NEW YORK (AP) – Paul Mulcahy scored all 17 of his points in the second half as Rutgers beat Michigan State 61-55 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
Clifford Omorui added 15 points for the Scarlet Knights (16-7, 8-4 Big Ten), nine in the second half, and grabbed 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double this season.
Tyson Walker scored 12 points and Joey Hauser had 10 for the Spartans (14-9, 6-6).
When Rutgers scored 18 of 27 in the second half, eight of Mulcahy’s points came from free throws, to 11 of 14 for the Spartans to finish 22 of 34 for the game. The Scarlet Knights bounced back from a disappointing 24% shooting in the first half. He insisted on putting the ball in the paint when he fell behind sixes to hit 58% in the second shot.
Caleb O’Connell hit a 3-pointer amid a 9–0 run to give Rutgers its final lead. The Knights were up by two when Mulcahy made a free throw and consecutive driving layups to cut the lead to seven with two minutes remaining. Rutgers’ last 10 points came on the line.
Michigan was 3 of 13 and Rutgers was 2 of 15 in the first 10 minutes of the opening half for a combined 13 points. A 6–0 run at the end of the half gave Michigan State a 25–19 lead.
Rutgers finished on 38% shooting, Michigan State 34%, and they combined to go just 7 of 37 from the arc.
Rutgers lost Mawott Mag with a right foot injury with 6 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half. He led the Knights with seven points in the first half, but was in street clothes in the second half wearing a brace.
The Spartans won the first meeting 70–57 to split the season series between the teams.
Michigan State is hosting Maryland and Rutgers is at Indiana on Tuesday.
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