Monday, June 17, 2024

Spartans 1st in Big Ten after besting Hoosiers in overtime victory

Junior forward Aisha Jefferson yells for her teammates to switch positions during an inbounds play in the second half of Thursday’s game against Indiana at Assembly Hall. The Spartans brought home a 71-65 victory over the Hoosiers.

Bloomington, Ind. — The MSU women’s basketball team moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten on Thursday with a 71-65 overtime win at Indiana.

The Spartans started off the game fast, as junior center Allyssa DeHaan angled the opening tip toward a wide open redshirt junior forward Aisha Jefferson who ran the ball down the court for a layup.

The team’s defense kept them in the game, keeping Indiana’s lead to only 3-2. MSU ended the half on a 13-4 run to head into the break up 25-19.

For a relatively low scoring first half, the second half heated up.

MSU extended its lead to seven straight out of the gates as they continued to beat the Hoosiers’ press, with freshman forward Courtney Schiffauer finding Jefferson underneath the basket, putting the Spartans up 28-21.

Indiana immediately followed with an eight-point run of its own, taking the lead 29-28, a one-point lead that would constantly switch for the remainder of regulation. There were a total of 14 lead changes in the game.

In the final minute of play, Hoosiers sophomore guard Jori Davis hit a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 55-52 lead.

The very next trip down the court, Spartans senior guard Mia Johnson took the ball in the corner and pulled up for a shot, getting fouled in the process. Originally given two shots, the officials convened and awarded Johnson three free throws. Johnson responded by hitting two of the three bringing the Spartans within one with 41 seconds to play.

On the inbounds pass, redshirt freshman forward Lykendra Johnson got a steal passing the ball off to Jefferson who was immediately fouled. Jefferson missed the first but tied the game with her second free throw, 55-55 with only 37 seconds to play.

Davis again came up by big rushing down the court and hitting a layup to put the Hoosiers ahead two with only 15 seconds in regulation.

However, DeHaan received a beautiful pass from sophomore forward Kalisha Keane and hit a jumper from 10 feet out to send the game into overtime.

It was in overtime, with two Indiana starters out of the game on fouls, that MSU took over the game, holding the Hoosiers to only two field goals in the period while outscoring them 14-8 in extra time.

“We’re good on the road, and that’s one thing you got to be is focused and calm and have composure down the stretch,” Jefferson said.

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