No. 19 MSU heads down to Tallahassee to take on No. 8 Florida State


Credit: Joe Dandron

Nathan Stearns, Women's basketball reporter

The Michigan State Spartans (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten) are quickly amassing a hefty stock of frequent flyer miles with their upcoming contest against national powerhouse Florida State (7-0, 0-0 ACC). The Spartans and Seminoles will face of tomorrow at 8 p.m. 

After the Junkanoo Jam Tournament that saw the Spartans split their two-game set against LSU and Kansas State, now the Spartans head back to East Lansing for a few days. 

Only to turn right around and head back down south yet again. 

Safe to say, this team is becoming quite acquainted with playing away from the Breslin.

Florida State will mark the toughest test of the season so far for MSU. 

The Noles come into this contest sporting the No. 8 ranking in the nation after throttling former No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies. 

It is also worth noting that the Seminoles defeated No. 25-ranked LSU 70-62 back in early November.  

MSU led by as many as 15 points but got knocked off by the Tigers 58-56 in the opening round of the Junkanoo Jam this past week.

Thursday provides a wonderful opportunity for a resume building road win for MSU, who only amassed a 3-9 record away from the friendly confines of East Lansing last season. 

One of the principal goals of this season for the Spartans was improving on the road.

Program cornerstones Shay Colley and Nia Clouden pushed MSU to a 65-60 come-from-behind win against Kansas State on Nov. 30. Clouden led the Spartans in scoring with 16 points, while Colley chipped in with 15.

Tory Ozment also had arguably the best game of the season,  as she scored a season-high 12 points to go along with 5 rebounds. 

MSU will need strong performances from these three key contributors if they wish to notch the unexpected upset against FSU.

The Noles have three players averaging over 15 points on the young season, led by senior guard Nausia Woolfolk, who is averaging a hefty 16.1 points per game on the season. 

She is joined by Nicki Okhumu, who is averaging 15.4 points per game and double-double machine Kiah Gillespie, who is averaging 15 points to go along with 9.7 rebounds per game.

MSU was successful in notching a season defining win on the road at Notre Dame earlier this season. 

Like the Irish, FSU is led by a respected and well traveled head coach. Sue Semrau is in her 23rd season with the Noles basketball team. 

She has led them to three Elite Eight berths and seven consecutive 20 win seasons. Knocking off two elite level coaches in McGraw and Semrau would be huge for the Spartans season.

Tomorrow night provides a golden opportunity for the Green and White to right some of the wrongs of last season that emerged on the road. 

To knock off the Noles is a tough ask, especially on the road. And will not be easy by any stretch of the imagination. 

But with the Spartans having a clean bill of health going into this highly anticipated non-conference tilt, anything is possible. 

You can watch the Spartans take on the Seminoles on the ACC Network, with tip-off set for 8 p.m. And you can listen to the game locally on 1240 AM in the Lansing Area.

Nathan Stearns is Impact89FM’s lead women’s basketball reporter