The Michigan State Spartans women’s basketball team faced off against No. 17 Ohio State on Sunday and came up just short in a 61-55 loss in East Lansing on senior night. The defeat marked three-straight losses for the Spartans to end the regular season, finishing 14-14 and 8-9 in Big Ten play.
Despite coming up short, it was hardly for lack of effort by MSU. Two players finished with double-doubles, the first time since 2018 for a Michigan State team. Tamara Farquhar and Taiyier Parks both notched a double-double, including Farquhar’s career-high 22 rebounds to go with her 10 points. Farquhar is the first Spartans since Lukendra Johnson in 2011 to grab at least 20 rebounds in a game. The 22 boards also tie Farquhar for No. 3 on MSU’s single-game record. Parks added 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Yesterday, #TamaraFarquhar capped off Senior Day with a bang! She scored 10 points and added a career-high 22 rebounds. She's the first Spartan since 2011 to bring down 20 boards!! #gogreen pic.twitter.com/lndwt3SbHu— Michigan State Women's Basketball (@MSU_WBasketball) February 28, 2022
In her (likely) final game in the Breslin Center, Nia Clouden led all scorers with 19 points. Clouden moved to No. 2 in the career scoring list last week and remains there with her 1,852 points following the loss to OSU. Clouden’s 115th start yesterday continued her streak of starting every game in a Spartan uniform, and moved her to No. 8 in the all-time starts list at Michigan State, edging Tori Jankoska. She also went 10-for-10 from the free throw line, marking her seventh game this season of scoring at least 10 free throws.
Freshman point guard DeeDee Hagemann matched her season and career-high four steals while junior guard Jayla James notched a career-high five rebounds.
Ohio State jumped out to an early 12-9 lead in the opening quarter, with Clouden scoring seven of MSU’s points in that span. Ohio State closed out the half with its biggest lead of the game, up 22-15. Parks and Clouden scored 13 of the Spartans’ 15 points.
Michigan State slowed down Ohio State defensively in the second quarter and used a 7-0 run to trim OSU’s lead to just 28-27 and cause a Buckeye timeout with 3:39 left in the first half. MSU’s 10 turnovers in the second quarter and a field goal drought in the final 3:39 were not enough to give the Buckeyes an overwhelming advantage in the period, though, with MSU heading into the locker room trailing just 32-29.
Poor shooting continued to plague the Spartans early in the third period, but Ohio State was still unable to pull away. Parks managed to tie it up at 37 just under four minutes left in the quarter on a put-back. A pair of free throws from Clouden shortly thereafter gave Michigan State the lead 41-39. However, a three-pointer by Kateri Poole at the buzzer saw the Buckeyes take the lead 44-41 heading into the final period.
Scoring droughts ensued for both teams in the fourth quarter with each enduring over two minutes without a field goal. Ohio State’s allowed the Spartans to go on an 8-0 run and take the lead before Tanaya Beacham sparked a run for Ohio State. OSU’s late 6-0 run ensured the game was out of reach for MSU, as the Spartans ended the game shooting an abysmal 25 percent from the field and just 13.3 percent from three-point range.
No group of @msu_wbasketball seniors has had to endure more challenges than this crew. So proud to have watched them lead, fight & compete regardless of the circumstances. Their resilience was powerful & couldn’t be prouder! We’ve been blessed to have had u as Spartans!Thk You https://t.co/91n4Y7tllM— Suzy Merchant (@SuzyMerchant) February 28, 2022
The starting lineup for senior day included all four seniors who were honored yesterday: guard Nia Clouden, forward Tamara Farquhar, forward Alisia Smith, and guard Laurel Jacqmain.
A tradition that never gets old. pic.twitter.com/TkqcjCfSYU— Michigan State Women's Basketball (@MSU_WBasketball) February 27, 2022
Spartans earn No. 8 seed in Big Ten Tournament
Michigan State will face off against No. 9 seeded Purdue on Thursday, March 3 at 11:30 a.m. EST. The game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis will broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
This marks just the second time that Michigan State has been the No. 8 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, with that squad also facing Purdue as the No. 9 seed. In the 2020 Big Ten Tournament, the Spartans fell to the Boilermakers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (now Gainbridge Fieldhouse) in Indy, 73-62.
Michigan State hosted Purdue in the lone regular season matchup between the two teams on Jan. 9, but the Boilermakers earned a 69-59 win over the Spartans.
The winner on Thursday will go on to face No. 1 seed Ohio State at 11:30 a.m. EST on Friday.