MSU Women Open B1G Tournament With Indiana Thursday
The No. 10 Spartans take on No. 7 Indiana in the 25th Big Ten Tournament.
|No. 10 Michigan State (17-12, 7-9 B1G) vs. No. 7 Indiana (16-13, 9-7 B1G)|
|Date||Thursday, March 1|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
|Location||Indianapolis, Ind.| Bankers Life Fieldhouse|
|Tickets||Click To Purchase|
|Television||BTN2GO | Fox Sports Detroit|
|Radio||Spartan Sports Network | WJIM-AM 1240|
|Game Notes||Michigan State | Indiana | Big Ten|
|Statistics||Michigan State | Indiana | Big Ten|
|Internet Coverage||Live Stats | Big Ten Tournament Central|
|Social Media||@MSU_WBasketball | Facebook | Instagram|
INDIANAPOLIS - Michigan State women’s basketball opens the 25th Big Ten Tournament as the No. 10 seed. The Spartans will take on No. 7 Indiana on Thursday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit and BTN 2Go with Lisa Byington and Christy Winters Scott on the call. The Spartans enter the tournament on a two-game winning streak with a 17-12 overall record.
• Suffering through multiple injuries this season, Michigan State has shuffled the lineup around many times this season. This year, the Spartans have used 13 different starting lineups.
• Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon continues to climb up the single-season assists charts with 153 helpers this season. The sophomore passed Deb Traxinger, who had 148 assists during the 1979-80 season. She is now seven assists from tying All-American Tori Jankoska, who had 160 assists during the 2016-17 season.
• MSU had four players named to the All-Big Ten teams. Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon, redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley and redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee all earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors by both the coaches and the media. Junior center Jenna Allen garnered honorable mention honors from the media.
• Redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee became the 14th Spartan women’s basketball player to reach the 1,200 point plateau, now with 1,213 points, moving up to No. 14 on MSU’s career points list.
The injury-ravaged Spartans have used 13 different starting lineups this season. Against Purdue on Feb. 24, senior forward Taya Reimer, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon, senior guard Branndais Agee, junior center Jenna Allen and redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley all earned starts.
McCutcheon made her team-leading 28th start of the season, as part of her 61st of her career. Agee made her 19th start of the season and 81st of her career against Purdue. Allen has started 21 games this season and 24 for her career. Cooks has started for the 22 of MSU’s 29 games this season. Gussert has made 11 starts this year.
Only four Spartans have played in all 29 games this season: Jenna Allen, Sidney Cooks, Victoria Gaines and Nia Hollie.
Ohio State captured the outright title and earned the top seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament to be held in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. Maryland will take the No. 2 seed, while Nebraska earns the No. 2 seed and Minnesota the No. 4 seed. The tournament will begin on Feb. 28 with No. 12 Northwestern facing No. 13 Wisconsin at 1:30 p.m. No. 11 Penn State takes on No. 14 Illinois to complete the first day of competition. MSU is the No. 10 seed in the B1G Tournament for just the second time. In the 2002 tournament also held in Indianapolis, the Spartans lost to Ohio State in the first round in double overtime, 92-89.
FOUR SPARTANS EARN ALL-B1G HONORS
Michigan State had four players named to the All-Big Ten teams. Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon, redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley and redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee all earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors by both the coaches and the media. Junior center Jenna Allen garnered honorable mention honors from the media.
McCutcheon, a guard from East Lansing, Michigan, captured honorable mention honors for the second-straight season. The sophomore is third in the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.5 apg overall and 5.3 apg in league contests. McCutcheon’s 12 assists against Notre Dame on Dec. 6 and Iowa on Feb. 1 were the most in the Big Ten this season.
Colley, a redshirt-sophomore from Brampton, Ontario, collects all-league accolades for the first time.She leads the team in scoring, averaging 11.0 points per game. Despite missing seven games due to injury, she has scored in double figures 12 times. She is tied for eighth with 4.3 apg. She is also tied for fourth in steals per game, averaging 2.0 spg.
Allen, a center from Bedford, Indiana, earns her first all-conference honor. She has improved in scoring every season, currently standing third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.2 ppg. Her 28 points scored against Notre Dame on Dec. 6 was the most scored by a Spartan this season. Allen is one of only four MSU players to see action in every game this season.
WELCOME BACK COLLEY
After missing the previous seven games due to injury, redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley returned to action on Feb. 14 against Nebraska, 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. Against Purdue on Feb. 24, she had her second 20-point game of the season with 21 points and four assists in the win. Since her return, Colley has averaged 14.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
Without Colley, the Spartans were 1-6, averaging only 62.3 points per game, while allowing 71.9 ppg, while the guard was out. Since her return, MSU is 2-1, scoring 73.3 ppg and allowing 69.3 ppg.
