Powers, Taylor help MSU women's basketball win big over Loyola, 76-47
After suffering their first home loss of the season Thursday against Louisville, the No. 19 ranked Spartan women’s basketball team was back in action on Sunday against the Loyola University Ramblers.
The Spartans quickly forgot about their loss to Louisville and hustled hard against the Ramblers to get the win by a final score of 76-47.
MSU looked sluggish out of the gates, with Loyola getting out to a 12-4 lead and dominating most of the first quarter. MSU woke up and found its offensive stride and went into halftime with a healthy 37-25 lead.
Carrying the Ramblers in the first half was redshirt junior and point guard Taylor Johnson, who had 10 points, four rebounds and one assist. The Spartans on the other hand were well-rounded and got contributions from much of the roster. Senior forward Akyah Taylor led the way for MSU’s offense with 13 points, eight assists and one rebound.
"We’ve been jumping out on everybody and Louisville was the first time we didn’t play well out of the gates," head coach Suzy Merchant said. "I mean go back (to Baylor) you name it, we came out strong, aggressive, attacking, and it’s been back to back games now where we’ve been playing passively."
MSU opened the floodgates in the second half and picked up right where they left off without skipping a beat. The Spartans poured on the points with help from redshirt junior guard Aerial Powers, who scored 18 points and looked as healthy and dominant as ever in just a few days after leaving Thursday’s game against Louisville when she tweaked her achilles.
"It was basically a charlie horse in my achilles," Powers said. "The next day I took the practice off and then yesterday I took it easy so I wasn’t scared to come out today because I actually moved around on my achilles yesterday."
Junior guard Tori Jankoska also had a double digit point total with ten. The rest of the Spartan offense looked good, shooting 37.3 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from behind the arc. Taylor also finished with her second double-double of the season and scored 15 points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes of play.
"I knew I had to bring the energy like I always do but it had to be amped up a lot more because we weren’t playing like we were supposed to play and how we know we can play," Taylor said. "I just wanted to bring the energy and get everybody else to bring some energy and get us going."
MSU will be back in action again Wednesday when they travel to North Carolina to play Davidson College. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.