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Dec. 9, 2021

Strong second half seals MSU win over Illinois in Big Ten home opener

Behind a career-high 20 points by freshman Matilda Ekh, Michigan State women's basketball captured its home Big Ten opener against Illinois, 75-60, Thursday night at the Breslin Center.

The Spartans out-scored the Fighting Illini, 49-26, in the second half to overcome an eight-point half-time deficit.

With the win, Michigan State improves to 7-4 overall and evens out its Big Ten record to 1-1. Illinois slips to 4-5 overall and 0-1 in league play.

For the first time this season freshman guard/forward Matilda Ekh led the team in scoring with a career-high 20 points, draining a career-best 6-for-9 from the beyond the arc. Despite a slow start, senior guard Nia Clouden ended with 17 points, including going 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. Senior forward Alisia Smith and junior forward Taiyier Parks both reached double digits with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Earning her first start of her Spartan career, freshman guard DeeDee Hagemann led MSU with eight assists and three steals.

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