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No. 19 Spartans women's basketball loses lead late, falls to No. 8 Florida State in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Despite holding a lead for most of the game, a rally in the last minutes put the Seminoles atop the Spartans to stay undefeated

December 6, 2019
<p>Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon (4) brings the ball up the court 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)</p>

Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon (4) brings the ball up the court 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)

 No. 19 Michigan State women’s basketball (6-2) traveled down to Tallahassee, Florida on Thursday evening. The Spartans met No. 8 Florida State (8-0) for a game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The longer and undefeated Seminoles were regarded as what could be a Final Four team by Spartan Head Coach Suzy Merchant. That didn’t stop the Spartans from taking a poke at the giant, as they held a lead late into the fourth quarter, but a cold spout on offense saw it dwindle as time expired.

Florida State pulled ahead with under five minutes left in the fourth quarter and were able to shutdown the Spartans' hope of an upset. The Seminoles would stay undefeated with a 78-68 comeback victory.

Michigan State led at the half, 35-30, following a strong three point effort, drilling eight before the second quarter expired.

They would carry this momentum into the third quarter, retaining a three point lead. The undefeated Seminoles were keeping it close, but sophomore guard Nia Clouden and redshirt senior guard Shay Colley’s offensive production kept the Spartans ahead.

Up until the last five minutes in the fourth, it looked as though the Spartans would be leaving the road trip with an upset, but it only took five minutes for the Seminoles to get red-hot and Michigan State to get ice-cold.

Turning a three point deficit into a 10 point lead, the Seminoles would put the Spartans away.

During the Spartans' cold stretch, the Seminoles exposed some of their weaknesses throughout the game. The Seminoles outrebounded Michigan State by 16, outscored them on second chance points and the Seminoles finished the fourth going 19-20 from the free-throw line.

Despite that, the Spartans forced more turnovers and found a way to succeed both at the three-point line and on fast breaks.

The story turned from being a Spartan upset and marquee win to being that too much went wrong at the wrong time for the green and white.

Michigan State will get a brief breather from the road for their next game, as they return home to meet Morehead State on Dec. 15.



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