EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Jenna Allen scored 27 points – including a big 3-pointer in the final minute – and Michigan State handed No. 3 Oregon its first loss of the season, 88-82 on Sunday.
Up by three late in the fourth quarter, the Spartans (8-1) ran the shot clock down and got the ball to Allen, who sank a 3-pointer with 34.7 seconds left, then ran down the court with her arms outstretched, holding three fingers out with each hand.
Allen ended the game one-point shy of her career high with 27 points, adding seven rebounds to lead the Spartans. Junior guard Taryn McCutcheon scored 14 points with eight assists, while redshirt-sophomore forward Mardrekia Cook scored 12 to pace the Spartans. Michigan State’s bench was stellar against the Duck, providing 20 points.
Sabrina Ionescu scored 29 points for Oregon and Erin Boley added 24, but the Ducks (7-1) didn’t start defending well until the final quarter, and Michigan State made enough shots late to pull out the win.
Oregon trailed by 11 early in the fourth but rallied to it at 75. It was 77-all when Sidney Cooks put Michigan State back ahead with a shot from around the top of the key.
Shortly after that, McCutcheon connected from beyond the arc to push the lead to five. McCutcheon shot just 4-of-14 from the field but finished with 14 crucial points.
The Ducks scored the game’s first nine points, causing Michigan State to take an early timeout. It was 16-4 at one point, but the Spartans closed to within three by the end of the quarter.
Michigan State took a 39-37 lead when Allen made a 3-pointer while being fouled with 2:44 left in the half. The Spartans closed the second quarter on a 17-2 run and led 46-39 at the half.
The third quarter wasn’t much better for Oregon. MSU maintained a lead for much of the third quarter with Oregon cutting it to 62-60 after a trey Erin Boley, who made 3-pointers in the game. Michigan State took its biggest lead of the quarter by using a 7-0 and the end of the period. The Ducks had a hard time controlling Michigan State defensively and trailed 69-60 after three.
Oregon: The Ducks came in averaging 94.7 points per game, the top mark in the nation, but Oregon’s difficulty at the other end of the court was a major factor Sunday. The Ducks allowed Michigan State to shoot 58 percent from the field – and over 60 percent in both the second and third quarters.
Michigan State: The Spartans have only one loss this season – by four at N.C. State – and after this win, they look like they could be a major factor in the Big Ten. The 6-foot-4 Allen gives Michigan State size around the basket, and she also made three 3-pointers on the day.
Oregon: The Ducks have another road game Wednesday against South Dakota State.
Michigan State: The Spartans play at Hartford next Sunday.
Post-game Quotes vs. No. 3 Oregon
• Michigan State’s 88-82 upset of No. 3 was MSU’s first upset win over an AP Poll top 5 team since a 107-105 3OT victory over No. 5 Ohio State on Feb. 27, 2016. It was the Spartans’ biggest upset win since a 68-64 upset of No. 3 Tennessee on April 3, 2005 in the NCAA Tournament . . . It was the highest regular-season win since a 82-73 OT win over No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 2, 2004.
• Michigan State is now 20-15 at home vs. ranked teams under head coach Suzy Merchant . . . The Spartans are 1-1 against ranked opponents this season after a 78-74 loss to No. 13 N.C. State on Nov. 22 in Cancun, Mexico.
• Sunday was MSU’s first win over Oregon in the three meetings vs. the Ducks, having lost in 1992 and 2012, both in Eugene . . . The Spartans now have at least one win over nine of the 10 different Pac-12 teams they have faced, improving to 10-13 all-time vs. Pac-12 opponents with Sunday’s win, not having played Colorado or Washington State, and only losing once to Arizona State in the lone meeting vs. the Sun Devils.
• Michigan State’s 88 points is the seventh game this season in scoring 80+ points, and MSU has topped 70 in all nine games this year and are now 8-1 when scoring at least 70 . . . The Spartans have won 127 of their last 141 games when scoring at least 70 and are 144-21 under head coach Suzy Merchant when hanging 70 points on the scoreboard.
• Every MSU player to play Sunday scored, marking the second time this season in as many games that all the Spartans to play scored.
• Michigan State trailed by 12 points in the first quarter (16-4) and the 12-point rally is the biggest MSU deficit in a win this season, topping the previous deficit of nine points vs. ETSU (11/11/18).
• The Spartans improved to 8-0 this season when leading at intermission.
• Michigan State is 7-0 this season when having a lead with five minutes left, having won 181 of the last 191 games when leading with five minutes to go, including 132 of the last 142 . . . MSU is 216-16 when holding a lead with five to play under Coach Merchant.
• The Spartans shot a season-high 57.6 percent (34-of-59) from the field Sunday afternoon, topping 50 percent for the fourth-straight game and fifth time this season.
• Senior forward Jenna Allen netted a season-high 27 points, one shy of her career-best, as well as her second 20+ point outing of the season and third of her career . . . Allen tied a career-high with three 3-pointers, matching three triples from at Notre Dame (12/16/17), which was also when her career-high of 28 points came . . . It was Allen’s fourth-straight double-figure scoring outing as part of her eighth in the nine games this season and 34th of her career.
• Junior guard Taryn McCutcheon dished out her 400th career assist with eight helpers on Sunday . . . McCutcheon becomes the seventh Spartan women’s basketball player to reach the 400 assists plateau, including the fourth under Coach Merchant . . . McCutcheon is No. 7 on MSU’s career assists list, one shy of tying Brittney Thomas (2007-11) with 401.
• McCutcheon netted 14 points Sunday for her second double-figure game in a row and sixth of season as part of 26th of her career . . . The junior guard netted three 3-pointers, giving her eight treys in her last two games as part of her sixth game with three or more triples . . . With three 3-pointers Sunday, McCutcheon now has 147 career treys, climbing to sole possession of the No. 7 spot on MSU’s career 3-pointer list, breaking a tie with Christine Powers (1991-95), and needing four to tied Victoria Lucas-Perry (2003-07) at No. 6 with 151 treys.
• Sophomore guard Mardrekia Cook tied a season-high with 12 points, matching the dozen points she scored vs. ETSU (11/11/18), and those both of Cook’s double-figure outings this season and she now has three for her career.
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