ROCHESTER, Mich. — Jenna Allen and Taryn McCutcheon combined for 35 points to rally Michigan State women’s basketball from an early deficit at Oakland, before erupting for a 19-0 run to lead the Spartans to a 102-58 victory for MSU Wednesday night at Oakland’s O’rena. Four Spartan starters posted double-figures as part of a season-high six different players netting double-digits on the way to MSU registering a season-high 102 points.
During a stretch overlapping the end of the first quarter and start of the second stanza, McCutcheon and Allen combined to be the only Spartans to score over a span of 28-straight points, as MSU rallied from an early 11-3 deficit. After a timeout, the Spartans closed out the first frame with a 17-4 run that later became a 19-0 run, as MSU turned that early deficit into a 31-15 lead and never looked back as the Spartans recorded their 11th consecutive win over the Golden Grizzlies and now lead the all-time series 15-4, including winning the last five trips to Rochester in moving to 6-2 in games there.
The win bumps MSU to 7-1 on the young season, while Oakland slides to 2-7.
Michigan State’s 102 points was a season-high and the most since 109 in the wild and thrilling four OT 111-109 loss to Indiana in last season’s Big Ten Tournament on March 1, 2018. It was the Spartans’ most in a regulation contest since 107 points against Charleston on Nov. 19, 2017.
Junior guard McCutcheon finished with a season-high 19 points, including a span of scoring 10-straight points for MSU. McCutcheon drained a season-best five 3-pointers, one shy of her career-high. Senior forward Allen ended with 16 points, as she has posted double-figures in seven of the eight games this season.
Freshman guard Nia Clouden scored 15 points and dished out a game-high tying six assists, matched by fellow freshman, forward Tory Ozment, for a career-high for helpers to go with 13 points, her fourth-straight game in double-figures. Junior forward Victoria Gaines added 12 points to go with a team-high eight rebounds, boosting MSU to a 43-35 rebounding advantage. Junior forward Nia Hollie chipped in with 10 points off the bench, teaming with Ozment to lead the Spartan reserves to 34 bench points.
All nine Spartan players that saw action scored at least five points, including a career-high six points by junior forward Nathy Dambo.
Oakland was led by Taylor Jones with 10 points, while LaKyseha Stennis added nine points and Nikta Telesford pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
The Spartans torched the nets to the tune of 51.4 percent (36-of-70) field goal shooting, their third-straight game and fourth time this season shooting over 50 percent. MSU was also 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) behind the arc, the second double-digit trey outing of the season. Michigan State netted a season-high 76.9 percent (20-of-26) at the free throw line, also a season-best for makes at the charity stripe.
The MSU defense held Oakland to 34.4 percent (21-of-61), including 6-of-28 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range. OU was also 10-of-15 (66.7 percent).
The Spartans forced 24 Oakland turnovers, third fourth-straight game with 20+ turnovers for the opposition, while only committing 10 miscues, tying a season-low.
MSU was down 11-3 at 5:11 to go after a trey by LaKyesha Stennis, prompting a Spartan timeout. The visitors in Green stormed out from the timeout, closing out the quarter on a 17-4 run, boosted by 10-straight McCutcheon points in just over 2:00 of game play, starting with a layup and ending the 10-0 personal run with a deep trey from the right wing with 45 seconds to go, and Allen netted a 3-pointer of her own from the top of the arc with two ticks on the clock and MSU led 20-15 at the end of the opening quarter.
Oakland was stuck on 15 while Michigan State’s surge continued, growing to a 19-0 streak to take a 31-15 advantage at the 8:07 mark on another Allen trey. Later, junior forward Nia Hollie hit a layup with 6:43 left for a 35-18 lead, becoming the first Spartan not named McCutcheon or Allen to score since the 7th point, a span of 28 points. The MSU lead ballooned to 30 at 50-20 with 46 seconds to go after an Allen bucket, and the Spartans took a 50-22 advantage into intermission.
Michigan State picked up right where it left off in the third period, out-scoring Oakland, 31-15 in the frame. The Spartans stretched their lead to 39 at 73-34 on a pair of free throws by Ozment, and later had their largest lead of the night at that point at 81-37 after an Ozment bucket with 44 seconds left in the stanza and that stayed the score to the end of the quarter.
