Career-High From Colley Carries MSU Past No. 22 USF
Redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley scores 27 in the win.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Shay Colley scored a career-high 27 points as the Michigan State women's basketball upset No. 22 South Florida 83-73 on Thursday night at the New Orleans Shootout held at Xavier University.
PDF Box Score vs. #22 USF
Colley was 9-of-16 from the field and made 9-of 10 free throws in leading the Spartans (9-3) to their fourth-straight victory. Junior forward Jenna Allen added 17 points, while and senior forward Taya Reimer scored 12.
The Spartans shot 52.5 percent and scored 24 points off 20 Bulls' turnovers.
Laura Ferreira and Maria Jespersen scored 18 points apiece with Jesperson grabbing 11 rebounds for the Bulls. Laia Flores added 17 points, and Kitija Laksa added 15 for USF (10-3), which had a three-game winning streak broken.
Michigan State led 37-35 at halftime after a 9-0 run to close the second quarter. An 8-0 run to end the third period put the Spartans up 13 and they led by 17 early in the fourth. The Bulls were within eight with under four minutes left, but Colley put in a bucket and Allen added a layup and free throw to push the Spartans back ahead by 13 with 2:51 to go.
The Spartans willl conclude the New Orleans Shootout against Mississippi Valley State on Friday, Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. (ET). The Devilettes lost to Dayton in the first game of the tournament, 65-46.
MSU Notes vs. USF in New Orleans Shootout
By upsetting No. 22 USF, Michigan State is now 28-48 all-time against ranked opponents under head coach Suzy Merchant, including 1-2 this season with losses to No. 1 UConn and No. 2 Notre Dame.
Michigan State is on a four-game win streak, its second four-game win streak of the season as the Spartans opened 4-0.
With 83 points Thursday, Michigan State topped the 80-point plateau for the third game in a row and the seventh time this season ... Thursday marked the eighth time this season that MSU has hung at least 70 on the scoreboard, improving to 8-0 on the season ... Michigan State has won 114 of its last 124 games when scoring at least 70 points, and MSU is 131-17 under head coach Suzy Merchant when netting at least 70 points.
Sophomore guard Shay Colley's career-high 27 points topped her previous career-best of 16 points against Robert Morris in the season-opener ... It was Collley's second-straight double-figure scoring outing and third in the last four games, along with her fifth of the season.
Colley's 27 points was the second-highest by a Spartan this season, behind junior forward Jenna Allen's 28-point outing at Notre Dame, and also marked the third time this season that an MSU player has scored 20+ points in a game, as along with Allen's 28 points, senior forward Taya Reimer tallied 20 points against Oakland.
Michigan State improved to 4-0 this season with Thursday's starting lineup of Colley, Allen, Reimer, senior guard Lexi Gussert and sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon.
Allen added 17 points Thursday, for her third-straight game with double-figures, as part of five double-figure outings in the last six contests and sixth this season and 16th of her career.
MSU's 84.2 percent (16-of-19) at the free throw line was a season-high for the Spartans, marking their second-straight game topping the 80 percent mark from the charity stripe, as MSU has bettered its season best for the third game in a row, after 77.3 percent at East Tennessee State and 83.3 percent vs. Quinnipiac ... Thursday was the fifth time this season that Michigan State has shot 70 percent or better from the free pitch stripe.
The Spartans has a season-low 10 turnovers, bettering their previous season-low of 12 miscues, which they'd done twice, in back-to-back games against College of Charleston and Detroit Mercy.
While committing a season-low turnovers on offense, the Spartan defense forced USF into a season-high 20 turnovers, nearly doubling its season average of 10.6 turnovers per game ... The MSU defense also held USF to just eight three-pointers, which is the Bulls' third-lowest outing of the season, as USF entered the game averaging 10 treys per game ... MSU's offense also did not allow USF to block any of its shots, marking the first time this season that the Bulls did not have a blocked shot.
Michigan State's defense also limited USF leading scorer Kitija Laksa to 15 points, her second-lowest outing this season, as she entered the game averaging 23.5 ppg, ranking fifth in the NCAA.
The Spartans were down 15-4 in the early going Thursday night, as the 11-point deficit is MSU's largest in rallying for a win this season, bettering being down by seven points at East Tennessee State.
Michigan State was out-rebounded for just the third time this season, but Thursday marked the first time this season that MSU has won when having fewer rebounds than its opposition.
With Thursday's win, MSU is now 3-0 all-time against USF.