Four Score in Double Figures as MSU Falls to Nebraska
Junior center Jenna Allen paces the Spartans with 19 points off the bench.
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Junior center Jenna Allen scored a game-high 19 points as the Michigan State women’s basketball team dropped a Big Ten battle with Nebraska, 79-69, at the Breslin Center on Valentine’s Day night.
PDF Box Score vs. Nebraska
The Spartans fall to 15-12 overall and 5-9 in league contests, while Nebraska improves to 19-7 and 10-3 in B1G play.
Allen was one of four Spartans to score in double figures. Redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley returned to action after missing seven games with a knee injury to score 15 points, to go along with four rebounds and five assists. Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon and redshirt-sophomore forward Victoria Gaines both added 12 points.
Nebraska was led by 17 points apiece from Hannah Whitish and Nicea Eliely.
The turnover bug bit the Spartans early as the visiting Cornhuskers opened up a 17-11 lead late in the first quarter. Colley returned to the Spartan lineup checking in midway through the first period. A Gaines 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter trimmed the Husker advantage to 19-15.
In the second stanza, after the teams exchanged leads, Michigan State used a 6-0 run to take a 38-33 advantage. In the midst of the run, Colley scored her first basket since her return to the lineup. With three seconds left in the half, Allen drained a pair of free throws to put MSU up 40-38 at intermission.
Allen scored 12 points in the first half, while Gaines added eight in the first 20 minutes.
The Huskers scored 11 of the first 15 points of the second half. Nebraska closed the quarter on a 7-0 run, out-scoring MSU, 24-10, in the period.
In the final period, the Spartans closed the deficit to nine at 64-55 on an old-fashioned three-point play by Colley at 8:36, but Nebraska responded by scoring six of the game’s next eight points for a 70-57 lead on a trey by Whitish with 3:18 to go. Another three-point play by Colley pulled MSU with 72-63 at the 2:22 mark, but MSU couldn’t cut the gap to less than nine down the stretch.
Michigan State concludes the regular-season portion of the home schedule on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. The Spartans will honor their five seniors: Branndais Agee, Kiara Carter, Lexi Gussert, Kennedy Johnson and Taya Reimer.
MSU Notes vs. Nebraska
• After missing the previous seven games due to injury, sophomore guard Shay Colley returned to action Wednesday night, checking in part way through the first quarter ... Colley played 24 minutes and tallied 15 points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal in her first action since Jan. 16 at Illinois ... Colley’s 15 points is her fifth double-digit scoring outing in the last six games played as part of her 11th this season ... Colley has dished out five or more helpers in each of the last five games played as part of nine games this season.
• MSU’s starting line-up of senior forward Taya Reimer, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon, senior guard Branndais Agee, senior guard/forward Lexi Gussert and redshirt-sophomore forward Victoria Gaines was the second-straight game with that quintet this season as part of the Spartans’ 12th different starting lineup this season.
• Four Spartans tallied double-figure points, marking the fifth game this season in which four scored double-digits.
• Junior forward Jenna Allen netted a game-high points for her 11th double-figure game this season and 21st of her career, after not posted double-digits in the last four games, her longest stretch in single-digits this season ... Allen led MSU in scoring for the sixth time this season.
• Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon scored 12 points for her 11th double-figure scoring game this season and 16th of her career.
• With two 3-pointers Wednesday, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon has made two or more trey in each of the last six games since missing a game for the first time in her Spartan career.
• By dishing out nine assists on Wednesday, McCutcheon now has 142 helpers this season, moving into the Spartans’ top 10 single-season assists list, climbing up to No. 9, passing Chris Powers (1993-94) with 141 helpers and Marline Ferguson (1991-92) with 138 assists ... McCutcheon already has the No. 4 spot on the list with 169 helpers from last season ... the nine assists marked her 15th game this season with five or more helpers, including five in the last six.
• McCutcheon now has 311 assists for her career, holding steady at No. 15 on MSU’s career assists list, now 11 behind Rene Haynes (2003-07) with 322 ... McCutcheon is the 15th Spartan women’s basketball player with 300 assists.
• McCutcheon swiped four steals Wednesday, one shy of her career high and her second-straight game with three or more steals as part of her eighth game this season.
• Sophomore guard Victoria Gaines netted 12 points for her second double-figure outing in the last three games as part of her fifth double-digit point total this season and eighth of her career.
• Gaines drained two 3-pointers Wednesday for her second game with multiple treys in the last three games, netting three triples vs. Maryland (2/18).
• Senior guard Branndais Agee played in her 130th career game, taking over sole possession of No. 14 on MSU’s career games played list, pulling away from a tie with former teammate Becca Mills (2011-15) ... her next game played will tie Agee for a seven-way logjam for No. 8 with former teammates Tori Jankoska (2014-17) and Jasmine Hines (2012-16) and current student assistant coach, as well as Jasmine Thomas (2009-13), Lykendra Johnson (2008-12), Lindsay Bowen (2002-06) and Liz Shimek (2002-06).
• Michigan State dished out 20 team assists Wednesday, marking the second game in a row and the 12th outing this season with 20 or more helpers, including the fifth game in B1G play.