Aaron Henry scores 20 points as Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team beats higher-ranked Rutgers

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo talks with guard A.J. Hoggard during the second half against Rutgers on Tuesday in East Lansing. (AP photo)


AP Sports Writer

EAST LANSING — Aaron Henry did it all for No. 23 Michigan State.

For much of the night against No. 15 Rutgers, he had to while teammates turned the ball over and missed shots.

Henry had 20 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and two steals to help the Spartans pull away and beat the Scarlet Knights 68-45 on Tuesday night.

“He did the job for us, which the best players are supposed to do,” coach Tom Izzo said. “What I liked about him is, he was efficient. Aaron saved us a little bit.”

Michigan State (8-3, 2-3 Big Ten) had a 17-point scoring edge in the second half with a late offensive surge to win a second straight game after opening conference play with three straight losses.

The Scarlet Knights (7-3, 3-3) made just 31% of their shots. With no one guarding them, they were barely better.

Rutgers started 0 of 7 at the foul line and finished making just 3 of 12, a troubling trend for the potentially promising team.

“It doesn’t help that we can’t make a free throw to break some of these runs,” coach Steve Pikiell said.

Ron Harper Jr. had 13 points and Jacob Young scored 11 for Rutgers.

“Coach Izzo had them ready,” Pikiell said. “I didn’t have our guys ready. We have to play better on the road in a league like this.”

Henry played well enough to allow Michigan State to overcome a season-high 18 turnovers, contributing four giveaways himself. He made desperately needed shots, connecting on 8 of 13 from the field.