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Michigan State women’s basketball upsets No. 4 Michigan

Syndication: Lansing State Journal Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Michigan State Spartans women’s basketball team was back in action on Thursday night at home in the Breslin Center to take on the archnemesis and No. 4-ranked Michigan Wolverines. The game was also MSU’s annual Pink Game to support Breast Cancer Awareness, with both programs wearing pink-accented uniforms.

The Spartans shocked the Wolverines in an upset victory, and ended Michigan’s eight-game winning streak. Michigan State won by a final score of 63-57.

The Spartans were led by guard Nia Clouden, who scored 20 points and also dished out four assists. Forward Tamara Farquhar chipped in 11 points and led Michigan State with eight rebounds, while freshman guard DeeDee Hagemann had a strong all-around game with nine points, nine assists and seven boards. Michigan forward Naz Hillmon had a game-high 27 points, while guard Danielle Rauch had 12 points.

Michigan jumped out to a 14-11 lead after the first quarter of play. The Wolverines started the game on an 8-0 run before a three-pointer by Hagemann finally got the Spartans on the board. MSU would close out the quarter on an 11-6 run.

The second quarter was even, with both teams scoring 15 points each. The teams would trade baskets throughout the period, but Michigan freshman guard Laila Phelia hit a layup with just three seconds to play before halftime to give the Wolverines a 29-26 advantage heading into the locker rooms.

It was a strong third quarter, led by Clouden and Farquhar, that buoyed Michigan State to the victory, though. The Spartans outscored the Wolverines 23-11 in the third frame. Clouden set the tone immediately with a three-pointer to open the scoring in the second half, and also closed the quarter with a buzzer-beating shot from behind the arc. Clouden scored 13 of her 20 points in the quarter, while Farquhar scored six of her 11 points in the quarter. MSU built up a nine-point lead by the end of the period at 49-40.

Michigan wouldn’t go down easy, though, outscoring Michigan State 17-14 in the fourth and final quarter. A jump shot by Hillmon cut MSU’s lead to just one point at 56-55 with 1:38 left to play on the clock, but a clutch three-pointer by freshman guard/forward Matilda Ekh pushed the Spartans’ lead back up to four points at 59-55 with 1:13 left to play.

Late free throws from Clouden and Farquhar would eventually seal the game for Michigan State, and the score went final at 63-57.

Michigan State ended a three-game losing streak versus Michigan, but has now defeated the Wolverines in four of the last seven meetings, as well eight of the last 12 matchups overall. The Spartans’ all-time record against the Wolverines now stands at 73-22 and 36-8 in East Lansing — quite the dominate mark for MSU.

Michigan State improves to 13-10 on the season and 7-5 in Big Ten Conference play. Michigan falls to 20-3 and 11-2 in the conference.

Next up for the MSU women’s basketball team is a road game at Indiana on Saturday at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Big Ten+. Michigan State also has another game scheduled with Michigan in Ann Arbor on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m.