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Sunday, March 2, 2014


The Michigan State Women's Basketball Team closed out the regular season Sunday night with a 20-point win over Indiana at the Breslin Center. The Senior Night victory left MSU topping the league standings at 13-3, tied with Penn State for the league title.

This is the second conference championship for Head Coach Suzy Merchant, who has guided the Spartans to 20-win seasons in each of her seven years at the helm. It's also number two for seniors Klarissa Bell and Analise Pickrel, who became the first women's players in MSU history to win two conference championships.

Athletic Director Mark Hollis unveiled the trophy at center court after the game, then a banner was raised to the rafters commemorating the achievement. The nets were cut down as several thousand people cheered on.

It was a well-run and dignified event, with Bell and Pickrel following Spartan tradition during pre-game by giving the seniors on the visiting team a rose to honor their careers. Both players walked to center court as they left the floor for the final time, kneeling down to kiss the spartan-head as they finished their last home game.

Michigan State draws a first-round bye in the league tournament next weekend, opening on Friday night against the winner of the Indiana/Michigan game on the Big Ten Network. It would take MSU three victories to win the tournament.

MSU is one of six teams to have ever won the league tournament, doing so in 2005 en route to the Final Four. The Spartans lost in the title game to Purdue in 2013. This is the fourth regular season league championship for Michigan State.

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