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Final: No. 7 Maryland dismantles Michigan State, 92-52

January 28, 2021
<p>Junior guard Nia Clouden drives between two defenders and into the paint during Michigan State&#x27;s loss to Maryland on Jan. 7.</p>

Junior guard Nia Clouden drives between two defenders and into the paint during Michigan State's loss to Maryland on Jan. 7.

As the saying goes, when it rains, it pours.

That was the case for the No. 7 Maryland Terrapins as they torched the Michigan State women's basketball defense for a 92-52 thumping victory in College Park.

The Spartans entered the day with a chance for redemption and with the ability to rise in the Big Ten standings after three postponed games set them back, but the Maryland offense and length ultimately ran the Spartans out of the gym.

In the first quarter, both offenses came out the gates lighting it up from beyond the arc by combining for seven made three point buckets.

However, it was the nation’s best offense in Maryland that thrived on an offensive battle as all seven of their players who got minutes in the first quarter combined for 27 points. Chloe Bibby and Diamond Miller, who struggled for the Terrapins in their last matchup against the Spartans, each scored seven.

Despite Alyza Winston drilling a three to start off the game, the Spartans struggled again with the Terrapins’ length as they turned the ball over more in the first quarter against Maryland than they did in the entire Wisconsin game as they trailed by 12 at the end of the first.

The threes kept on falling in, but not in the favor of the Spartans, as Maryland continued to pour it on their double digit lead from beyond the arc. At the end of the first half, the Terrapins were shooting a staggering 9-19 (47.4%) from three. Nearly half of those threes came from Miller and Bibby, who combined for four threes of their own for a total of 20 points between the two of them.

Maryland native Nia Clouden was held scoreless in the first quarter, but finally flipped the switch in the second quarter as she hit back to back threes to end her scoreless streak and ended the half with 10 to keep the game from a complete disaster at half.

Turnovers kept the Spartans from having any chance of cutting down their lead as they ended the half with 12.

Michigan State led a large comeback effort in their first matchup this season against the Terrapins, but that wouldn’t matter as Maryland kept the gas pedal to the floor in the third quarter, scoring 27 total.

The Spartans continued to struggle on the other end of the floor, scoring a season low 13 points in the quarter. To add insult to injury, Clouden’s three to keep the lead under 30 at the end of the third was waved off as the Terrapins went into the fourth quarter up 77-43.

The Terrapins began to thrive in transition in the fourth as they crushed Michigan State’s spirits, reaching four double digit scorers on the night.

The post play for the Spartans was missing in action after a tremendous performance against Wisconsin last weekend as Taiyier Parks and Alisia Smith could only muster five points and six rebounds after a 34 point, 11 rebound performance last time out between the two of them.

Clouden in her return home finished the day with 15 points despite her scoreless start, but the Spartans struggled to find another consistent scorer as Mardrekia Cook was the lone bright spot, scoring a season high 11 points.

Despite leading the Big Ten in assists and assist to turnover ratio, Michigan State turned the ball over a disastrous 24 times on the night.

Maryland on the day finished shooting 49.3% from the field, including 50% from beyond the arc. The Terrapins season leading scorer Ashley Owusu scored 20 on the night and Bibby and Miller combined for 33 points on the night.

With that win, the Terrapins remain atop the Big Ten with only one loss on the season within the conference. The Spartans fall to 4-3 in conference with only nine scheduled games remaining on the year.

With opportunities dwindling, the Spartans need to secure some big wins over AP top 25 teams like Indiana and Northwestern to remain in the tournament picture.

The Spartans will have another shot at an AP top 25 win as they travel to Bloomington to face No. 16 Indiana on Sunday.

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