MSU Hosts Michigan For Annual Pink Game
The Spartans take on No. 21/20 Michigan for the annual Pink Game and Girll Scout Day.
|Michigan State (14-11, 4-8 B1G) vs. No. 20/21 Michigan (20-6, 9-4 B1G)|
|Date||Sunday, Feb. 11|
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
|Location||East Lansing, Mich. | Breslin Center | Bag Policy|
|Tickets||Click To Purchase|
|Radio||Spartan Sports Network | WJIM-AM 1240|
|Game Notes||Michigan State | Michigan|
|Statistics||Michigan State | Michigan|
|Promotions||Annual Pink Game & Girl Scout Day|
|Social Media||@MSU_WBasketball | Facebook | Instagram|
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State continues its four-game homestand against No. 21/20 Michigan on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 12 p.m. at the Breslin Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 with Pam Ward and Gail Goestenkors. Sunday is also MSU’s annual Pink Game for breast cancer awareness. The Spartans will also celebrate Girl Scout Day. The Spartans are currently 14-11 this season and 4-8 in league play. The Wolverines are 20-6 overall and 9-4 in Big Ten action. The Spartans are looking to snap a six-game losing streak.
• MSU’s starting line-up of freshman forward Sidney Cooks, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon, senior guard Branndais Agee, sophomore forward Nia Hollie and senior forward Kennedy Johnson against Maryland on Feb. 8 was the first such quintet this season as part of the Spartans’ 11th different starting lineup this season.
• With three assists against No. 10/9 Maryland on Feb. 8, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon now has 297 for her career, just three shy of becoming the 15th Spartan women’s basketball player to reach the 300 assists plateau, and with her 300th helper, she’d tie current Spartan graduate assistant coach Kalisha Keane.
• Senior forward Taya Reimer tallied her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career with 15 points and a season-high 11 rebounds against Maryland. It was Reimer’s ninth double-figure scoring outing of the season.
• After playing only two home games in the month of January, the Spartans will now play three of their last four regular season games at the friendly confines of the Breslin Center.
The injury-ravaged Spartans have used 11 different starting lineups this season. Against Maryland on Feb. 8 with freshman forward Sidney Cooks, redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee, sophomore guard/forward Nia Hollie, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon and senior forward Kennedy Johnson all earned starts. Johnson earned her first career start in her four years in the Green and White.
After starting the first 20 games of 2017-18, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon did not start for the first time this season against Michigan on Jan. 23, snapping her streak of starting in all 53 games of her Spartan career. Against Penn State, she earned her 57th career start.
Agee made her 15th start of the season and 77th of her career against Ohio State. Allen has started 20 games this season and 23 for her career. Cooks started for the 22nd time this season, including the last 20 games. Hollie has made seven starts this year.
GETTING OVER 40
Rebounding has been the key to the Spartans’ success. MSU is 13-7 when getting over 40 boards in a game. Michigan State has had over 56 rebounds three times this season against Oakland, College of Charleston and Detroit Mercy. Overall the Spartans are 12-5 when out-rebounding its opponents.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES
This season, the Spartans are 7-4 at the friendly confines of the Breslin Center. MSU was a perfect 6-0 in non-conference action and 1-4 in league play. At home, MSU is averaging 78.5 points per game, while allowing 58.8. Three Spartans score in double figures at home, led by redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley, who before her injury averaged 13.5 ppg. Redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee (12.3 ppg) and freshman forward Sidney Cooks (11.0 ppg) both score in double digits. MSU dominates the boards at home with a rebound margin +12.7.
Redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley injured her knee against Illinois on Jan. 16. Since her injury, the Spartans have been struggling offensively. Since Colley’s injury, MSU is 0-6, averaging only 61.7 points per game, while allowing 73.7 ppg. Michigan State is shooting only 37.6 percent from the field and 27.9 percent from beyond the arc. Freshman forward Sidney Cooks is leading the Spartans in scoring during Colley’s absence, averaging 11.2 ppg.
