Jenna Allen sparks Spartans past Michigan on Senior Day

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- Michigan State women’s basketball completed the series sweep with a 74-64 win over Michigan on Senior Day, paced by an 18-point performance by its lone senior Jenna Allen.

The Spartans celebrated Senior Day on Sunday, despite having on more home contest due against Penn State on Feb. 27. The game against the Nittany Lions was originally scheduled for Jan. 31 and was moved due to inclement weather in East Lansing.

Michigan State snaps its three-game losing streak and improves to 18-9 overall and 8-8 in Big Ten contests. Michigan had its season-long seven-game winning streak halted by the Spartans, falling to 19-10 overall and 10-7 in league play.

This was the first game since the 77-73 win at Michigan on Jan. 27 that redshirt-junior guard Shay Colley and freshman guard Nia Clouden were not the leading scorers. Allen was one of four Spartans to reach double figures with her 18 points.Colley reached double figures with 12 points, while redshirt-sophomore guard Mardrekia Cook and Clouden both scored 11. Junior guard Taryn McCutcheon added a team-high six assists.

The Spartans also tied a season high, forcing 25 Wolverine turnovers.

Michigan was led by freshman Naz Hillmon who had a double-double off the bench with 27 points and 11 rebounds.

MSU got off to a quick start with Allen scoring the first five points of the game. The run stretched to 9-0 after a Clouden layup, as the Spartans forced three early turnovers. The Wolverines rebounded nicely scoring the next seven points to make it a 9-7 contest with 5:30 left in the quarter. The first-quarter defense was solid for the Spartans, forcing 11 turnovers. Allen ended the period with a game-high 10 points.

In the second quarter, Michigan State scored the first five points to take a 27-18 lead, which was its biggest lead of the half. The remainder of the quarter remained tight with Hillmon and Allen leading the way for Michigan and MSU, respectively. Hillmon put in eighth points in the period, while Allen added five to her tally. Redshirt-junior forward Victoria Gaines beat the buzzer at the end of the half to give MSU the 42-37 advantage heading into the locker room.

Michigan State used a 7-0 run midway through the third quarter to take its first double-digit lead of the game, 52-41 after a layup by Colley. Michigan went 4:17 with out scoring before a layup by Amy Dilk stopped the drought. The Wolverines got the lead down to nine with 3:17 left in the quarter, but MSU quickly got the lead back to double digits for the remainder of the period.

It was the Wolverines turn to come out fast in the fourth quarter scoring nine of the first 14 points of the period. Cook snapped a 2:50 MSU scoring drought and put the Spartans back up 66-59 with under four left the period. After the Wolverines made it a five-point game with a Hillmon layup wit 4:27 remaining, MSU fought to get the double-digit lead back after a pair of Colley free throws. Michigan State went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final period to seal the victory.

The Spartans controlled the pace of the game, leading for over 37 minutes.

Michigan State will conclude its three-game homestand in its final regular-season home game of the season, hosting Penn State on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.