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Spartans Tame Wildcats, 81-51

Jan. 3, 2018

Box Score |  Quotes

EAST LANSING, Mich. - After outscoring Northwestern, 50-22, in the first half, the Michigan State women's basketball team rolled to a convincing, 81-51, win Wednesday at the Breslin Center.

PDF Box Score vs. Northwestern

The Spartans improved to 12-4 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play. The Wildcats fall to 8-9 overall and 1-2 in league contests.

Michigan State was led by 18 points from redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley, who also added six assists and five steals. Redshirt-senior Branndais Agee added her second-straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon scored 16 points, while senior guard/forward Lexi Gussert added 14.

Oceana Hamilton led the Wildcats with 15 points off the bench. The Spartan defense also held NU's Abi Scheid to a season-low two points and just the third time in single-digit scoring, as she entered Wednesday ranking 16th in the B1G in scoring at 13.5 ppg.

MSU started strong, scoring the first seven points and later opened up a 20-9 lead after a Gussert trey. After a second Gussert long ball gave MSU a 23-12 lead, Northwestern called a timeout. The Spartans finished the first quarter going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. With 10 points in the first period, Gussert was one point shy of matching her season high.

The Spartans continued their solid long-range shooting, extending their advantage to 35-14 after a McCutcheon make. Michigan State hit the 45-point mark midway throughout the second stanza to go up 45-18 on the Wildcats. MSU held NU to only eight points in the second quarter.

In third quarter, Northwestern cut the game down to 28, the lowest of the second half after a jumper by Oceana Hamilton at 57-29 with 6:43 to play. MSU was able to get the lead back to 30 after a McCutcheon layup.

Despite being out-scored by the Wildcats, 17-15, in the final period, Michigan State maintained its 30-point advantage. The Spartans also led in second-chance points in the fourth quarter, 8-0.

Michigan State will now hit the road for three-straight Big Ten road games. The Spartans will travel to Minnesota on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 4 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. MSU will then face Maryland (Jan. 11) and Illinois (Jan. 16) on the road.

MSU Notes vs. Northwestern
• With Wednesday's win, Michigan State now leads the all-time series, 43-25, and MSU has won 18 of the last 19 meetings in East Lansing, having a 16-game home win streak vs. Northwestern snapped on Dec. 28, 2014, with a 61-57 loss to NU. MSU bounced back with a 74-51 home win on Jan. 10, 2016. The Dec. 28, 2014 Northwestern win was also the last road win in the series, as the home team has won the last four meetings with Wednesday's victory for MSU.
• The Spartans' 30-point victory was its largest Big Ten victory since a 31-point winning margin also against Northwestern on March 4, 2011, with a 56-25 MSU win.
• The Spartan defense held Northwestern to just 11.1 percent (1-of-9), the lowest by an MSU opponent ... The 11.1 percent was NU's second-lowest of the season behind 0-of-8 in its season-opener against Chicago State.
• MSU's starting line-up of sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon, redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley, redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee, freshman forward Sidney Cooks and junior forward Jenna Allen is now 2-0, as the Spartans have had six different combinations so far this season.
• Redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee posted her second-straight double-double with 12 points and a game-best 10 rebounds ... It was Agee's second double-double of the season and seventh of her career ... Agee also logged a double-double in consecutive games for the first time of her career.
• Wednesday was the fourth-straight game that Agee has scored in double-figures and the 10th time this season ... Agee has double-digit rebounds in back-to-back games for the first time this season and the second time in her career after snaring double-figure rebounds in three-straight games last season.
• Four Spartans scored in double figures: sophomore guard Shay Colley (18), senior guard/forward Lexi Gussert (14), sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon (16) and senior guard Branndais Agee (12) ... It was the third time this season that four MSU players scored double-digits in a game, as MSU is now 3-0 when doing so.
• Senior guard/forward Lexi Gussert scored a season-high 14 points and five field goals ... Her three treys tied a season-high and one shy of her career-best.
• Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon's five field goals and four three-point buckets tied a career-high for the third time.
• Sophomore forward Nia Hollie grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
• Sophomore guard Shay Colley tied a season-high by recording five steals ... Colley also dished out a game-high six assists, marking the fifth game this season with five or more helpers.
• Colley led MSU in scoring for the second-straight game, and she has high points for the Spartans in four games this season, all coming in the last six games.
• The Spartans open the month of January 1-0, as MSU has won its first game of the month in each of the three months this season.
• MSU kept Northwestern's Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah off the boards, holding her to seven rebounds, snapping her streak of a double-double in three-straight games, as Kunaiyi-Akpanah came into Wednesday's game ranked third in the league and 21st in the country in rebounding with 10.6 rpg, and was only the seventh time that she was held to single-digit rebounds.
• The Spartan defense also held NU's Abi Scheid to a season-low two points and just the third time in single-digit scoring, as she entered Wednesday ranking 16th in the B1G in scoring at 13.5 ppg.


 

 

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