The scoreboard at Massimino Court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, didn’t go in favor of the Michigan State women’s basketball team — the Spartans lost to Florida Gulf Coast, 85-84, in double overtime — but the box score? That will live on in MSU lore for a while.
That’s because senior Nia Clouden was virtually unstoppable, putting up a school-record 50 points Monday. Clouden’s performance shattered the school scoring record, previously held by Tori Jankoska (42 against Ohio State on Jan. 10, 2017) on the women’s side. On the men’s side, Terry Furlow also scored 50 points, against Iowa on Jan. 5, 1976.
The senior guard did most of her work inside the 3-point arc and at the line, with a 17-for-28 overall shooting performance and 15-for-17 from the line. Clouden had one 3-pointer on four attempts. She added six rebounds and a steal. Taiyier Parks was the only other Spartan to score in double figures, putting up 14 points (on 6-for-14 shooting) and addeing 13 rebounds coming off the bench. Tamara Farquhar had five points but pulled down 16 rebounds.
Clouden started out strong, with 12 points in the first quarter, as the Spartans took a 19-12 lead. She sat out most of the second quarter, however, scoring just two points as MSU (7-5) went into the half down, 32-31. Clouden didn’t get hot in the third quarter until late, scoring 10 points in the final four minutes or so as the Spartans surged back to take a 52-51 lead entering the fourth quarter. There, Clouden kept up her steady work, putting in 11 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:49 left that knotted the game at 66-all. Unfortunately, Clouden missed a jumper with 24 seconds left that would have given the Spartans the lead.
Clouden added seven more points in the first overtime, including a jumper with 22 seconds left to give MSU a 75-73 lead. But FGCU’s Kierstan Bell hit a 3-pointer, and MSU’s Farquhar hit a free throw and the qgame headed to a second overtime. There, Clouden scored all eight of MSU’s points, on four jumpers, with the last coming in the pait with 58 seconds remaining. Clouden had a chance to win it, but her jumper as time expired fell away.
Clouden’s previous scoring high was 34 points, set against Michigan on Feb. 16, 2021. She’ll have a chance to mach (or better) Furlow’s MSU two-game record — he scored 48 against Northwestern three days after he set the men’s scoring record in 1976 —today when the Spartans take on West Virginia at 11 a.m. in Fort Lauderdale.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Nia Clouden sets Michigan State women's basketball scoring record