Michigan State Women's Basketball Falls 65-57 To Michigan
Hondo S. Carpenter
East Lansing, MI
The Michigan State women’s basketball team played host to their rival the Michigan Wolverines on Sunday. Despite a disappointing season, the Spartans had a chance to get a feel-good signature win but came up short.
The Michigan State women’s basketball SID Kara Fisher does a great job and has this reap of the game:
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State women's basketball erased an 18-point second-half deficit but were unable to hold on, falling to Michigan 65-57 in the annual Pink Game Sunday. A season-high 11,462 fans were on hand at the Breslin Center.
The loss halted a three-game winning streak for the Spartans who fall to 14-13 overall and 7-9 in Big Ten action. Michigan improves to 18-9 overall and 9-7 in league play.
Michigan State had two players in double figures led by 18 from sophomore guard Nia Clouden, who also added four assists and two steals. Senior guard Taryn McCutcheon added 14 points with three assists and one steal. Sophomore guard/forward Tory Ozment had a solid game scoring nine points, with three rebounds and two assists.
Michigan was once again led by sophomore Naz Hillmon, who scored 26 points with 13 rebounds.
Neither team got off to a fast start with the first points coming at the 7:05 mark on a Hillmon free throw. McCutcheon got the Spartans on the board with a layup off of a Moira Joiner steal after MSU missed its first four shots. The Wolverine shooting began to heat up as they took a 14-8 advantage. Michigan State went the final 5:09 without a field goal, trailing 14-9 after the first period.
Michigan used a 7-0 run to open up its first double-digit lead, 21-11. The Wolverines kept a double-digit lead for much of the second quarter, as the foul trouble increased for MSU. Another 8-0 U-M run increased the advantage to 40-22 before the half ended with the Wolverines up 40-25. U-M took as big a lead as 18 points in the second quarter.
The Spartans scored the first six of the second-half to make it a single-digit game 40-31. Michigan State forced four turnovers in 2:28, leading to a Wolverine timeout. MSU continued to chip away, using a pair of Clouden free throws to make it a five-point deficit 41-36 midway through the third period. Playing in her first game since Dec. 28, Shay Colley's layup made it a 45-40 game with less than a minutes left in the third.
In the fourth quarter, MSU quickly erased the five-point deficit, even taking a brief 49-48 lead after a Clouden layup with 7:58 remaining. After MSU took the lead, Michigan went on a 7-0 run to re-take the lead 55-49. From that point, the Wolverines would not relinquish the lead again, as U-M went 14-for-19 from the charity stripe in the final period.
Michigan State will conclude regular-season action with a pair of games next week. The Spartans will travel to Illinois on Wednesday, Feb. 26. MSU will then say good bye to seniors Victoria Gaines, Taryn McCutcheon, Nia Hollie and Shay Colley on Sunday, March 1.
Michigan State Notes vs. Michigan
• The Spartans used the same starting line-up of senior guard Taryn McCutcheon, sophomore guard Nia Clouden, freshman guard Moira Joiner, sophomore forward Tory Ozment and sophomore forward Kayla Belles for the fifth-straight game ... This was the seventh game this season with those five starting for the Spartans, as MSU is 5-2 with that lineup ... It is Michigan State's eighth different starting lineup of the season.
• This is only the second time that Michigan has swept the season series with the other time coming during the 2014-15 season. In that season, MSU went on to defeat Michigan in the Big Ten tournament
• Clouden's 18 points was her eighth-straight game in double-figures and 24th of the season in 27 games ... It was the 47th double-figure scoring outing of Clouden's career.
• Michigan State tied a season high with six blocks against the Boilermakers. MSU also had six blocks against Oakland on Nov. 19 and Florida State on Dec. 5. Kayla Belles led the team with three swats, which was just shy of her career high of four blocks against Ohio State on Jan. 16. She has had eight games this season with multiple blocks.
• McCutcheon's 14 points on Thursday gives her 1,169 for her career, staying in the No. 21 spot, previously held by Julie Polakowski (1982-86) with 1,143 points. She is now just 12 points behind Rene Haynes (2003-07), who scored 1,181 career points.
• The Spartans scored 20 points off of turnovers compared to eight by the Wolverines. This was the second-most points off of opponent miscues this season during conference games after scoring 23 against Wisconsin on Jan. 12. This is the eighth time this season that MSU has scored at least 20 points off of turnovers in a game. The most Michigan State has scored in a season is 37 against Detroit Mercy on Nov. 11.
• The Spartans tied a season-low with 11 turnovers against Michigan. MSU also had 11 turnovers against Purdue on Feb. 20 and Indiana on Dec. 28.
• McCutcheon dished out three assists, giving her four-straight games with at least three assists ... The three helpers gives the senior guard 91 this season and 563 for her career ... McCutcheon is now just 11 helpers from tying the school record of 574 assists, held by her current assistant coach Kristin Haynie (2001-05).
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