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Preview: MSU women's basketball to close regular season, honor their seniors vs. No. 17 Ohio State

February 27, 2022
<p>Then-sophomore guard  Nia Clouden (24) gets helped up during the women&#x27;s basketball game against Ohio State on Jan. 16, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes 68-65. </p>

Then-sophomore guard Nia Clouden (24) gets helped up during the women's basketball game against Ohio State on Jan. 16, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes 68-65.

Photo by Connor Desilets | The State News

The Michigan State women's basketball team has one more chance to get it right before the Big Ten Tournament tips off on Wednesday, March 2.

This afternoon, for their regular season finale, MSU (14-13, 8-8 Big Ten) is hosting No. 17 Ohio State (21-5, 13-4 Big Ten). The game will tip at 2:30 p.m. in the Breslin Center and on the Big Ten Network.

Ohio State holds the series 57-29 against Michigan State and is 21-14 when in East Lansing. This season, the Spartans are 10-4 at home. The last time the teams met was Jan. 12 in Columbus, where the Buckeyes defeated the Spartans 89-83. They did not cross paths in the 2020-21 season.

Ohio State will be coming in off Thursday's 77-58 victory over Penn State, who the Spartans lost to on Monday, 79-71. In that game, graduate forward Tanaya Beacham scored an OSU career-high 18 points, while redshirt sophomore guard Rikki Harris had nine boards and freshman forward Taylor Thierry had six blocks, both career-highs as well. The Buckeyes won the battle with the Lady Lions with a season high 48 rebounds and totaled 22 assists, one shy of their season high. They also scored 22 points off 20 forced PSU turnovers, something MSU struggled with.

Following the game, the Spartans will honor their four seniors, who are all Academic All-Big Ten honorees: forwards Tamara Farquhar and Alisia Smith and guards Laurel Jacqmain and Nia Clouden.

Farquhar (Purdue), Smith (Penn State) and Jacqmain (Saginaw Valley State) are all transfers. Jacqmain is also a walk-on, making Clouden the only four-year senior.

Clouden heads into her final game as the second highest scorer of all-time at MSU with 1,833 points, tied for ninth with Tori Jankoska at 114 career starts, seventh on the career minutes played list with 3,681 and ninth on the minutes per game list with an average of 32.3. She's also in the top 10 for assists.

Farquhar is now 12th in the Big Ten in rebounds in league contests with an average of 6.9 per game. She led the team tied with Smith for seven boards a piece at Michigan on Thursday, marking the 15th time this season she's led or shared the lead on the glass. She's pulled five or more rebounds in the last six games for the 19th time out of 27 overall games. Similarly, Smith has marked 15 games this season with five or more rebounds.

Freshman forward Matilda Ekh and freshman guard DeeDee Hagemann have been making record numbers.

Ekh currently has 62 three-pointers on the season, becoming third in Spartan freshman history, and she's got 321 points on the season to put her at No. 9 in freshman scoring history at MSU. She has a 41.6% three-point field goal, above Clouden with 41.3%.

Hagemann has not been a prolific scorer for the Spartans, though she recorded 13 points, the second highest of the night at Michigan on Thursday. She is also third in the Big Ten with 5.6 assists per game and eighth in assist/turnover ratio with 1.9.

The official bracket for the Big Ten Tournament, as well as dates and times of each game, will be set on Sunday. The Spartans can still earn themselves a seven or eight seed, just behind Nebraska and Northwestern right now — who also square off today — while the Buckeyes have secured themselves a No. 4-seed and subsequently the double-bye.

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