Thursday, February 27, 2020

Spartans dominated late by Ohio State

February 21, 2019
Freshman guard Nia Clouden drives for a layup against Ohio State. The Spartans lost to the Buckeyes, 70-77, on Feb. 21, 2019 at the Breslin Center.
Freshman guard Nia Clouden drives for a layup against Ohio State. The Spartans lost to the Buckeyes, 70-77, on Feb. 21, 2019 at the Breslin Center. —
Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

The Spartans fell 77-70 in their first home game defeat of the season against Ohio State. 

Early on the Spartans were dominated by Ohio State as they made 5-6 shots and capitalized on key turn overs for the Spartans. 

“It was disappointing. I felt like we had the opportunity to knock those shots down and I think that’s part of it, you want to make sure you’re getting good looks and we did.” Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant said about the inconsistency her team has had over the past few games. “Those kids have made them earlier in the year.” 

MSU and Ohio State both shot 50 percent from the field. The first quarter ended in a one point lead for the Buckeyes, 20-19. 

The second quarter was fueled by turnovers that were costly for both teams. Back and forth play caused for 8 lead changes in the first half.  

The Spartans' defense held Ohio State to a three minute drought late in the quarter and the Buckeyes countered with a strong finish holding the Spartans scoreless for the last 4:45 of the half. 

The Buckeyes lead 35-32 at the half. 

Michigan State shot 37.9 percent from the field, 30 percent from three point range and 87.5 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Sidney Cooks lead with 11 points and junior guard Taryn McCutcheon’s nine points and two assists. 

Ohio State shot 48 percent from the field, 50 percent from the three point range and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. Freshman forward Aaliyah Patty and freshman guard Janai Crooms lead with 13 points each. 

“I was mostly disappointed in how we came out defensively against Janai Crooms. That kid’s a really good player and she had 13 on us at halftime as did the Aaliyah Patty kid, both freshman.”Merchant said. “I just didn’t think, for whatever reason, we just weren’t motivated.” 

Second half action was evident in the physical matchups under the basket with several starters on both teams playing with four fouls each. MSU went on a 6-0 run midway through the third quarter outscoring the Buckeyes 20-15.

The Spartans were unable to score when it was crucial and were outscored 27-18 in the fourth quarter. The demise of MSU was finalized when they were unable to score in the last 2:44 of the game. 

“I thought we had really good looks people had good opportunities to pull us away a little bit and put pressure on them and we just didn’t," Merchant said. 

The Spartans shot 35.4 percent from the field, 18.2 percent from three point range and 74.1 percent from the free throw line. Nia Clouden lead with 23 points, followed by Shay Colley’s 18 and Sidney Cooks’ 12 points. 

The Buckeyes dominated on 22 fast break points holding MSU to 14. 

Ohio State shot 50 percent from the field, 45 percent from behind the arch and 69 percent from the line. All five starters scored in double digits, led by Crooms with 20 points. 

MSU will host the Wolverines at the Breslin Center at 2 p.m. on Feb. 24. 

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