EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Nia Clouden scored 27 points, Jenna Allen had 17 rebounds, both career highs, and No. 20 Michigan State pulled away from No. 16 Iowa in the second half on Sunday for an 84-70 win in the Big Ten Conference opener.
The one-two punch for the Spartans (11-1) offset a 30-point, 14-rebound outing for Megan Gustafson, who became the all-time leading scorer for the Hawkeyes (9-3). Gustafson surpassed former teammate Ally Disterhoft (2,102) and men’s great Roy Marble (2,116). Gustafson, the nation’s leading scorer (26.5 ppg) now has 2,124 points.
The turning point was the third quarter when Michigan State shot 50 percent and outscored Iowa, which shot 17 percent (2 of 12), 23-10 to take a 60-53 lead. Clouden, a freshman, had nine points in a 13-3 run to start the second half, converting two 3-point plays and hitting a 3-pointer.
Iowa, which had a five-game winning streak snapped, never got untracked, shooting 29 percent in the second half and 43 percent for the game. For the Hawkeyes, who lead the Big Ten at 53 percent, it was just their fifth time below 50 percent. Iowa was within seven with 3:07 to go when MSU went on a 9-0 run as the Hawkeyes missed four straight 3-pointers.