A layup by Dambo gave MSU its largest lead of the night of 46 points at 83-47 just 25 seconds into the fourth quarter, and MSU cruised to the victory.
The Spartans return home to the friendly confines of the Breslin Center to host No. 3 Oregon on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. on ESPN2. Sunday is Toys for Tots Day as well as High School Day.
Postgame Notes vs. Oakland
• Michigan State’s 102 points was a season-high and the first time topping the 100-point mark this season after 99 points in the season-opener vs. Bowling Green (11/6) as one of three games in the 90s . . . The 102 points was the most points scored since 109 in the wild and thrilling four OT 111-109 loss to Indiana in last season’s Big Ten Tournament on March 1, 2018 . . . It was the Spartans’ most in a regulation contest since 107 points against Charleston on Nov. 19, 2017.
• The 102 points scored Wednesday marks the 10th time the Spartans have reached triple digits under head coach Suzy Merchant, improving to 9-1 . . . Overall it is the 19th time in program history, improving to 17-2, however MSU is 16-0 in games hitting 100 in regulation, along with 1-2 in OT games . . . Wednesday was the second time in the series vs. Oakland that MSU reached the century mark, also doing so for the first time in program history on Feb. 16, 1978 in a 107-89 win.
• Michigan State defeated Oakland for the 11th-straight meeting, improving to 15-4, with Oakland’s last win in the series coming in 1982 in East Lansing . . . MSU is now 6-2 in games played in Rochester, winning its last five trips there.
• The Spartans’ 102 points was the second-most scored in the series vs. Oakland, behind 107 points in a 107-89 victory for MSU on Feb. 16, 1978 . . . The 102 points was the most scored by Michigan State in Rochester, topping 88 in an 88-77 win on Dec. 5, 2002 . . . Wednesday’s 44-point margin of victory is the largest in the series, topping 32-point margin matched last year in a 95-63 triumph on Nov. 13, 2017 and a 71-39 win on Jan. 8, 1976.
• All nine Spartan players that saw action scored at least five points, including a career-high six points by junior forward Nathy Dambo . . . It marked the first time this season that every MSU player to see action scored.
• Junior guard Taryn McCutcheon’s game-high and new season-best 19 points was her second double-figure game in last three outings and the fifth double-figure scoring game of the season and the 25th of her career . . . McCutcheon netted a season-high five 3-pointers and was her fifth game this season with three or more treys, and was one shy of her career-high of six 3-pointers, previously done twice in her career.
• Senior forward Jenna Allen’s 16 points was her third-straight double-digit scoring outing as part of her seventh of the season and 30th of her career . . . Allen also matched her season-best of two 3-pointers, matching two treys from the Bowling Green (11/6) contest . . . The Spartan senior also tied a career-high with four assists, matching the four helpers earlier this season against NC State (11/22).
• With 15 points Wednesday, freshman guard Nia Clouden netted double-digits for the fourth game in a row and the seventh time in the eight games this season . . . Clouden snared a career-high six rebounds . . . The Spartan freshman also dished out six assists Wednesday, marking her fourth game with five or more helpers, as it was the third game this season that Clouden has had six assists, tying for second-most on the season behind 11 assists vs. Virginia (11/28).
• Freshman forward Tory Ozment now has four consecutive double-figure scoring games with 13 points on Wednesday . . . Ozment also dished out a career-high six assists, distributing four or more helpers in the last two games.
• The Spartans’ 51.4 percent (36-of-70) field goal shooting Wednesday was their third-straight game and fourth time this season shooting over 50 percent.
• MSU made 10 3-pointers vs. Oakland, marking the second double-digit trey outing of the season behind 15 triples in the season-opener vs. Bowling Green (11/6).
• Michigan State netted a season-high 76.9 percent (20-of-26) at the free throw line Wednesday, also a season-best for makes at the charity stripe.
• By limiting Oakland to just 21.4 percent (6-of-28) from the 3-point range, the Spartan defense tied a season-low 3-point percentage by the opposition, along with East Tennesse State’s 21.4 percent (3-of-14) on Nov. 11.
• MSU tied a season-low with 10 turnovers, matching 10 miscues from NC State game (11/22).
• The Spartans dished out 23 assists, which is their third-straight game with 20+ helpers and the fifth time this season.
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