BACK ON TRACK
Michigan State ended the regular season winning two-straight games for the first time since the beating Maryland and Illinois Jan. 11 and Jan. 16. During the recent winning streak, five Spartans are averaging in double figures, including Taryn McCutcheon (15.0 ppg), Jenna Allen (14.5 ppg), Shay Colley (13.5 ppg), Branndais Agee (11.0 ppg) and Taya Reimer (10.0 ppg). In the last two game, MSU is scoring 75.5 ppg, while allowing only 64.5 ppg. The Spartans have also won the battle of the boards, 81-66.
SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS
Indiana had its season-high eight-game winning streak come to an end in a loss at Iowa on Feb. 24. The Hoosiers enter the Big Ten Tournament with an overall record of 16-13, while ending conference season with a 9-7 mark.
Indiana had three players honored by the Big Ten. Senior Tyra Buss earned her third-straight All-B1G first-team honor, while senior Amanda Cahill was named to the second team. Jaelynn Penn earned All-Freshman team honors. Buss is averaging a team-high 20.8 points per game to go along with 4.8 assists and 1.9 steals as she shoots 43.2 percent from the floor and 35.4 percent from 3-point range. Buss is fourth in the league in scoring, while Cahill is 14th. Cahill is averaging 14.7 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds as she adds 2.8 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. Penn is averaging 10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assist and 1.1 steals per game.
As a team, Indiana is scoring 68.7 ppg, while allowing 67.4 ppg. The Hoosiers are fourth in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.369) and second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.306). In Big Ten games, IU is field goal percentage (.438). The Hoosiers are also fifth in 3-pointers made in B1G contests with 7.3.
MSU VS. INDIANA IN THE B1G TOURNAMENT
The Spartan-Hoosier match-up in the B1G Tournament will be the third-ever match-up of the two teams in the B1G Tournament with the Spartans leading the series 2-0. In 2012, No. 5 Michigan State topped No. 12 Indiana in Indianapolis, 97-68, in the first round. In 1999, No. 7 Michigan State once against stopped No. 10 Indiana, 88-69 in Indianapolis in the first round.
LAST TIME VS. INDIANA
Despite a valiant second-half comeback, the Michigan State women’s basketball team had its two-game winning streak snapped by Indiana, 69-65, on Jan. 20 at the Breslin Center.
On Alumni Day, 11,950 fans packed the Breslin Center, which is the 11th-largest in school history. It was the most since 14,181 against Ohio State in 2012. The Spartans were playing short handed due to injuries, dressing only eight players.
Junior center Jenna Allen led the Spartans with 16 points to go along with three rebounds and two assists.
LENDING A HELPING HAND
Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon continues to climb up the single-season assists charts with 153 helpers this season. The sophomore passed Deb Traxinger, who had 148 assists during the 1979-80 season. She is now seven assists from tying All-American Tori Jankoska, who had 160 assists during the 2016-17 season. As a freshman, McCutcheon was had 169 helpers, which was fourth all-time in a single season.
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 13 times overall this season. MSU has won 118 of its last 129 games when scoring at least 70 points, and MSU is 135-18 under head coach Suzy Merchant when hanging at least 70 points on the scoreboard. This year, MSU is 12-1 when scoring at least 70. The win against Purdue on Feb. 24 was the first time that MSU had scored 70 or more points since defeated Maryland by the same 82-68 margin on Jan. 11.
GETTING OVER 40
Rebounding has been the key to the Spartans’ success. MSU is 14-7 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 13-5 when out-rebounding its opponents.
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Indiana, 47-26. In the Big Ten opener on Dec. 28, the Spartans captured an impressive, 68-46, win over the Hoosiers. Michigan State was led by a season-high 21 points from redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee. The Hoosiers returned the favor, stopping the Spartans in East Lansing, 69-65 on Alumni Day. MSU has won two of the last three meetings, and 11 of the last 14. The last time that the teams met in the Big Ten Tournament in 2012, MSU won, 88-69.
HOOSIER STATE SPARTANS
Michigan State has three players, who hail from the Indiana. Jenna Allen hails from Bedford, Indiana and scored 14 points in front of family in Bloomington on Dec. 28. Victoria Gaines is a native of Merrilliville, Indiana. Taya Reimer comes to Michigan State from Fishers, Indiana. She also spent two seasons at Notre Dame.
LEAVING YOUR MARK
Redshirt senior Branndais Agee is leaving her mark on the Michigan State program. With a six rebounds against Purdue on Feb. 24, Agee now has 681 career rebounds, moving up to No. 14 on the Spartans’ career rebounds list, passing current Director of Operations and Technology, Julie (Pagel) Dombroski who had 677 in her career (2000-04). Agee is now just three boards away from tying Becca Mills (2011-15), who had 684 career rebounds. Agee is also 14th in scoring with 1,213 career points, passing Spartan great Kristing Haynie (2001-05), who had 1,194 career points. With 58 blocks, she is tied for 14th in career blocks with Aerial Powers (2014-16). Agee is eighth in career games played with 132.