GETTING IN THE GAME
In the loss to Indiana on Jan. 20, several Spartans set highs in minutes played. Junior center Jenna Allen played a season-high 32 minutes, tying her career-high. Redshirt-sophomore forward Victoria Gaines played a career-high 37 minutes, while redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee played a season-high minutes with 38. Sophomore guard Nia Hollie tied her career-high with 31 minutes against Michigan on Jan. 23. Against Iowa on Feb. 1, Taryn McCutcheon tied a season-high with 43 minutes. Overall, McCutcheon leads the team in minutes, averaging 31.3 mpg. In league contests, McCutcheon has been playing 34.4 mpg to lead the Spartans.
MCCUTCHEON FROM BEYOND THE ARC
Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon has been streaky from beyond the arc. Against Penn State on Feb. 4, Michigan State she tied her career high with six 3-pointers. She also hit three treys against Maryland on Jan. 11. McCutcheon has hit at least three 3-pointers eight times this season.
The Spartans are currently 1-1 in overtime games this season. MSU played its first overtime game of the season with an 83-74 road win over East Tennessee State on Dec. 16. Michigan State lost its second OT game, 71-68 against Iowa on Feb. 1. Last season, the Spartans were 1-2 in overtime games with at home against Western Michigan and road losses to Iowa and Nebraska. Overall, MSU is 33-21 in overtime games.
A LOOK AT THE STANDINGS
With three weeks to go until the B1G Tournament, Michigan State stands 11th with a 4-8 league ledger. The Spartans are a game behind Penn State which holds a 5-7 mark, while Indiana and Rutgers are tied for eighth with 6-6 records. Maryland is perched at the top of the league table with a 10-1 mark. Ohio State is second with a 9-3 record, while Nebraska is third with an 8-3 mark. Michigan is currently fourth at 9-4 record. On the flip side, Wisconsin has lost eight of its last 10 and Illinois has lost 13 in a row.
LEAVING YOUR MARK
Redshirt senior Branndais Agee is leaving her mark on the Michigan State program. She is now tied for 17th in career rebounds with 648, tying Nanette Gibson (1978-81). She passed Becky Cummings (1997-01), who had 645 during her MSU career. Agee is also 18th in scoring with 1,166 career points, passing former teammate Becca Mills who scored 1,158 points (2011-15). With 57 blocks, she is tied for 15th career blocks, just one shy of Aerial Powers (2014-16) who is 14th with 58. Agee is also tied for 16th career games played with 127.
ANATOMY OF AN UPSET
On Jan. 11, Michigan State earned its first-ever win against Maryland. The Spartans are now 1-10 against the Terps. MSU is just the second team to earn a Big Ten win against Maryland, along with Ohio State which has three wins against UMD. Maryland joined the league in 2015.
Freshman forward Sidney Cooks posted her seventh double-digit outing in the last eight games as part of her 14th double-figure scoring game of the season against Penn State on Feb. 4. The Spartans are 4-3 this season when Cooks is top scorer. She is tied for first on the team in scoring with 10.6 ppg. She is also MSU’s second-leading rebounder with 5.2 rpg. Cooks is also fourth in the Big Ten in scoring among freshmen 10.6 ppg behind Northwestern’s Lindsey Pulliam (14.9 ppg) and Minnesota’s Destiny Pitts (12.9 ppg). Cooks is fourth among freshmen in rebounding, averaging 5.2 rpg.
DID YOU KNOW?
Michigan State has faced seven ranked teams, standing 2-5 in those contests. The Spartans have risen to the occasion with several players setting career highs against ranked foes. Against No. 2 Notre Dame, junior center Jenna Allen set a new career high with 28 points, the most on the team this season. Against No. 22 South Florida, redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley added a career-high with 27 points. Finally, against No. 11 Maryland, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon set a new high with 25 points. Against No. 16 Michigan, Sidney Cooks was one point shy of tying her season high when she scored 17 points. Redshirt-sophomore Victoria Gaines had a season-high 16 points against Maryland on Feb. 8.
