Suzy Merchant's Spartans Lose 70-69 at Michigan

Jim Donatelli

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan State women’s basketball team fell on the road Saturday at Michigan, 70-69. Senior Jasmine Thomas led the Spartans (19-6, 7-5) with a career-high 21 points.

Junior Klarissa Bell and sophomore Becca Mills each added 15 points, while sophomore Kiana Johnson chipped in 12 points. Bell also led MSU with a career-high six assists and seven rebounds, while Johnson went 4-for-6 from 3-point and dished out four assists.

Michigan jumped out to a 17-8 lead in the first seven and a half minutes, behind 11 points from Kate Thompson. The Spartans answered with a 14-2 run, including 11 unanswered points, to go ahead 22-19, and would take a 32-28 lead into intermission.

The Michigan State lead grew to six (41-35) in the first three minutes of the second half, but the Wolverines kept clawing back and eventually went on a 7-0 run to go up five, 52-47 with 9:48 to go. Michigan’s advantage expanded to nine, 63-54 with 4:31 left, but two 3-pointers from Bell surrounded a Thomas basket, getting the game back within one with 2:13 to go. The Spartans were not able to get a stop on the defensive end in the final minutes, losing 70-69.

Michigan State shot 51.9% from the field, its highest percentage in a Big Ten game this season. The Spartans made a season-high nine 3-pointers for the second straight game, going 9-for-18 (50.0%).

Michigan State returns to Breslin Center on Wednesday, hosting Northwestern at 7 p.m.


- The Spartans snapped their 11-game winning streak over Michigan.

- Klarissa Bell tied her career-high with six assists, leading MSU for the second straight game. Bell also tied her career high with three 3-pointers, going 3-for-4.

- Kiana Johnson tied her career high with four 3-pointers. She went 4-for-6 today and is 14-for-31 (45.2%) from behind the arc in the last seven games.

- With her three assists, Jasmine Thomas moved into a tie for 19th place on the all-time MSU list with 238.