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Nia Clouden Named First Team All-Big Ten, Julia Ayrault Wins Sportsmanship Award

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Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The All-Big Ten honors were announced late Monday afternoon for the 2020-21 Women’s Basketball season. The Michigan State Spartans only had one player named to any of the teams, but Nia Clouden was certainly the obvious pick as she earned first-team honors from both the media and coaches.

Clouden completed her junior campaign averaging 18.0 ppg, good for seventh in the Big Ten. She ranked 11th in the league with 4.2 apg, 15th in steals with 1.7 per game, and started in all 20 of Michigan State’s regular season games this season. Clouden becomes just the second MSU player to receive first-team honors in the past three seasons, joining Shay Colley who earned first-team honors in 2018-19.

Clouden, hailing from Owings Mills, Maryland, has now received All-Big Ten honors for three straight seasons. She received honorable mention honors as a freshman, and was also named to the All-Freshman squad in the 2018-19 season, becoming the first Spartan to do so since Aerial Powers was named to the All-Freshman squad in the 2013-14 season. Then as a sophomore, Clouden was named to the All-Big Ten Second team.

Clouden becomes the 46th Spartan under head coach Suzy Merchant to earn All-Big Ten selections. At least two players have earned the distinction each season in 13 of the past 14 seasons with Merchant at the helm.

Sophomore guard Julia Ayrault was also named as Michigan State’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.