9th Seed Purdue versus 8th seed Michigan State
Date: Thursday, March 5th
Time: 12:00 pm EST
Location: Banker’s Life Field House, Indianapolis, IN
2019-20 Record: 17-13 (8-10, 9th in standings)
Head Coach: Sharon Versyp, 13th season, 276-162 overall record, 128-92 in B1G
How To Watch: BTN
Radio: TuneIn to stream Spartan Sports Radio
For the first time as an eighth seed in the Big Ten Tournament, our Michigan State Spartans open the tournament today against ninth seed Purdue. This will be the third meeting between MSU and Purdue with both teams winning on the road. The Boilermakers won in East Lansing on January 30th, 76-66. The Spartans returned the favor in West Lafayette on February 20th, 65-63.
The February game at Mackey saw 16 lead changes in action. It finally ended with a Spartan win after Nia Clouden scored a last second lay-up to give State the lead. Clouden also led the team in scoring with 14 points. That win moved head coach Suzy Merchant into eighth place in the Big Ten for career wins. The Penn State win this past Sunday has her tied for sixth place with former Ohio State coach Jim Foster at 136 conference wins.
Purdue holds the overall series lead over Michigan State, 41-34, but MSU has won seven of the last ten. The Spartans are 1-4 all-time against Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament. Their first win against the Boilermakers came with a 65-64 win in 2016 as the No. 3 seed.
The Boilermakers are led by leading scorer Ae’Rianna Harris, who is averaging 14.7 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game this season. Senior guard Dominique Oden, 14.2 points, and junior guard Karissa McLaughlin, 13.5 points, are also averaging double-digit scoring. Harris earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and was named to the All-Defensive team by the Big Ten coaches and media. McLaughlin and Oden were All-Big Ten honorable mention honorees.
The winner of today’s game will go on to face Maryland tomorrow at 12 p.m. ET. MSU has faced the Terps in the conference tournament four of the last five seasons, losing all four match-ups. The Spartans lost their only match-up to Maryland this season 94-53, a road game in College Park.
Big Ten Honors
Michigan State had two players named to the All-Big Ten teams Monday. Nia Clouden and Taryn McCutcheon were both named second-team All-Big Ten by the B1G coaches. Clouden was named second-team by the media, while McCutcheon grabbed honorable mention honors.
Clouden earned All-Big Ten honors for the second-straight season after capturing honorable mention honors as a freshman by both the coaches and the media.
McCutcheon has earned all-conference honors for the fourth-straight season. She becomes just the sixth Michigan State women’s basketball player to earn All-Big Ten accolades all four years as a Spartan. Despite battling injuries this season, McCutcheon is second on the team in scoring with 10.8 points per game.