As senior guard Taryn McCutcheon was helped onto the bench, with her shoe off and a splint on her index finger, the Spartans' season was painted into a single picture. Injuries, injuries and more injuries.
Michigan State women’s basketball (11-11, 4-7) was blown out by No. 13 Maryland (18-4, 9-2) 94-53, Monday night. On top of the loss, their captain fell to injury.
The Spartans held a lead early, pulling ahead 12-8 with 4:23 left in the first quarter on free throws by sophomore guard Nia Clouden.
Then the Terrapins woke up.
Following Clouden's layup, Maryland would go on a 16-0 run in three minutes to close out the first period. On the back of Maryland’s backcourt, they didn’t take their foot off the gas.
The Terps' freshman guard Ashley Owusu produced a team-high 22 points. Sophomore guard Taylor Mikesell and senior guard Kaila Charles followed close behind with 21 and 17 points.
While Maryland ran up the score, the Spartans couldn’t get through their shooting woes. They finished shooting 33 percent from the field.
Maryland couldn’t miss and the Spartans put up no resistance. Maryland shot 61 percent from the field and on defense forced 18 turnovers, with 12 steals. They capitalized on those turnovers, scoring 27 points off the Spartans' mistakes.
The Spartans starting lineup shot a combined 13-for-37, with only two — Clouden, who scored 17, and sophomore Kayla Belles, who scored 14 — cracking double-digits.
With five Spartans out due to injury and sickness, including sophomore forward Tory Ozment and freshman forward Julia Ayrault, the injury list got longer Monday.
Late in the third period, McCutcheon went down with a foot injury. She was assisted off the court.
Of every loss this season, McCutcheon – who has been dubbed this team's heart and soul – was the biggest blow.
The blowout set the Spartans even further back in the Big Ten conference and back to .500 overall on the year.
Michigan State will get a much needed week off, as it currently only suits up seven scholarship players. The Spartans get back to the court Feb. 10 at Northwestern.