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FINAL: No. 7 Indiana 76, MSU 58, Fouls plague the Spartans in Bloomington

February 12, 2022
<p>Head women's basketball coach Suzy Merchant talks to the players during the game against Michigan on Feb. 10, 2022, at the Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 63-57.</p>

Head women's basketball coach Suzy Merchant talks to the players during the game against Michigan on Feb. 10, 2022, at the Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 63-57.

Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

Michigan State women's basketball was unable to topple their second straight top 10 squad in No. 7 Indiana, getting trampled 76-58 in Bloomington.

The Spartans started the game out rough.

In the first 15 minutes, senior guard Nia Clouden and freshman forward Matilda Ekh had tallied up more personal fouls than points and found themselves riding the bench quite early. Both combined for 17 total points on the afternoon with eight total fouls, a jaw-dropping shift.

Unlucky for the Spartans, their dynamic scoring skill doesn't extend too far beyond Clouden and Ekh. What happened to the energy we saw Thursday night is a mystery. So, with their leaders landing flat on their face, the game fell into the lap of graduate student forward Alisia Smith and freshman point guard DeeDee Hagemann.

For the Hoosiers, junior forward Mackenzie Holmes was suited up in the red and white, but she did not take the court. Instead, sophomore guard Chloe Moore-McNeil and sophomore forward Kiandra Browne stepped up.

At the half, Smith was leading the charge with eight points and Hagemann found herself in all the right places at all the right times with four assists, three rebounds. Smith went on to end the night as the top scorer with 12 points. Hagemann had nine points.

The green and white were feeling mighty aggressive after defeating their in-state rival No. 4 Michigan on Thursday and they came into this game overpowering rather negatively.

Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant got in the face of an official in the first 10 minutes, though over what is unknown, and tallied herself a technical foul, allowing Indiana to break 20 points by sending graduate guard Ali Patberg to the line for two. Patberg finished the afternoon with 12 points.

A second technical of the afternoon came on junior center Taiyier Parks at the start of the third. She was fouled on her shot, still allowing her to line up for two, but that didn't mean much when senior guard Grace Berger shot the technical free throws and put IU up by nine.

The Hoosiers' lead only continued to extend to 23 points, their largest of the afternoon. Berger had 18 points with under five minutes in the third and would go on to score an additional 11 in the fourth quarter to end with 29 points, seven rebounds.

The Spartans fall 13-11 on the season, 7-6 in conference. That under-50% mark edges closer and closer each week, while their dreams of the tournament and any postseason action slowly fade from vision.

MSU will travel to Wisconsin (6-17, 3-10) next on Wednesday, Feb. 16. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. EST on Big Ten Plus.

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