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Spartans Stop Badgers, 69-61, On Senior Night

Feb. 21, 2018

Box Score |  Quotes

EAST LANSING, Mich. - In a game with 10 lead changes, the Michigan State women’s basketball team stopped Wisconsin, 69-61, on Senior Night Wednesday at the Breslin Center.

PDF Box Score vs. Wisconsin

Michigan State celebrated a quintet of seniors Branndais Agee, Kiara Carter, Lexi Gussert, Kennedy Johnson and Taya Reimer.

The Spartans improve to 16-12 overall and 6-9 in league contests, while Wisconsin falls to 9-20 overall and 2-14 in Big Ten play.

Agee captured her third double-double of the season with 13 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon led the team in scoring with 16 points, netting four 3-pointers, and dishing out six assists. Junior center Jenna Allen was just shy of a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Marsha Howard led the Badgers in scoring with 28 points and four boards.

Both teams started cold on the offensive end with the score tied 9-9 with less than two minutes left in the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Cooks gave the Spartans a 12-11 lead with a minute left. At the end of the first quarter, five different MSU players had scored, with MSU trailing 16-14.

In the second quarter, the Spartans used a 7-0 run fueled by seniors Gussert and Agee to take a 27-21 lead. In the period, Agee scored seven points with four boards. MSU entered a locker room with a 29-26 advantage. The Spartans are now 15-1 when leading at halftime.

Michigan State shot 33.3 percent from the field in the first half and 30.0 percent from beyond the arc. MSU also held the rebounding edge, 20-17.

Wisconsin was solid in the third quarter, using a 6-0 run to take a 41-35 advantage. Michigan State responded with four unanswered to pull within two. UW took as big a lead as six points after a Howard layup with 1:15 left in the quarter. MSU fought back with a 6-0 run to end the period as the teams were knotted 47-47. The Badgers out-scored the Spartans, 21-18, in the third period.

With 7:28 left in the final period, Wisconsin tied the game for the 10th time. After that point, the Spartans took the lead after a pair of Allen free throws. MSU would not relinquish its lead from that point, taking as big a gap as 11 points to seal the victory, with the Spartan senior celebrating their final regular-season home game by kissing the Spartan head at center court.

The Spartans conclude the regular season at Purdue on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

MSU Notes vs. Wisconsin
• Michigan State celebrated Senior Night by starting four of its seniors: guard Branndais Agee, guard/forward Lexi Gussert, forward Taya Reimer and forward Kennedy Johnson, who along with guard Kiara Carter, all played their final regular-season game in the Breslin Center.
• The Spartans’ fifth starter was sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon ... Wednesday’s starting line-up of Agee, Gussert, Reimer, Johnson and McCutcheon was MSU’s 13th different starting line-up this season.
• McCutcheon made her team-leading 27th start of the season, as part of her 60th of her career.
• Agee started her 18th game of the season and 80th of her career, the most among active Spartans.
• Reimer started for the eighth time this season and 41st of her career ... Gussert made her 11th start this season and 27th of her career ... Johnson started for the second time of both this season and her career.
• Agee played in her 131st career game, moving up to a seven-way logjam for No. 8 on MSU’s career games played list 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).
• Agee posted 13 points and a season-high 14 rebounds for her third double-double this season and eighth of her career ... with 13 points Wednesday, Agee posted double-digits for the 17th time this season and the 66th game of her career ... the 14 rebounds was her third double-figure rebounding game this season and 15th of her career.
• Agee becomes the 14th Spartan women’s basketball player to reach the 1,200 point plateau, now with 1,204 points, moving up to No. 14 on MSU’s career points list.
• The 14 rebounds gives Agee 675 career rebounds, moving up to No. 15 on the Spartans’ career rebounds list.
• With four 3-pointers Wednesday, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon has drained two or more treys in each of the last seven games since missing a game for the first time in her Spartan career.
• McCutcheon netted a team-high 16 points for her 12th double-figure scoring game this season and 16th of her career ... McCutcheon dished out a game-high six assists for her third-straight game with 5+ assists as part of six in the last seven and 16 games total.
• McCutcheon now has 148 assists this season, moving to a tie for No. 6 on MSU’s single-season assists list with Deb Traxinger (1979-80) ... McCutcheon already has the No. 4 spot on the list with 169 helpers from last season.
• For her career, McCutcheon now has 317 career assists, holding steady at No. 15 on MSU’s career assists list, now just five behind Rene Haynes (2003-07) with 322 ... McCutcheon is the 15th Spartan women’s basketball player with 300 assists.
• Junior forward Jenna Allen tallied 14 points off the bench, leading MSU to a 27-2 bench-points advantage ... it was Allen’s 13th double-figure scoring game and 23rd of her career ... Allen was also one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards Wednesday, tied for her second-most this season overall and most in B1G action, tying nine vs. Mississippi Valley State (12/22/17) and behind her 11 vs. Western Michigan (12/3/17).
• MSU is now 15-1 when leading at halftime.
• Michigan State had a +13 rebounding advantage Wednesday night, their 11th game this season with a double-digit rebounding advantage, including fourth in B1G play.



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