Just two days after Thanksgiving, the MSU women’s basketball team had even more to be thankful for in their 68-35 win against Robert Morris on Sunday: depth.
Freshman guard Branndais Agee, who had not played in any of the Spartans’ four games before Sunday, played nine minutes and recorded three rebounds, as well as gave the Spartans some much-needed depth off the bench.
“It was a chance for her to get some reps and some minutes,” head coach Suzy Merchant said. “She’s an athlete; she’s a great player. She can shoot 3s, she can handle the ball, she can pass it, she’s a very good rebounder.”
Still, she said before Agee can play significant minutes, she must be evaluated after her minimal playing time against the Colonials.
“She’s probably 30 percent the player she can be, but we need a body, and (the doctor) said it was OK to give her a try,” Merchant said.
“That was a bright spot to see what she could do, and get her up and down a little bit. We’ve got to take a look at it. I don’t know where we’re at with that because she’s really got to evaluate it because the last thing you need is for her to go down and you not have her again.”
Senior guard Jasmine Thomas said when she heard that Agee was cleared to play, it gave her even more confidence going into the game.
“I didn’t know going into the game that she would be back today, so once I found out, there was definitely a big smile on my face,” Thomas said.
Senior forward Courtney Schiffauer went a step further and said Agee adds more than just another player off the bench.
“She adds speed, athleticism; she’s a great driver and great pullup jump shooter,” Schiffauer said.
As for Agee, she said the first time she stepped on the court as a Spartan will be a memory she will never forget.
“I was excited to actually be on the court and play against someone other than just the scout team and each other,” Agee said.
She said although her foot isn’t at 100 percent, she can be another player off the bench and play a key role in the success of the Spartans.
“It hurts a little bit, but I’m going to just ice it and take care of it,” Agee said.
“We are short on players because everybody’s been injured, but I think I can come in and protect the basket and just play defense and get rebounds.”