Second-half Surge Sends Spartans Past ETSU, 75-53

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - For the second-straight game, five Spartans scored in double figures as the Michigan State women’s basketball team used a strong second half to stop East Tennessee State, 75-53, on Sunday at the Breslin Center. The Spartans out-scored the Bucs 43-24 in the final 20 minutes.

With the win, Michigan State improves to 2-0, while East Tennessee State falls to 0-2 after a pair of road games. Last year, the two teams needed overtime to resolve the game, as MSU battled to an 83-74 win in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Junior forward Sidney Cooks led all scorers with 14 points, while both freshman guard Nia Clouden and redshirt-sophomore forward Mardrekia Cook added 12. Both senior center Jenna Allen and redshirt-junior guard Shay Colley added 10 apiece.

The Bucs were led by 11 points from Micah Scheetz.

The Spartans jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, but the Buccaneers fought back to take a 10-7 lead with 4:55 left in the opening quarter. ETSU stretched its lead to 16-7 after an 8-0 run. A trey by junior guard Taryn McCutcheon halted the East Tennessee State run. MSU ran into foul trouble early with seven fouls in the first quarter.

The battle remained tight in the second quarter with neither team taking more than a four-point lead. There were five lead changes in the second quarter alone. After some strong defensive possessions, MSU used a 6-0 run to take a 27-23 advantage. The Spartans entered the locker room with a 32-29 advantage.

Early in the second half, the teams exchanged baskets. a Cook fast-break layup at the 5:57 mark gave MSU the 42-37 lead. With 4:58 left in the quarter MSU went on an 8-0 run putting the Spartans up 46-37, which was their biggest lead of the game at that time. Cook came alive in the third period, leading all players with seven points.

ETSU cut the lead to 15 points after a Sadasia Tipps free throw with 6:22 remaining and would get no closer for the rest of the contest. Midway through the fourth quarter, MSU had out-scored ETSU 13-3 to take a 20-point lead 68-48.

The Spartans conclude their three-game homestand to open the season, hosting Wright State on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. The game is the first half of a doubleheader with the MSU men’s team.

Postgame Notes vs. ETSU
• For the second-straight game, Michigan State had five players in double figures led by 14 points off the bench from sophomore forward Sidney Cooks. Redshirt-sophomore forward Mardrekia Cook and freshman guard Nia Clouden both added 12 points, followed by 10 from both senior center Jenna Allen and redshirt-junior guard Shay Colley. Nine of the 10 Spartans that played scored.

• Coming off the bench, junior forward Sidney Cooks has scored in double figures in both of the Spartans games this season, adding 13 in the season opener. Cooks tied her career-high with four blocks. The last time she had four was in MSU’s 4OT game against Indiana on March 1, 2018.

• Redshirt-junior Victoria Gaines was tied for the team lead in assists with Taryn McCutcheon with six helpers. She was just shy of her career high of eight against Maryland on March 4, 2017.

• The Spartans evened out the playing six players getting at least 20 minutes. Colley led the team, playing 29:36.

• ETSU led by as many as nine points in the first quarter, but the Spartans used a 9-0 run in the second quarter to take the lead for good. MSU did not trail in the second half.