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MSU Continues WNIT Action Against Toledo Monday

March 18, 2018

Michigan State (18-13, 7-9 B1G) vs. Toledo (18-14, 8-10 MAC)
 Date Monday, March 19
 Time 7 p.m. ET
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Breslin Center | Bag Policy
 Tickets Click To Purchase
 Television BTN Plus
 Radio Spartan Sports Network | WJIM-AM 1240
 Game Notes Michigan State | Toledo
 Statistics Michigan State | Toledo
 Internet Coverage Gametracker
 Promotions Free for MSU Students
 Social Media @MSU_WBasketball   |  Facebook  |   Instagram 

Michigan State women's basketball returns to the Breslin Center on Monday, March 19 against Toledo at 7 p.m. in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. The game will be streamed on BTN Plus. In the first round of the WNIT MSU stopped Cincinnati, 81-75. The Spartans are 12-4 overall in the WNIT.

• Redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee is now just the eighth person in Michigan State history to score at least 1,200 points and bring down 650 rebounds. She joins Tori Jankoska, Aerial Powers, Liz Shimek, Allyssa DeHaan, Kris Emerson, Kristen Rasmussen and Lykendra Johnson. Agee has scored 1,239 points and has 708 boards.

• In the win against Cincinnati on March 15, the Spartans had 25 assists on 33 made baskets against the Bearcats. This was the 10th time this season that Michigan State has had at least 21 assists. MSU improves to 9-1 this year when having 21 or more helpers.

• In the Spartans Big Ten Tournament four overtime battle with Indiana on March 1, sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon set a new school record for minutes played when she logged in 60 in what was the longest game in school history. The game is also the longest in Big Ten Tournament history. MSU was edged by Indiana, 111-109.

• Agee has now played in 134 career games in the Spartan Green and White. She is tied for sixth with Victoria Lucas-Perry (2003-07). She is just two games away from tying Kalisha Keane (2007-11) and Allyssa DeHaan (2006-10), who both played 136 career games.

The injury-ravaged Spartans have used 13 different starting lineups this season. Against Cincinnati on March 15, 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 30th start of the season, as part of her 63rd of her career. Agee made her 21st start of the season and 83rd of her career against Indiana. Allen has started 23 games this season and 26 for her career. Cooks has started for the 22 of MSU's 31 games this season. Gussert has made 11 starts this year.

Only three Spartans have played in all 31 games this season: Jenna Allen, Victoria Gaines and Nia Hollie.

MSU has now advanced to postseason play 15 of the last 16 seasons. Michigan State joins Indiana, Penn State and Purdue in the field of 64 WNIT teams. Overall 11 Big Teams will be playing in either the NCAA Tournament or the WNIT.

This is Michigan State's first trip to the WNIT since the 2008 season when the Spartans fell in the championship game. That season, MSU played all five games at home, before falling to Marquette 81-66. Overall, the Spartans are 12-4 in the WNIT, including 5-0 in the first round and 4-0 in the second round.

With the 81-75 win over Cincinnati, Michigan State improves to 12-4 in the WNIT, including a stellar 5-0 record in the first round. The 81 points was the third-most points MSU has scored in a WNIT game. In 2000, the Spartans defeated Cincinnati, 88-83. In 2002, MSU stopped DePaul, 87-76. Michigan State is now 7-0 overall against the Bearcats.

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 Indiana on March 1, she had her third 20-point game of the season with 27 points and three assists in the loss. Since her return, Colley has averaged 16.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.2 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.

Kristin Haynie had 16 points and five steals, and No. 25 Michigan State dominated the low post to beat cold-shooting Toledo 72-49 on Dec. 13, 2003. The Spartans (6-1) won the rebounding battle 50-24 and outscored the Rockets (4-3) 36-8 in the paint. Michigan State scored 25 points off its 16 offensive rebounds, while Toledo managed only two second-chance points.

Kelli Roehrig added 14 points for Michigan State and Julie Pagel had 10 rebounds. Julie Daniels led Toledo with 11 points and Allison Lindborg had 10. The Rockets, trailing 36-26 at halftime, made only six of their 27 shots in the second half. Toledo finished 15-of-51 (29.4 percent) from the floor.

