Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Spartans fall to No. 14 Indiana in Big Ten opener

After losing lead in second half, Spartans are unable to recover

December 28, 2019
Freshman guard Julia Ayrault (40) grabs the ball during the game against Morehead State at Breslin Center on Dec. 15, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Eagles, 93-48.
Freshman guard Julia Ayrault (40) grabs the ball during the game against Morehead State at Breslin Center on Dec. 15, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Eagles, 93-48. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

After dropping their last two games in the Sunshine Classic, the Spartans (7-5) hoped to get back on the right track with a win in their Big Ten opener at No. 14 Indiana (11-2). The Spartans' hot start and early lead made it seem as if they were going to make their way back to East Lansing 1-0 in the Big Ten, but a rally from the Hoosiers in the second half proved too much for them, as they fell 79-67.

The Spartans jumped out to an early lead and carried it through the first half, with senior guard Taryn McCutcheon and redshirt senior forward Victoria Gaines leading the Spartans in scoring.

McCutcheon finished with a team high 15 points, reaching the 1,000 career point milestone.

Uncharacteristically, the Spartans didn't move the ball well in the Big Ten opener, creating just 11 assists throughout the entire game, while McCutcheon failed to get an assist for the first time this season.

The inability to move the ball exposed the Spartans' other struggles throughout the game and late into the second half.

Finishing the day at just 36.5% from the field and 25% from three, the Spartans' shooting woes from Florida carried into their first game in conference.

Again, the Spartans added inefficiency from the line to their poor shooting resume. Finishing at 60.9% from the free throw line, they missed nine opportunities to pull ahead and away.

The struggles opened the door for No. 14 Indiana to avoid the upset.

Returning from a six-point deficit at the half, the Hoosiers would outscore the Spartans in both the third and fourth period, creating a double-digit lead and marking another occasion in which the Spartans have blown a lead this season.

The Spartans will look to get some momentum going in their return to action at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Breslin Center.

Discussion

Share and discuss “Spartans fall to No. 14 Indiana in Big Ten opener” on social media.