NEW YORK (AP) — Paul Mulcahy scored all 17 of his points in the second half and Rutgers rallied to beat Michigan State 61-55 on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Clifford Omoruyi 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 10 for the Spartans (14-9, 6-6).
Eight of Mulcahy’s points came off free throws when Rutgers went 18 of 27 at the line in the second half, finishing 22 of 34 for the game to the Spartans’ 11 of 14. The Scarlet Knights rebounded from dismal 24% shooting in the first half when they trailed by six to hit 58% of their shots in the second when they emphasized getting the ball into the paint.
Caleb O’Connell hit a 3-pointer to give Rutgers its final lead in the midst of a 9-0 run. The Knights were up two when Mulcahy followed with a free throw and consecutive driving layups to lead by seven with two minutes left. Rutgers’ final 10 points came at the line.
Michigan was 3 of 13 and Rutgers 2 of 15 over 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 at 38% shooting, Michigan State 34%, and they combined to go just 7 of 37 from the arc.
Rutgers lost Mawot Mag with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half with a right leg injury. He led the Knights in the first half with seven points but was in street clothes in the second half, wearing a brace.
The teams split the season series with the Spartans winning the first meeting 70-57.
Michigan State is host to Maryland and Rutgers is at Indiana on Tuesday.