THE FRIENDLY CONFINES
This season, the Spartans are 9-5 at the friendly confines of the Breslin Center. MSU was a perfect 6-0 in non-conference action and 3-5 in league play. At home, MSU is averaging 76.2 points per game, while allowing 60.6. Two Spartans score in double figures at home, led by redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley, who averages 12.9 ppg. Redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee (11.3 ppg) has scored in double digits. MSU dominates the boards at home with a rebound margin +9.1.
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.
LEADING THE STAT LINE
Eleven different Spartans have led the team in scoring in the first 29 games of the season. Sidney Cooks has led the team six times. Shay Colley has been the leader six times, while Branndais Agee and Taryn McCutcheon has led the team in scoring four times. Jenna Allen has been the top scorer three times. Taya Reimer, Kennedy Johnson, Mardrekia Cook, Lexi Gussert and Victoria Gaines have all led the team in scoring.
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.
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
Under Coach Merchant, Michigan State is 30-51 against ranked teams, including 19-15 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 3-5 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, while defeating No. 21/20 Michigan on Feb. 11, 66-61.
AROUND THE BIG TEN
Sophomore Taryn McCutcheon is third in the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.5 apg. She is behind Minnesota’s Kenisha Bell and Iowa’s Kathleen Doyle. McCutcheon tied a career high with 12 against Iowa on Feb. 1. Redshirt-sophomore Shay Colley is tied for eighth in assists (4.3 spg). Colley is tied for fourth in steals with 2.0 spg, while McCutcheon is tied for seventh with 1.8 spg.
MSU is tied for second in the league assists, averaging 17.7 apg. Iowa is first in the conference in assists with 21.6 apg. Michigan State is fourth in rebound margin (+5.7) and third in steals (8.9 spg). The Spartans are second in the B1G in defensive rebounding percentage (.719) and fourth in offensive rebounding percentage (.376).
DID YOU KNOW?
Michigan State has faced eight ranked teams, standing 3-5 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. In a win against Michigan on Feb. 11, senior guard/forward Lexi Gussert tied her season-high with 14 points.
BREAKING INTO THE RECORD BOOK
Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon has cracked the top 20 in career assists after only 60 games in the Spartan uniform. McCutcheon has 317 career assists for an average of 5.3 assists per game. She passed Spartan great and current graduate assistant Kalisha Keane (2007-11) for 15th with 300 assists. She is now just five assists from 14th. Rene Haynes (2003-07) had 322 career assists.
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 1,159 career points. She is currently sixth in scoring for the Spartans, averaging 8.1 points per game.
BOUNCE BACK ABILITY
In Coach Merchant’s first 11 seasons, the Spartans are 74-31 (70.5%) following a loss.
AROUND THE NATION
The Spartans are 13th in the nation in assists with 514 and 14th in assists per game, averaging 17.7. The Spartans are also 32nd in rebounds with 1,183. Michigan State is 56th in the nation in rebounds per game (40.8) and 48th in rebound margin (+5.7). This week, Taryn McCutcheon is 34th in the nation in assists per game (5.5 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 1,213 career points in the Green and White. Agee is averaging 10.3 points through the first 29 games of the season. 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 172 of their last 180 games (.956) when leading with five minutes left, including 123 of their last 132. In Coach Merchant’s tenure, Michigan State is 207-14 (.937) when holding a lead with five minutes left. This season, the Spartans are 15-2.
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 was 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 6,227 fans per game. They are first in the Big Ten ahead of Purdue (5,985) and Ohio State (5,596). The Spartans had a season-high 12,434 fans against Michigan in the annual Pink Game on Feb. 11.
LAST TIME OUT
Behind a game-high 21 points from redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley, the Michigan State women’s basketball team stopped Purdue, 82-68, at Mackey Arena on Saturday on the final day of the regular season.
The Spartans have now won two-straight to end the regular season. MSU improves to 17-12 overall and 7-9 in Big Ten action, while Purdue falls to 18-12 overall and 9-7 in league play.
MSU had four players in double figures led by Colley’s 21. She also added six rebounds and four assists. Junior center Jenna Allen, playing in her home state, scored 15 points, while sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon added 14 points and five assists. Another Hoosier State native, senior forward Taya Reimer scored 11 points with five boards.
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 will now prepare for the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, Feb. 28 -March 4. The winner of the game between No. 7 Indiana and No. 10 Michigan State will take on No. 2 Maryland on Friday, March 2 at 6:30 p.m.
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.