Gophers-Michigan State women's basketball preview

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The Spartans (8-11-1) grabbed the upper hand early, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the opening 4:34 of the game.

No. 14 Arizona was a 94-82 victor at Utah behind Deandre Ayton's 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Overall, Turgeon got a combined 19 points from players not named Cowan or Huerter - and just eight points from the bench. They hit eight of their first 10 shots and were shooting at 60 percent before Michigan State hit its stride. Kevin Huerter tossed in 16 points. In that Hawkeyes game, Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop logged 27 points.

Freshman Eli Brooks started at point guard and scored five points early in the first half for the Wolverines. Miles Bridges is leading the team with 17 points and 7.8 rebounds per game this season while Nick Ward is putting up 15.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest.

The Terrapins' average margin of victory in their last five games has been 18.2, up from 14.9 for the season.

Michigan State has now won 14 games in a row.

Michigan: The Wolverines are still seeking a signature win. Huerter finished the first half with 14 points a rebound and an assist while Bridges finished with nine points, four assists, and four rebounds. It was the highest assist total for Simmons since he had five in the 61-47 win over Southern Miss on November 16. No, not because it's Maryland, but rather it's the return of Big Ten action after a month of blowout non-conference games.

Christian Ellis and Daniel Kinchen each scored 12 points for the Cougars (5-9, 1-2 Ohio Valley Conference).

Duncan Robinson's shooting struggles continued. Maryland shot 12 of 33 (36.4 percent) on 2-pointers. Eastern Kentucky is 6-10, 0-3.

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Now, as Michigan State begins the quest to win the program's first regular season Big Ten title since 2012, Izzo said he can focus on little things like blocking out and making free throws.

But first and foremost, Michigan State is focused on winning the Big Ten.

The Spartan defense was just as good as the offense, as they were able to shut down the Terrapins most of the night.

Coach Tom Izzo isn't discounting what his team has accomplished over the last few weeks, regardless of competition. Russell LaBounty, USA TODAY Sports Michigan's Zavier Simpson looks to pass as Ohio State's Jae'Sean Tate defends during the second half Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio.

With 3:47 remaining, Marody added his third goal of the game to complete his hat trick as well as securing the 6-4 win for the Wolverines. Cowan played all 40 minutes against Penn State Jan. 2 and 38 minutes Jan. 4. Russell LaBounty, USA TODAY Sports Dec 4, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State guard Musa Jallow shoots over MI guard Eli Brooks in the first half at Value City Arena.

After a half of basketball, Spartans led Maryland 44-32 at halftime after a 15-0 run that included two straight threes from Matt McQuaid off the bench.

That includes the last four games when Michigan State has scored more than 100 points while continuing to lead the nation on field-goal percentage defense (.328) and blocked shots per game (8.4).