BREAKING INTO THE RECORD BOOK
Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon has cracked the top 20 in career assists after only 57 games in the Spartan uniform. McCutcheon has 297 career assists for an average of 5.2 assists per game. She passed Maxann Reese (1996-00) for 16th in career assists. Reese had 291 assists in her Spartan career. McCutcheon is now just three assists from tying Spartan great and current graduate assistant Kalisha Keane (2007-11) for 15th with 300 assists.
GETTING THE TAKEAWAYS
The Spartans were one steal shy of their season when they had 14 against Iowa on Feb. 1. The season high for the team is 15 steals set against the College of Charleston on Nov. 19. This was the 10th time this season that Michigan State has had at least 10 steals. Branndais Agee led the way with a season-high six takeaways, while Taryn McCutcheon added three and Lexi Gussert added two. Last season, the Spartans had only three games with double-digit steals. During 2016-17, MSU’s season-high in steals was 12 against Wyoming on Nov. 13 and Quinnipiac on Dec. 6.
LEADING THE STAT LINE
Ten different Spartans have led the team in scoring in the first 25 games of the season. Sidney Cooks has led the team six times. Shay Colley, Branndais Agee and have both led the team in scoring four times. Jenna Allen and Taryn McCutcheon have been the top scorer three times. Taya Reimer, Kennedy Johnson, Mardrekia Cook and Victoria Gaines have all led the team in scoring.
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Sophomore Taryn McCutcheon is third in the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.4 apg. She is behind Iowa’s Kathleen Doyle and Minnesota’s Kenisha Bell. McCutcheon tied a career high with 12 against Iowa on Feb. 1. Redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley is tied for eighth in assists with 4.3 per game. Colley is also fifth in the B1G in steals, averaging 2.2 spg. McCutcheon is tied for 11th with 1.7 spg.
MSU is third in the league assists, averaging 17.7 apg. Iowa is first in the conference in assists with 21.8 apg. Michigan State is still third in rebound margin (+7.0) and third in steals (9.2 spg). The Spartans are second in the B1G in defensive rebounding percentage (.708) and second in offensive rebounding percentage (.386).
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
Under Coach Merchant, Michigan State is 29-51 against ranked teams, including 18-15 at home, 7-21 on the road and 4-15 on a neutral court. As a ranked team against fellow ranked team, MSU is 15-22 versus ranked teams. This season, MSU is 2-5 against ranked teams with a loss to No. 1 UConn, 96-62, and a defeat against Notre Dame, 90-59. MSU defeated No. 22 South Florida, 83-73, on Dec. 21 and upset No. 11 Maryland on the road, 82-68. On Jan. 23, MSU fell to No. 16 Michigan, 74-48, while falling to No. 12 OSU, 78-62 on Jan. 27. On Feb. 8, MSU fell to No. 10 Maryland, 76-68.
SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES
The Wolverines are currently 20-6 overall and 9-4 in league contests. Michigan has won six of its last eight games with losses against Purdue and Rutgers. The Wolverines only other league losses came against Iowa and Ohio State.
Michigan is 10th in the nation in rebound margin (+9.3), which also leads the Big Ten. The Wolverines are also 22nd in the NCAA and second in the B1g in scoring margin (+15.4). UM stands seventh in the nation and second in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (.399)
Michigan has three players averaging in double-figure in Katelynn Flaherty (23.8 ppg), Hallie Thome (17.0 ppg) and Nicole Munger (10.0 ppg). Flaherty is fifth nationally in scoring and Thome is sixth in the country in field goal percentage (.632). The pair combined for 61 points in Michigan’s last game on Feb. 8, nearly outscoring Northwestern on their own (63-61).
LAST TIME VS. MICHIGAN
Michigan State lost at No. 16/16 Michigan, 74-48, on Jan. 23 at UM’s Crisler Center, as the short-handed Spartans battled the Wolverines resolutely, but suffered defeat.
