Women's basketball falls to Nebraska, 79-69
On Valentine’s Day, women's basketball looked to gain another quality win as the season closes as they hosted Nebraska in a neck and neck type of game. However, the Spartans fell short, 79-69.
MSU got back offensive star Shay Colley tonight for the first time since Jan. 16 from a knee injury. Colley finished with an impressive performance in her return with 15 points to go along with four rebounds and five assists. It was not enough though as the Spartans now drop to 15-12 on the season and 5-9 in the Big Ten.
“We’re trying to get these last few wins for our seniors to make the postseason,” Colley said. “So just to get out there and run up and down with my team and help them the best of my ability.”
It looked as if it was going to come down to the wire as both teams were playing hard with almost identical stats through the first half. But with 4:59 to go in the third, redshirt sophomore forward Victoria Gaines pulled up and came down hard with no foul called, which led to head coach Suzy Merchant receiving a technical foul for arguing with the referee on the play.
From that point on the Spartans lost all momentum as the Cornhuskers ended the third quarter on a 7-0 run in less than a minute. MSU was outscored by Nebraska, 24-10, in the third quarter.
The Cornhuskers could not miss from the 3-point line tonight as the team made 12 3-pointers on 57 percent shooting. MSU forced 19 turnovers, but it did not seem to matter as they only 10 points off the turnovers. The Spartans were also heavily outrebounded tonight by the Cornhuskers, 40-25.
“Rebounding has been an issue for this team all year,” Merchant said. “To me I think that’s our biggest difference is that our bigs don’t get in there and rebound as well as they could. Jenna played a good offensive game, but didn’t get a defensive rebound the minute she played, which seemed odd to me. Give them credit, they shot better than they’ve ever shot it.”
Redshirt senior Branndais Agee and senior forward Lexi Gussert had rare disappointing performances. Agee finished with only two points on 0-for-5 shooting, while Gussert finished with just three points after coming off a 14 point performance in a win over Michigan this past Sunday. Freshman forward Sidney Cooks finished with zero points for the first time all season in only 10 minutes of action.
The Spartans conclude their four-game homestand against University of Wisconsin on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.