In need of a bounce-back after two straight disappointing road losses, Michigan State basketball returned home on Sunday to take on a decent Rutgers team.
Things weren't looking good early in the second half, surrendering a 32-25 lead and falling behind 34-32 before going on a huge run. Actually, the Spartans went on a 19-0 run after falling behind 36-35 and that was essentially the difference in the game as Rutgers just didn't have the firepower to fight back and pull things closer. They flirted with 10-15-point deficits, but Michigan State did a solid job of maintaining the healthy lead.
With the win, Michigan State moves to 10-7 overall and 2-4 in Big Ten play. Obviously not an ideal start to the season, but there's still plenty of time to turn things around.
What'd we learn from this home win?
3. Carson Cooper looked great
Carson Cooper has received a lot of criticism this year, but he looked great on Sunday afternoon after a tough end to the first half in which he fumbled away a great pass from Tre Holloman.
Cooper finished with four points and five rebounds and that one turnover, but he got stronger as the game went on and was one of the most consistent players on the floor.
No, he's not going to score a ton of points nor will he play elite defense, but he's going to be aggressive on the glass, put up a defensive fight, and he'll throw down the occasional dunk or two. He did all of that against Rutgers and earned himself some more playing time.