The Spartans were playing short handed due to injuries, with all eight players that dressed getting playing time. With the loss, MSU falls to 14-7 overall and 4-4 in Big Ten play, while Michigan improves to 18-4, 7-2 in league contests.
Freshman forward Sidney Cooks netted a team-best 17 points, one shy of her career-best and the most in a Big Ten contest. Redshirt-senior Branndais Agee added 12 points and pulled down a team-leading eight rebounds.
The Spartans hold a 67-19 overall series lead over the Wolverines, including a loss in Ann Arbor 74-48 on Jan. 23. Last season, Michigan State earned aa palindromic 86-68 win in Ann Arbor on Feb. 19, 2017, and a 74-64 win in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on March 3, 2017. MSU has won seven of the last 10 meetings with two of the losses coming during the 2014-15 season. This is the first time since that season the MSU and Michigan will play twice in the regular season. Michigan is currently ranked No. 21/20 and holds a 20-6 overall record and are 9-4 in Big Ten action.
BIG TEN OPENERS
Michigan State is 23-13 in home Big Ten openers in 36 years in the league. This season, the Spartans fell to Rutgers on Dec. 31, 61-58.
Michigan State is 18-18 all-time in Big Ten openers, having won its last five of its last seven ... Under Coach Merchant, the Spartans are 7-4 in Big Ten openers ... MSU earned a dominating 68-46 win over Indiana in Bloomington, 68-46 on Dec. 28 ... This was the first time since the 2011-12 season that the Spartans have opened B1G play with the Hoosiers. MSU captured that game in Bloomington, 63-49.
REACHING A MILESTONE
Senior forward Taya Reimer reached a milestone, passing the 1,000-career point plateau against UConn on Nov. 25. Between her two seasons at Notre Dame and her two at Michigan State, she now has 1,128 career points. She is currently sixth in scoring for the Spartans, averaging 7.9 points per game.
BOUNCE BACK ABILITY
In Coach Merchant’s first 11 seasons, the Spartans are 72-31 (69.9%) following a loss.
TAKING ON THE BEST
In the first 25 games of the season, the Spartans have taken on both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country. MSU has already faced top-ranked UConn and took on No. 2 Notre Dame on Dec. 6. Last season, Michigan State faced both No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Maryland in one season. The Spartans have never faced the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country in the same season.
AROUND THE NATION
The Spartans are 12th in the nation in assists with 443 and 16th in assists per game, averaging 17.7. The Spartans are also 17th in rebounds with 1,048. Michigan State is 38th in the nation in rebounds per game (41.9) and 35th in rebound margin (+7.0). This week, Taryn McCutcheon is 46th in the nation in assists per game (5.3 apg).
Redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee became the 26th MSU women’s basketball player to reach 1,000 points with 10 points against No. 1 UConn on Nov. 25. Agee started the week by scoring a season-high 17 points in her hometown against Detroit, bringing her career point total to 991 and going over 1,000 against UConn. She now has 1,090 career points in the Green and White. Agee is averaging 10.6 points through the first 25 games of the season, which is tied for first on the team. Tori Jankoska was the last Spartan to reach 1,000 points doing so on Nov. 27, 2015.
CLOSING IT OUT
The Spartans have been extremely effective closing out games over the last couple years, winning 170 of their last 178 games (.955) when leading with five minutes left, including 121 of their last 130. In Coach Merchant’s tenure, Michigan State is 205-13 (.940) when holding a lead with five minutes left. This season, the Spartans are 13-2.
FANS CONTINUE TO PACK THE BRESLIN
Michigan State women’s basketball continues to pack the Breslin Center, finishing the 2016-17 season ninth in the nation and first in the Big Ten home attendance. The Spartans averaged 6,011 fans in 14 home games this season. MSU had a total of 84,152 fans pass through the gates. This is the 13th-straight season that the Spartans have been ranked in the top 15 nationally in attendance. MSU has had a total attendance of at least 80,000 since 2005-06.
