3 28 0 0 2 0 4
E. Omoruyi 9 8 5 4/13 0/1 1/2 1 33 1 0 2 2 6
M. Mathis 4 0 0 2/7 0/2 0/0 0 17 1 1 0 0 0
S. Doorson 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/2 1 17 0 0 0 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
P. Kiss 9 1 0 4/8 1/4 0/2 2 20 0 0 0 0 1
M. Johnson 5 7 1 2/5 0/0 1/3 5 18 2 2 0 3 4
S. Carter 4 2 0 1/1 0/0 2/2 1 10 0 0 2 2 0
C. McConnell 1 1 0 0/6 0/3 1/2 1 22 0 0 1 1 0
I. Thiam - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Young - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Downes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Nathan - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Doucoure - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Brooks - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 60 27 12 23/58 5/20 9/17 17 200 7 4 9 9 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Winston 28 5 8 8/17 3/8 9/10 0 36 0 0 3 0 5
X. Tillman 19 10 1 7/12 0/1 5/6 2 33 1 1 1 3 7
M. McQuaid 11 5 2 3/8 3/7 2/2 2 37 0 0 2 1 4
A. Henry 6 7 0 1/6 0/0 4/4 1 23 0 0 1 5 2
K. Goins 5 12 3 2/7 1/3 0/0 3 35 2 0 4 5 7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Winston 28 5 8 8/17 3/8 9/10 0 36 0 0 3 0 5
X. Tillman 19 10 1 7/12 0/1 5/6 2 33 1 1 1 3 7
M. McQuaid 11 5 2 3/8 3/7 2/2 2 37 0 0 2 1 4
A. Henry 6 7 0 1/6 0/0 4/4 1 23 0 0 1 5 2
K. Goins 5 12 3 2/7 1/3 0/0 3 35 2 0 4 5 7
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
T. Kithier 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 11 0 0 0 0 1
K. Ahrens 0 2 0 0/3 0/0 0/0 4 20 1 0 3 0 2
G. Brown 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
F. Loyer 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
M. Bingham Jr. 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
C. George - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Burke - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Langford - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Ward - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hoiberg - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Washington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 71 42 14 22/55 7/20 20/22 15 200 4 1 14 14 28