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Nia Clouden scores 50 points, breaks school record in double overtime loss to FGCU

December 20, 2021
<p>Senior guard Nia Clouden (24) leaps over Illinois&#x27;s sophomore guard Aaliyah Nye to score during the second quarter of the game. The Spartans beat the Fighting Illini, 75-60, in their Big Ten opener on Dec. 9, 2021.</p>

Senior guard Nia Clouden (24) leaps over Illinois's sophomore guard Aaliyah Nye to score during the second quarter of the game. The Spartans beat the Fighting Illini, 75-60, in their Big Ten opener on Dec. 9, 2021.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Senior guard Nia Clouden has set a school record and a new career high by scoring 50 points in the team’s double overtime loss to Florida Gulf Coast University in the West Palm Beach Invitational. The previous record was set by Tori Jankoska in 2017.

This also ties the MSU basketball record for both men's and women's basketball as Terry Furlow set the record in 1976 with 50 as well.

Despite this momentous accomplishment the Spartans now fall to 7-5 on the season. Clouden was the star of the game but was aided by junior center Taiyier Parks and freshman guard DeeDee Hagemann who had 14 and nine points respectively. 

Clouden ran the court with ease like usual. There wasn’t a single shot on the court she couldn’t make. After a less than stellar start for the team, she single handedly kept them in the game by scoring the first seven points.

She primarily relied on her free throws to score in the first quarter but then began to knock down jumpers and three pointers. Once she put it all together, she was unstoppable. She fought relentlessly for four quarters and two overtimes to give her team every chance to win the game.

Clouden once again performed under pressure, but the loss brings questions of consistency from the rest of the team that has been struggling with its depth from the beginning of the season. Head Coach Suzy Merchant has emphasized the need for every player to play up to their full potential and today’s loss further proves her point. 

The Spartans will look to bounce back and capitalize on Clouden’s success when they take on West Virginia as part of the West Palm Beach Invitational tomorrow at 11 a.m.

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