Nick Ward led the Spartans with 17 points on the night with Jaren Jackson Jr. right behind him with 16. Three other players in Josh Langford, Cassius Winston and Miles Bridges were all in double digits as well.
Ward had 10 boards for a double-double, while Winston led with seven assists.
Here are the full stats via Land of 10 Spartans reporter Luke Srodulski.
There's your final. First game decided by single digits at the Breslin Center this year. pic.twitter.com/bbmN7JRVcE
— Luke Srodulski (@lsrodulski) January 11, 2018
And here is what Spartan coach Tom Izzo had to say after the game, via Luke Srodulski:
Overall: “I was not very happy with how we played. …I thought by far the best player on the floor was, ironically, Nick Ward. I thought Cassius Winston showed incredible courage going to the line [down the stretch in overtime].”
“I was hoping that we would respond a little better after a loss. I don’t know if we were looking ahead.”
On Ward’s performance: “I thought Nick battled all night, but what Nick did best was he was up on those ball screens so, so, so much better than last year.”
On the performance from Rutgers: “That’s the most physical team we’ve played. We’re physical enough to play some teams. We’ve played Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, good teams. But today we played a well-coached team that’s as tough as the day is long.”
On getting a rare close game: “We’ve been in 15, 16 blowouts. …We haven’t been in a close game, and I thought we responded pretty well. We ran good stuff. But I thought we defended well all game and then didn’t defend down the stretch.”
On Miles Bridges: “Miles made some plays down the stretch. I thought he passed up some shots early. We’ve got some things to work on, but there are better teams than us that ended up in close games over the years.”
“That’s one of my issues with Miles. I told him he’s gotta be more selfish.”
“I’m gonna push Miles. I really am. I told him tonight: ‘Hang onto your hat tomorrow, brother.’ …He’s gonna give me something for sure, and I’m gonna teach him how to be a little more of a jerk. I’m good at that.”
On his team’s confidence: “To be honest, I don’t care where they are mentally confidence-wise. I care where they’re at mentally toughness-wise. …That’s one of the problems of playing good. Maybe they got a little fat and sassy.”