After a convincing, 64-50, win over Wright State in the first round of the WNIT. The Spartans will take on Toledo in the second round. Against the Raiders, Toledo was led by 18 points from Jay Harriott-Bravo, while Kaayla McIntyre added a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Toledo is now 18-14 after the win over Wright State in the first round of the WNIT. Toledo is appearing in the Postseason WNIT for a sixth time under 10th-year head coach Tricia Cullop and 11th time overall. Overall, the Rockets are 21-9 in the post-season tourney, including 13-4 under coach Cullop, and previously reached the WNIT in 1989, `90, `94, `98, 2003, `10, `11, `12 , `13 and `15.

Three Toledo players are averaging in double figures led by McIntyre, who averages 16.0 ppg. Harriott-Bravo averages 12.9 ppg with Mikaela Boyd adding 12.2 ppg. As a team, the Rockets score 67.6 ppg, while allowing 68.0 ppg.

Toledo head coach Tricia Cullop has tallied a 26-14 record in postseason action as the Rockets' mentor, including a 14-4 record in the Postseason WNIT. Cullop has guided UT to the WNIT on six occasions in her 10 years at the helm
of the program and won the WNIT title in 2011.

Michigan State and Toledo shared two common opponents in Detroit Mercy and Western Michigan. The Spartans were 2-0 against those squads, while UT was 3-0 with a pair of wins against the Broncos. MSU defeated Detroit Mercy on the road, 97-60 and beat WMU, 65-62 at home. Toledo stopped Detroit Mercy, 81-64 on the road and beat WMU both at home and on the road.

Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon continues to climb up the single-season assists charts with 158 helpers this season. The sophomore passed Deb Traxinger, who had 148 assists during the 1979-80 season. She is now two 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.

With solid performances from Taryn McCutcheon and Jenna Allen against Cincinnati, Michigan State now has four players, averaging in double figures. McCutcheon scored 19 against the Bearcats, while Allen scored 15. Overall, Shay Colley (11.6 ppg), Branndais Agee (10.4), Taryn McCutcheon (10.0 ppg) and Jenna Allen (10.0 ppg) are all averaging double figures this 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 15 times overall this season. MSU has won 119 of its last 131 games when scoring at least 70 points, and MSU is 136-19 under head coach Suzy Merchant when hanging at least 70 points on the scoreboard. This year, MSU is 13-2 when scoring at least 70 with losses to Indiana on March 1 and Minnesota on Jan. 7.

Rebounding has been the key to the Spartans' success. MSU is 11-5 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 15-7 when out-rebounding its opponents.

Michigan State and Toledo have a very brief history with the Rockets leading the overall series, 4-2. The last time that the two teams met was in 2003 with MSU stopping Toledo, 72-49 in East Lansing. Overall, the Spartans are 1-2 in East Lansing and 1-2 in Toledo. The first meeting between the schools was in 1982 with the Rockets, taking that meeting, 63-47.

Redshirt senior Branndais Agee is leaving her mark on the Michigan State program. With 10 rebounds against Cincinnati on March 15, Agee now has 708 career rebounds, moving up to No. 11 on the Spartans' career rebounds list, passing Kisha Kelley who had 701 in her career (1991-95). Agee is also 14th in scoring with 1,239 career points, passing Spartan great Kristin Haynie (2001-05), who had 1,194 career points. Agee is now just three points away from, tying Lykendra Johnson (2008-12), who scored 1,242 point during her career. With 61 blocks, she is 13th in career blocks, passing Cetera Washington (2007-11). Agee is tied for sixth in career games played with 134.

Redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee is now just the eighth person in Michigan State history to score at least 1,200 points and bring down 650 rebounds. She joins Tori Jankoska, Aerial Powers, Liz Shimek, Allyssa DeHaan, Kris Emerson, Kristen Rasmussen and Lykendra Johnson. Agee has scored 1,239 points and has 708 boards.

