EAST LANSING, Mich. – Behind senior center Jenna Allen’s second double-double of the season, the Michigan State women’s basketball team cruised to a 91-45 win over Texas Southern Sunday at the Breslin Center.
The Spartans have now won three-straight games and improve to 6-1 this season, which matches the best start since beginning the 2016-17 season 6-1. The Tigers fall to 2-5 with the loss.
Allen scored a game-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds to pace the Spartans. She now has two double-double this season and three for her career. Freshman forward Tory Ozment had her third-straight double- figure scoring game with 16 points and four assists. Junior guard Taryn McCutcheon came close to her first career triple-double with eight points, 10 assists and six rebounds.
Texas Southern’s Niya Mitchell registered a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Spartans created separation in the first quarter after a 13-0 run that gave MSU a 20-9 lead. Redshirt-junior forward Victoria Gaines was all over the place in the first period with eight points in the first 10 minutes. MSU led the Tigers 28-16- at the end of the quarter behind eight points from Gaines and seven from Allen.
In the second quarter, the Tigers fought hard and were able to cut the lead to 10 points, 31-21 after a Mitchell layup with 6:54 left in the quarter. The Spartans scored six points over 2:11 and used that 6-0 run to take a 32-25 lead with under two minutes left in the half. MSU took its first 20-point advantage with a pair of Nia Hollie free throws with four second left in the half to take a 45-25 lead into the locker room.
The Tigers were lethal from behind the arc in the first half, shooting 60 percent, but MSU shot 48.6 percent from the field.
Texas Southern hit a try spell at the end of the third quarter, finishing the final 4:23 without a field goal. Heading into the final 10 of action, the Spartans held a commanding 67-37 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Michigan State pulled away even more, taking a 40-point lead after a fast-break 3-pointer from Ozment. The Spartans trio of freshmen: Nia Clouden, Kayla Belles and Ozment combined for 18 points in the fourth period.
The Spartans return to the road to take on in-state rival Oakland on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.
Postgame Notes vs. Texas Southern
• With a 16-point effort against Texas Southern on December 2, freshman Tory Ozment has scored in double-figures off the bench in three consecutive games. Ozment’s streak started with a 15 point outburst against Kennesaw State at the Cancun Challenge on November 23. On November 28, Ozment followed up her Cancun Challenge performance with 19 points against Virginia in the ACC/B1G challenge. During her streak, Ozment is second on the team in scoring with an average of 16.7 points per game on .531 percent shooting (17-of-32).
• Michigan State has shared the ball efficiently this season with five different players leading the team in assists through seven games. Taryn McCutcheon, Nia Clouden, Shay Colley, Victoria Gaines and Jenna Allen have each led the team in single-game assists. McCutcheon has reached the double-digit assists mark twice, tying her career-high of 12 against Bowling Green and dishing out 10 against Texas Southern. Clouden has also reached double-digits in 2018-19, making her mark against Virginia with 11 assists. As a team, the Spartans rank No. 2 in the Big Ten and No. 8 nationally in assists per game with 21.4. McCutcheon ranks No. 2 in the conference with 6.9 assists per game and Clouden is No. 7 at 4.9.
• The Spartans’ 91 points was the third time scoring over 90 points this season and tied the second-highest scoring output of the season behind 99 in the season-opening victory over Bowling Green on Nov. 6 (99-69). The Spartans also scored 91 points against Virginia on Nov. 28.
• Michigan State swiped 10 steals Sunday, marking the third-straight game and sixth time in the seven games this season that the Spartans have swiped double-digit steals.
• The Spartans are averaging 84.1 point per game this season and have scored at least 74 points in all seven games.
• McCutcheon has now started 72 games for MSU, missing just one game in her Spartan career last season. Allen has now played in 104 games at Michigan State and has started 35.
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