Suzy Merchant joins 300 wins club with Michigan State women's basketball in rout of Bryant

Lansing State Journal
Lansing State Journal

EAST LANSING — Suzy Merchant hasn't been one to keep track of wins over the years.

The focus for the veteran Michigan State women's basketball coach has always been on moving forward and finding a way to win the next one.

Even as that has been the approach, Merchant has always been appreciative of her role in charge of a program she dreamed about playing in. And that made reaching another big milestone Friday afternoon special.

Merchant became the second coach to reach 300 career victories in the MSU women's basketball program with the Spartans rolling to a 100-60 win over Bryant at Breslin Center.

Merchant, who is in her 15th season leading the Spartans, joined Karen Langeland as the only coaches in MSU women's basketball history in the 300 wins club. Langeland won 376 games during her tenure in charge from 1976-2000.

"The one thing I do know is I just appreciate being a Spartan," Merchant said. "I told the story that I wanted to be one coming out of high school and I wasn't quite good enough. I was more of a mid-major player. Both my brothers went here. My younger brother played baseball here. Where I came from, you were either a Spartan or a Wolverine. We've always been Spartans so to stand on the sideline means something.

"I'm really grateful and appreciative. I guess to get 300, that's something. Now I'm looking for 301. We go on the road now and it gets tougher. It was an opportunity to appreciate a little bit, but now we're going to get on a plane and we've got go to work."

Friday's milestone marked the second in three days for Merchant, who picked up her 500th career coaching win Tuesday.

"It's very cool to see her achieve all these things, especially this year," Clouden said. "I think she's really earned it. She put in all the work to be able to get where she's gotten. She's put trust in her players and taught them things to just be able to execute. I think she's just done really well here and at all of her coaching jobs. I'm glad she's been able to get those accomplishments."

Clouden was the top scorer Friday, finishing with a season-best 21 points and adding eights assists and four rebounds as the Spartans moved to 4-0. Tamara Farquhar added 12 points and eight rebounds while making her first start of the season in place of Moira Joiner, who was held out of Friday's contest.

MSU also got double-digit scoring nights from Alyza Winston and Matilda Ekh. Winston added 16 points, while Ekh scored 12 while helping the Spartans set a season-high in points.

MSU used a dominant stretch in the opening half to take command. The Spartans outscored Bryant, 32-1, during the final stages of the opening quarter to the middle portion of the second.

"I would have liked to see us play better today, to be honest," Merchant said. "We'll get there. We still have some youth and we've had some injuries. We need our whole crew night in and night out."

More: Michigan State women's basketball tops Valparaiso, gives coach Suzy Merchant milestone 500th win

Contact Brian Calloway at Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Suzy Merchant joins 300 wins club with Michigan State women's basketball in rout of Bryant

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