Carey scores 30 as No. 20 Rutgers tops No. 17 Michigan State
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Stasha Carey and Rutgers just keep rolling in the Big Ten.
Carey scored a career-high 30 points and the No. 20 Scarlet Knights remained perfect in the conference with a 76-62 victory over 17th-ranked Michigan State on Sunday.
“We take it one game at a time and don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” Carey said. “Anyone is capable of beating anyone on any day. We’re not focused on rankings right now or anything. We want to finish out the season strong.”
Rutgers (15-3, 7-0 Big Ten) has won its first seven conference games for the first time since the 2007-08 season when the team was still in the Big East. The Scarlet Knights have won 10 in a row overall, marking the second consecutive season they’ve had a winning streak of 10 or more games.
“I’m doing my best to put the blinders on,” Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said. “Just focus and enjoy the moment until we’ve come to a spot where we’ve worked hard for something and we’re there.”
Arella Guirantes added 19 points for Rutgers (15-3, 7-0 Big Ten), which trailed 14-13 late in the first quarter before scoring the final eight points of the period. The Scarlet Knights extended the advantage to nine at the half and 57-39 after three quarters.
Michigan State (13-5, 3-4) scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter, using a press, to cut its deficit to 57-47 before Carey hit a layup. The redshirt-senior added a three-point play and two free throws to extend the advantage to 15 midway through the quarter. The Spartans could get no closer than 11 the rest of the way. Carey hit 12 of her 15 shots from the field.
Michigan State was led by Taryn McCutcheon and Sidney Cooks, who each had 15 points. The Spartans continue to struggle on the road in conference play, having dropped all four of their Big Ten games away from home. Michigan State is a perfect 10-0 at home.
“I don’t understand it,” Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant said. “It’s the same offense, same people. We’re trying different things prep-wise. We lead the league in offense in the Big Ten then we go on road and score 60 points. We score 80 at home. ... Not sure what’s going on at this point. My teams have been really good road teams.”
Michigan State has had an up-and-down week. The Spartans lost to Ohio State Monday before upsetting No. 9 Maryland in a rout. ... Rutgers should keep moving up the Top 25. The Scarlet Knights haven’t been ranked in the first 15 since 2012.
The score at the start of the fourth quarter was 57-39, but the scoreboard listed it as 57-41 and the public address announcer said that they couldn’t change it to 39 on the boards. Michigan State actually reached 41 points after 32 seconds elapsed in the final period.
Ciani Cryor had 12 assists and didn’t score until the final minute of the game.
Michigan State: home against Illinois on Thursday.
Rutgers: at No. 22 Iowa on Wednesday.