This season, the Spartans are 10-5 at the friendly confines of the Breslin Center. MSU was a perfect 7-0 in non-conference action and 3-5 in league play. At home, MSU is averaging 76.5 points per game, while allowing 61.5 Three Spartans score in double figures at home, led by redshirt-sophomore guard Shay Colley, who averages 12.5 ppg. Redshirt-senior Branndais Agee has scored 11.2 ppg at home, while sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon has scored 10.2 ppg. MSU dominates the boards at home with a rebound margin +9.5.

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.

Eleven different Spartans have led the team in scoring in the first 31 games of the season. Shay Colley has been the leader seven times. Sidney Cooks has led the team six times, while Taryn McCutcheon has led the team in scoring five times. Branndais Agee has been the team leader four times, while 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.

Many records were set in Michigan State's first round loss to Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament, 111-109 in four overtimes on March 1.
• This was the first four overtime game in Big Ten Tournament history. Thursday was MSU's third OT game in B1G Tournament history and second multi-OT conference tournament game. The Spartans have split the previous two tournament OT games, losing 92-89 to Ohio State in 2002, and beating Illinois, 61-50, in 2005. Most OTs in college or pro game in Bankers Life Fieldhouse history.
• The game was the longest in Michigan State history after a pair of triple overtime games in 2016 and 1991. The Spartans are now 1-2 in games with at least three overtimes.
• McCutcheon set a new high for points in a Big Ten Tournament game with 21 against Indiana. Her previous high was 10 points against Wisconsin in the first round last season.
• McCutcheon (60), Colley (48), Gaines (47), Reimer (44), Agee (45) all set or tied career highs in minutes played.

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.

Sophomore Taryn McCutcheon is third in the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.6 apg. She is behind Minnesota's Kenisha Bell (6.7 apg) and Iowa's Kathleen Doyle (6.6 apg). 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 fourth in steals with 2.0 spg, while McCutcheon is tied for fourth with 1.9 spg.

MSU is tied for second in the league assists, averaging 18.0 apg. Iowa is first in the conference in assists with 21.6 apg. Michigan State is fourth in rebound margin (+6.2) and fourth in steals (8.6 spg). The Spartans are second in the B1G in defensive rebounding percentage (.712) and fourth in offensive rebounding percentage (.372).

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.

Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon has cracked the top 15 in career assists after only 63 games in the Spartan uniform. McCutcheon has 336 career assists for an average of 5.3 assists per game. She now stands along in 13th, passing Donita Johnson (1997-01), who had 333 career assists. McCutcheon is now just three assists away from tying Brenda Jezowksi (1980-85) for 12th.

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 1,197 career points. She is currently sixth in scoring for the Spartans, averaging 8.9 points per game.

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.

In Coach Merchant's first 11 seasons, the Spartans are 75-31 (70.8%) following a loss.

The Spartans are 17th in the nation in assists with 559 and 12th in assists per game, averaging 18.0. Michigan State is 40th in the nation in rebounds per game (41.2) and 48th in rebound margin (+5.7). This week, Taryn McCutcheon is 35th in the nation in assists per game (5.6 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.

The Spartans have been extremely effective closing out games over the last couple years, winning 173 of their last 182 games (.951) when leading with five minutes left, including 124 of their last 134. In Coach Merchant's tenure, Michigan State is 208-15 (.933) when holding a lead with five minutes left. This season, the Spartans are 16-3.

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 10th in attendance, averaging 5,925 fans per game. They are second in the Big Ten behind of Purdue (6,036) and ahead of Ohio State (5,596). The Spartans had a season-high 12,434 fans against Michigan in the annual Pink Game on Feb. 11.

Behind another stellar performance from sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon, the Michigan State women's basketball teams defeated persistent Cincinnati, 81-75, in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT) on Thursday at the Breslin Center.

With the win, MSU improves to 18-13 this season. Cincinnati ends its year with a 19-13 record.

McCutcheon was close to a double-double with a team-high 19 points to go along with nine assists. Redshirt-senior guard Branndais Agee had her second-straight double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three assists. Senior forward Taya Reimer had another solid outing with 16 points, while junior center Jenna Allen added 15 points and seven boards.

The Bearcats were led by a career-high 30 points by Genesis Parker off the bench.

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.

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.



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