Michigan State topples No. 3 Oregon 88-82
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Jenna Allen scored 27 points — including a big 3-pointer the final minute — and Michigan State handed No. 3 Oregon its first loss of the season, 88-82 on Sunday.
Up by three late in the fourth quarter, the Spartans (8-1) ran the shot clock down and got the ball to Allen, who sank a 3-pointer with 34.7 seconds left, then ran down the court with her arms outstretched, holding three fingers out with each hand.
Sabrina Ionescu scored 29 points for Oregon and Erin Boley added 24, but the Ducks (7-1) didn’t start defending well until the final quarter, and Michigan State made enough shots late to pull out the win.
Oregon trailed by 11 early in the fourth but rallied to tie it at 75. It was 77-all when Sidney Cooks put Michigan State back ahead with a shot from around the top of the key.
Shortly after that, Taryn McCutcheon connected from beyond the arc to push the lead to five. McCutcheon shot just 4 of 14 from the field but finished with 14 crucial points.
The Ducks scored the game’s first nine points, causing Michigan State to take an early timeout. It was 16-4 at one point, but the Spartans closed to within three by the end of the quarter.
Michigan State took a 39-37 lead when Allen made a 3-pointer while being fouled with 2:44 left in the half. The Spartans closed the second quarter on a 17-2 run and led 46-39 at the half.
The third quarter wasn’t much better for Oregon. The Ducks had a hard time controlling Michigan State defensively and trailed 69-60 after three.
Oregon: The Ducks came in averaging 94.7 points per game, the top mark in the nation, but Oregon’s difficulty at the other end of the court was a major factor Sunday. The Ducks allowed Michigan State to shoot 58 percent from the field — and over 60 percent in both the second and third quarters.
Michigan State: The Spartans have only one loss this season — by four at N.C. State — and after this win, they look like they could be a major factor in the Big Ten. The 6-foot-4 Allen gives Michigan State size around the basket, and she also made three 3-pointers on the day.
Oregon had its highest ranking in program history, but the Ducks figure to fall after losing to the unranked Spartans. It’s just a question of how far.
Michigan State got only three votes in the most recent Top 25, but it may be time for voters to give the Spartans more of a look.
Oregon: The Ducks have another road game Wednesday against South Dakota State.
Michigan State: The Spartans play at Hartford next Sunday.