Spartans hit the road to take on No. 17 Maryland


Taryn McCutcheon (Photo: Ian Gilmour / WDBM)

Nathan Stearns, Women's Basketball/Field Hockey Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING — The Michigan State Spartans will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak, when they head to College Park this Monday and square off against the No. 17 Maryland Terrapins.

After dropping two consecutive road games against No. 22 Northwestern and No. 19 Iowa, the Spartans came back home in search of a much needed home victory against the visiting Purdue Boilermakers.  

Despite jumping out to an early 12-3 lead, MSU would be unable to keep its foot on the gas, as the Spartans dropped to 4-6 in conference with a 76-66 loss to the Boilermakers.

Purdue guard Kamaria McLaughlin had a sensational night from beyond the arc with a 7-for-11 overall clip from downtown. She registered 24 points on the night. Dominique Oden had a strong game for the Boilermakers down low, as she accumulated 22 points and nine rebounds. 

Ae’Rianna Harris chipped in with 16 points and nine rebounds for Purdue.  All in all, this talented triumvirate accounted for 62 of the overall 76 points notched for the Boilermakers.

Michigan State senior guard Taryn McCutcheon had a strong night from the floor, registering 16 points and five assists from the floor while Nia Clouden and Moira Joiner compiled 17 and 12 points respectively. 

Kayla Belles bounced back from a rough performance against Iowa with a 10 points and eight rebounds on Thursday.

Maryland will head into Monday night’s matchup as winners of six straight. The Terps have knocked off top tier teams Northwestern and Indiana over the six-game winning streak.

The Spartans will be without Victoria Gaines, Shay Colley and Mardrekia Cook for Monday’s matchup. Tory Ozment, who sustained a severe concussion against Purdue also has her status in doubt.

Overall, Maryland is 17-4 on the season and 8-2 in conference. 

The Terrapins have been lethal all season with a balanced scoring attack that features five players averaging double figures on the season. 

Kaila Charles leads Maryland in scoring with 14.5 points per game. Shakira Austin, Ashley Owusu, Taylor Mikesell and Stephanie Jones are also averaging at least 10 points per game.

Maryland is led by longtime head coach Brenda Frese. In her 18 seasons at the helm of the she has compiled quite the list of accomplishments, including the 2006 National Championship, two Final Four berths and three Elite Eight births. 

Under Frese, Maryland has made the NCAA tournament nine years in a row and has notched at least 20 wins over the last 15 seasons.

MSU will need more from Nia Clouden if it wants to knock off Maryland on the road. Clouden is only shooting 26% over the last three games.

With two extremely difficult games upcoming on the road over the next week, MSU has a unique opportunity to secure a possible WNIT berth with a marquee road win.  Time will tell what version of the Spartans show up.

Contact Nathan Stearns at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @NathanStearns11.