Spartans face ACC test against No. 8 Seminoles 


Nia Clouden attempts a floater against Iowa/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Charlotte Steinberg, Women's Basketball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – The Michigan State Spartans (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten) will be traveling down to warmer weather again this Thursday to face the No. 8 Florida State Seminoles. 

Coming off a solid win against the Kansas State Wildcats in the Junkanoo Jam, the Spartans finally got back Shay Colley in the starting lineup.

“Well we love having her back, at the same time you just have to learn the next man up,” MSU head coach Suzy Merchant said. “You know we have played more without her than with her so obviously we kinda just take it day to day. I don’t know if we will have her for the next game or not we will see, time will tell but we have had kids step up, but we just have to wait and see how she feels.”

Colley this early in the season has looked like a concern to playing on the court but if the Spartans have her she will provide a much needed boast in Tallahassee. This season Colley has been away traveling with Team Canada training for the 2020 Olympics. 

Sophomore guard Nia Clouden is excited for the challenge.

“We are looking forward to another chance to compete against a good team and prove ourselves as one of the best teams in the country and go down there tomorrow and do that,” Clouden said.

The Owings Mills, Maryland native is averaging 15.4 points and has been shooting the ball well this season. 

“Defensively, we have changed what we have been doing and be a little more aggressive, full-court wise, pressure in passing lines, and guarding the ball,” Merchant said on her team’s defense. 

Facing a tough ACC matchup on the road, the Spartans will look to beat a top 10 team. 

“They have three pros they start, that are seniors all three are really good players,” said Merchant. “They can create their own shots, they can score the ball really well so for us what it creates is we have to be consistent on the offensive end. One, we have to defend them well, obviously to limit them in production and scoring but usually teams like that you have to be able to have focused offensive attack, you have to score with them because when they get a lead a basket comes bigger and they have some shooters and also physically strong inside and again it’s another battle.” 

The Florida State Seminoles are led by senior guard Nausia Woolfolk, who has been red hot this season. She is averaging 16 points per game and has led the Seminoles to a 7-0 record so far this season. 

The Spartans will need defensive toughness and leadership from the veterans such as 3-point magician Taryn McCutcheon and crafty guard Shay Colley. 

Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. and will be streamed on the ACC Network.