Tuesday, February 18, 2020

FINAL: Women's basketball falls to Indiana after strong comeback

January 20, 2018
Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon (4) makes a cross court pass during the first half of the women's basketball game against Indiana on Jan. 20, 2018 at Breslin Center. The Spartans trailed in the first half, 45-32. (C.J. Weiss | The State News)
Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon (4) makes a cross court pass during the first half of the women's basketball game against Indiana on Jan. 20, 2018 at Breslin Center. The Spartans trailed in the first half, 45-32. (C.J. Weiss | The State News) —

It looked as if it was going to be a blowout right from the start, as the Hoosiers knocked down their first seven 3-pointers in the first half. While MSU made a late run in the second half, but it was not enough as the team fell, 69-65.

For a brief moment, the crowd went silent on Alumni day as redshirt senior guard Branndais Agee shot a potential game-tying 3-pointer with, but it went in and out with just under 20 seconds remaining in the fourth. The Spartans now drop to 14-6 on the season and 4-3 in the Big Ten.

Indiana didn't miss from 3-point range as they made seven of their first seven in the first half, while the Spartans failed to make one until late in the fourth quarter. MSU was outscored big in the first quarter, 33-14. However, the Spartans outscored the Hoosiers every other quarter.

“We came out and honestly we are all we got and we took the mentality of making sure that this is our home court and gave all the fight we had in that second half,” senior forward Jenna Allen said.

Injuries have been a problem recently for the Spartans lately, as both sophomore Shay Colley and senior Lexi Gussert sat out for today’s game. Reigning Big Ten Co-Player of the week Taryn McCutcheon did not play in the second half from an unknown injury.

It was also one of the guttier performances of the season. The team came back from being down 26 points about halfway through the second quarter and narrowed Indiana's lead to three, but the team is not in for moral victories, head coach Suzy Merchant said.

“We’re just in a really tough spot and I haven’t seen anything like it where I have more players in street clothes then I do in the game,” Merchant said. “There’s not much we can do because I just felt like are fight was really good, as Branndais played 38 minutes which she has never played that much before.” 

Allen led the team with 16 points on the night to go along with three rebounds. Sophomore Nia Hollie finished with an all-around game with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.

The Spartans head back on the road to face rival Michigan next Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

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