Michigan State battled Florida Gulf Coast in a West Palm Beach Invitational double-overtime thriller that made history. Florida Gulf Coast won the game 85-84, but Michigan State guard Nia Clouden stole the show with her 50-point performance, a new program record.
In the loss, Clouden scored 50 points, shooting 17-of-28 from the field and 15-of-17 from the free-throw line. With a 60 percent field goal percentage, it was an efficient performance from inside the arc. Yet, Clouden's performance only gets more impressive when you look at what she did beyond the three-point line.
Of Clouden's 50 points, just three came from a three-point shot. Clouden shot 1-for-4 from three meaning she got most of her points in a difficult, hard-fought fashion. Clouden often attacked the rim and even as she faced double and triple teams but she still found a way to get the ball in the basket.
"Getting to the free throw line is a really big part of my game," said Clouden. "I definitely try to be aggressive and attack the defense as much as I can."
Clouden's 50-point day accounted for nearly 60 percent of all of Michigan State's points. While she and the Spartans would end up falling one point short of a victory, Clouden still left today's game in the West Palm Beach Invitational with the most points of any Division I women's basketball player this season.
Moreover, Clouden's 50 points are the most in Michigan State women's basketball history, passing All-American Tori Jankoska's mark of 42 points set in 2017. The 50 points tie former men's basketball player Terry Furlow's mark set in 1976, placing Clouden at the top of the Michigan State record book regardless of gender.
Clouden also put her name near the top of the Big Ten's record book as she's now tied for the third-most single-game points in conference history. Clouden's 50 points are tied with Michigan's Naz Hillmon's 50-point performance last year; both trail Minnesota's Rachel Banham's 60 and 52-point games from the 2015-16 season.
In a similar fashion to Banham's 52-point and Hillmon's 50-point games, Clouden lost despite her scoring outburst. One reason for that could be the history made on the other side of the court as Florida Gulf Coast guard Kendall Spray made her 400th career 3-pointer in a victorious effort.
Spray now sits 10th all-time for three-pointers made. She'll have a chance to break the record of 497 if she continues her success through the season.
Florida Gulf Coast's 85-84 win over Michigan State proved to be a game that will forever be remembered for its record-breaking status.