This season, Michigan State is still eighth in attendance, averaging 5,943 fans per game. They are first in the Big Ten ahead of Purdue (5,937) and Ohio State (5,548). The Spartans had a season-high 11,950 fans on Alumni Day against Indiana on Jan. 20.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite three Spartans scoring in double figures the Michigan State women’s basketball team was edged by No. 10 Maryland, 76-68, on Thursday night at the Breslin Center.
Redshirt-sophomore forward Victoria Gaines led the team in scoring with 16 points to go along with six rebounds. She is the 10th different Spartan to lead the team in scoring this season. Senior forward Taya Reimer recorded her first double-double of the season and fourth of her career with 15 points and 11 board, coming off the bench. Redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee was the third MSU player in double figures with 14 points.
AGEE NAMED TO WATCH LIST
Michigan State redshirt-senior Branndais Agee was named to the watch list for the inaugural Cheryl Miller Award, which will be awarded to the top small forward women’s basketball; it was announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
She is one of five players from the Big Ten to be named to the watch list along with Indiana’s Amanda Cahill, Maryland’s Brianna Fraser, Ohio State’s Stephanie Mavunga and Wisconsin’s Cayla McMorris. Agee has already garnered preseason All-Big Ten honors by the coaches. Last season, Agee earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors along with fellow senior Taya Reimer and sophomore Taryn McCutcheon.
The Spartans welcome to their staff three former Michigan State players. Former Big Ten Player of the Year Kalisha Keane and All-Big Ten honorees Jasmine Hines and Annalise Pickrel are all graduate assistants with the Spartans this season.
The Spartans now return to the Breslin Center for three-straight home games. After hosting in-state rival Michigan on Feb. 11, Michigan State will also take on Nebraska on Feb. 14 and conclude the lengthy homestand against Wisconsin on Feb. 21.
In head coach Suzy Merchant’s tenure, when two numbers on the scoreboard were achieved it typically has been a sign of a MSU win. Overall, MSU has scored at least 70 points 12 times overall this season. MSU has won 117 of its last 128 games when scoring at least 70 points, and MSU is 134-18 under head coach Suzy Merchant when hanging at least 70 points on the scoreboard. This year, MSU is 11-1 when scoring at least 70.
MEET THE 2018-19 SIGNEES
Michigan State women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant announced the signing of three National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, including Nia Clouden (Owing Mills, Maryland/St. Frances), Tory Ozment (Buford, Georgia/Buford) and Kayla Belles (Ithaca, Michigan/Ithaca).
Clouden is a 5-8 point guard who plays for head coach Jerome Shelton at St. Frances Academy. She is currently ranked No. 43 overall and No. 13 at her position by ESPN HoopGurlz. Last March, Clouden was named Maryland Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year, becoming the third Baltimore-area player to win the award in 11 years. She was also the USA Today Maryland Player of the Year last season. She is a two-time captain, who averaged 14.2 points and 4.7 assists per game as a junior.
Ozment is a 6-1 guard/forward who plays for head coach Gene Durden at Buford High SchoolDurden has captured five state championships during time at Buford. She is currently ranked No. 14 at her position by ESPN HoopGurlz. Last season, Ozment was named the AAAAA State Player of the Year as well as being named to the Georgia Athletic Coaches Associations All-State squad. Ozment earned Atlanta Tipoff Club and Atlanta Journal Constitution All-Metro team. Last season, she averaged 13.4 points and 3.8 assists per game, leading Buford on a run to the Class AAAAA State Championship.
Belles is a 6-3 forward who plays for head coach Ty Warczinksy at Ithaca High School. As a junior, Belles averaged 19.4 points, 12.2 rebounds, 3.4 blocked shots and 2.6 steals per game, earning Associated Press Class B all-state honors. She led the Yellowjackets to three-straight Tri-Valley Conference West Division titles, which included a run to the Class C Final Four during her sophomore campaign. She garnered first-team all-state honors three-straight seasons, averaging a double-double the last two seasons.