Losing streak hits three as MSU women's basketball is defeated by Purdue
On a foggy Sunday afternoon, MSU women’s basketball laced up to play Big Ten opponent Purdue for the second time this season. The Spartans played for the first time after their loss to Northwestern on Jan. 17.
Interim head coach Amaka Agugua first acted as head coach when MSU went to Purdue to play and lost 54-66. This game was very reminiscent of that. The Spartans tried to pull it together at the end, but lost for the second time to the Boilermakers, 76-66.
It was an even matchup in the first half, with six lead changes and four ties. MSU led by two points at the end of the first quarter, 19-17, with 3-pointers from senior guard Tori Jankoska and freshman guard Taryn McCutcheon. In the second quarter, Purdue turned up the intensity on both offense and defense with fast-paced plays and dominant rebounding.
Purdue out-rebounded the Spartans with 24 defensive rebounds compared to MSU's 16. Forward Taya Reimer led MSU in rebounds with three offensive and two defensive in the first half, and she also scored a total of eight points. However, the Boilermakers scored 12 points off of the fast break.
MSU was struggling with its shooting, redshirt-freshman Victoria Gaines was 0-for-1 in 3-pointers, and redshirt senior guard Branndais Agee was 3-for-8. The Spartans were 3-for-4 at the free throw line, compared Purdue, who was there plenty and shot 13-for-15.
In the second half, change was evident for the Spartans, and they brought an 11 point lead down to six by making quick shots and forcing turnovers for the Boilermakers. Gaines who’s been a consistent point contributor landed four back-to-back points to keep the momentum flowing.
Agee in the second half was one of the reasons MSU was able to close an 11 point gap. The guard scored 15 points, 13 of those in the second half, while three of those points were 3-pointers. She also had four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
Simple turnovers are what hurt both teams on the court. Purdue had a total of 22 turnovers, with MSU not far behind with 19. McCutcheon had the most turnovers for MSU with five, while Purdue’s guard Ashley Morrissette had six. In the last moments of the game, fouls plagued MSU which resulted in sophomore forward Jenna Allen fouling out.
Throughout the night, No.1 jerseys battled. No. 1 on Purdue, Morrissette was a huge offensive problem for MSU, she scored 31 points, had five rebounds, 7 assists and only one personal foul. Jankoska, No.1 for the Spartans, tried matching the Boiler point guard with her teammates covering the rest. Jankoska scored 16 points, with three assists, five rebounds and three steals.
MSU women’s basketball is now 13-7 with a 3-4 Big Ten conference play record. This is the team's first three game losing streak since the 2014-15 season. The Spartans are in for a quick turnaround, with a game Wednesday, Jan. 26 against the University of Wisconsin.