Michigan got the sweep of our MSU ladies Sunday afternoon in East Lansing in front of 11,462 fans. The Spartans kept it close in a low scoring first quarter, trailing 14-9 at the end of the quarter. The second quarter saw an explosion of offense by Michigan that would prove insurmountable. The Wolverines outscored the Spartans 26-16 in the second, pushing their lead to 40-25.
Coming out of the locker room, the Spartans came out swinging on defense. Michigan managed just seven points in the quarter as the Spartans rallied with 18 points of their own to trail just 47-43. As the fourth quarter started, Tory Ozment sunk two free throws with 9:18 left to pull within three. Taryn McCutcheon’s jumper with 8:55 left the Spartans trailing by one, 48-47. Not quite a minute later, a Nia Clouden layup would give the Spartans their second lead of the game, and their first since a three point lead with 6:13 left in the first quarter. The Wolverines finished the game on a 17-8 run, with the Spartans losing 65-57.
The Spartans shot just 31.1 percent from the field compared to Michigan’s 40.4. MSU also struggled from the free throw line, managing just 60 percent on 25 attempts. The Spartan ladies were dominated on the glass as well, with Michigan holding the overall edge 49-29 at the glass.
Clouden led the Spartans in scoring with 18 points going a perfect two-for-two from three point range. Clouden also paced the team with four assists, and got two steals on the defensive end. Taryn McCutcheon was second in both scoring and assists, getting 14 points and dishing out three assists. Julia Ayrault and Moira Joiner led the team in rebounds with five each, while Nia Hollie added four as well.
This was also the annual “Pink Game” for the Spartans, which raises awareness for breast cancer. Mel Tucker, the newly hired head football coach, addressed the crowd at halftime.
Coach @SuzyMerchant & @msu_wbasketball -- Thanks for letting me share the court at the "pink" game & how our family has been impacted by breast cancer.— Mel Tucker (@Coach_mtucker) February 24, 2020
Find a cure. Power of One. #GoPink #GoGreen #RELENTLESS @BreastCancerNow pic.twitter.com/suVHyIY3DH
MSU’s women now need to win out to finish the season with a .500 conference record as they move to 7-9 in conference play. Next up will be at Illinois Wednesday night before the season finale at the Breslin Center next Sunday against Penn State.