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MSU Women’s Basketball: No. 25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Preview

The Spartans conclude a home stand against the No. 25 Scarlet Knights in the only matchup this season between the two programs.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 24 Women’s Michigan State at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Michigan State Spartans finish up a two-game home stand with a visit by the No. 25 Rutgers Scarlet Knights this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. EST with the game airing on the Big Ten Network. Lisa Byington and Christy Winters Scott will be the broadcast team for the game.

The 12-6 Spartans (7-6 in the Big Ten) are coming off a thrilling win over the Purdue Boilermakers on Sunday. Rutgers is 10-3 overall (6-3 in the Big Ten) and enters the game on a five-game win streak following a near month long pause for COVID-19.

Tomorrow marks the 12th meeting all-time between the two programs with MSU holding a 6-5 advantage after sweeping the Scarlet Knights last season. Michigan State’s sweep last season ended a three-game win streak by Rutgers in the series that has followed MSU’s own three-game win streak prior to that.

The Scarlet Knights currently rank No. 25 in the AP and are receiving votes in the Coaches Polls. Rutgers has won its last five games by an average margin of 21.2 points and by a minimum margin of 16, including against a then-ranked Northwestern squad. The Scarlet Knights have scored at least 70 points in the past five conference games, which is the first time the program has accomplished that feat since the 1997-1998 season when Rutgers went seven-straight as a member of the Big East. Rutgers’ .483 field goal percentage as a team is seventh in the country. The 13.7 steals per game as a team is second in the country.

Arella Guirantes leads the Scarlet Knights in scoring with 22.2 ppg, which ranks third in the Big Ten. Guirantes also leads the team in steals with 2.2 spg (fourth in the Big Ten), in assists with 5.2 apg, and blocks with 2.2 bpg (third in the Big Ten). Diamond Johnson is second on the team in scoring and seventh in the Big Ten with her 17.3 ppg.

Last game’s finish deserves one more mention: