MSU Edged by Minnesota to Open Road Swing
Sophomore Nia Hollie scores a career-high 14 points in the loss.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Playing in her home of Minneapolis, sophomore forward Nia Hollie scored a career-high 14 points as the Michigan State women's basketball team dropped an 83-77 nailbiter to Minnesota at Williams Arena in Minneapolis on Sunday.
The Spartans fall to 12-5 overall and 2-2 in Big Ten play. The Golden Gophers improve to 13-4 overall and 2-2 in league contests.
For the first time this season, six Spartans scored in double figures led by Hollie's 14. Freshman forward Sidney Cooks recorded her first collegiate double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. A trio of players scored 12 points in junior center Jenna Allen, redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley and sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon. Off the bench, redshirt-sophomore forward Victoria Gaines added 10.
Minnesota was led by a game-high 22 points from Kenisha Bell, while Carlie Wagner scored 15.
MSU used a 6-0 run to take an early 12-8 lead over the Gophers with under five to play in the first quarter. The Gophers then scored six-straight to take a 14-12 advantage.
In the second quarter, Minnesota used a 6-0 run to take a 31-27 lead. Allen halted the run with a free throw to cut the Gopher advantage to 31-28. The Spartans went cold in the second period and Minnesota took control, taking as big a lead as nine points. The Spartans chipped away at the lead,using a pair of Taya Reimer free throws and a jumper by Nia Hollie. Minnesota out-scored Michigan State, 21-13, in the period, but MSU only trailed 41-36 at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Agee was called for her fourth foul, limiting her playing time the rest of the game. Hollie came in and scored four-straight for the Spartans, as MSU trailed 47-43. Minnesota maintained its lead the remainder of the period, leading 62-58 at the end of the third frame.
The Gophers used a 6-0 run to take their first double-digit lead at 71-61. Michigan State used a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 71-67 after a basket by Hollie. The Spartans trimmed the gap to three points, but were not able to get any closer.
Michigan State will now continue its three-game road trip when the Spartans face No. 13 Maryland (Thursday, Jan. 11) and Illinois (Tuesday, Jan. 16) on the road. Both games will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
MSU Notes vs. Minnesota
For the first time this season, six Spartans scored in double figures led by a career-high 14 points from sophomore forward Nia Hollie. Junior center Jenna Allen and sophomores Shay Colley and Taryn McCutcheon both scored 12 points. Freshman forward Sidney Cooks scored 11, while redshirt-sophomore forward Victoria Gaines added 10. This was the first times since Feb. 20, 2014 that six scored in double figures when MSU defeated Wisconsin, 76-66.
Sidney Cooks recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
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 2-1, as the Spartans have had six different combinations so far this season.
Michigan State lost only its second game this season when out-rebounding its opponent. The Spartans are now 11-2 when they out-rebound their foe.
The Spartan bench out scored the Gopher bench, 30-18. Michigan State is now 10-4 when its bench out-scores its opponents.