EAST LANSING, Mich. - Sophomore guard Nia Clouden scored 20 points as the Michigan State women’s basketball team celebrated Alumni Day with a 69-52 win over Wisconsin Sunday at the Breslin Center.
The Spartans snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 9-7 overall and 2-3 in Big Ten play. Wisconsin slips to 9-7 overall and 1-4 in league action.
For the first time this season, Michigan State had only one player in double figures, but that one player was Clouden who scored 20 points and added five assists. Freshnman guard Alyza Winston and sophomore guard Tory Ozment both added eight points. Freshman forward Taiyier Parks scored six points and added a team-high eight rebounds.
Wisconsin was led by Imani Lewis who had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Spartans led for most of the first quarter and took its biggest lead of the period after a Clouden bucket to give MSU a 18-12 lead. Six different players scored in the first quarter, showing off the Spartan balance.
After MSU jumped out to a 21-12 lead, the Badgers bounced back with a 9-0 run to tie the scored 21-21. Belles stopped the run with a lay up. Wisconsin scored 13 of the first 18 points of the quarter to take a 25-23 lead midway through the second period. Back-to-back treys by freshmen Julia Ayrault and Mo Joiner tied the game up 31-31 with less than three minutes remaining in the half. A trey by Clouden gave MSU the 34-33 halftime advantage. The Spartans are now 8-4 when leading at the break.
The Spartans scored the first 11 points of the second half to take its first double digit lead 45-33. The Spartans went cold at the end of the quarter, going over four minutes without a basket. Joiner drained her second 3-pointer of the game to put MSU back up by double figures, 51-40.
Sophomore guard Tory Ozment had a solid final period with seven points. Her old-fashioned 3-point put Michigan State up 60-42 with under five remaining in the game. Winston capped off a 6-0 run 3-pointer to put MSU up 63-42. Twelve different Spartans played in the fourth quarter, as MSU was able to rest several players that have been logging a lot of minutes.
Michigan State concludes its two-game homestand against Ohio State on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.