The MSU women’s basketball team has a big hole to climb out of if it hopes to win the Big Ten title.
The No. 16 Spartans dropped to 0-2 in league play with a lackluster 62-54 loss to Wisconsin on Monday night at Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.
The loss snapped MSU’s four-game winning streak.
MSU (9-4 overall, 0-2 Big Ten) committed 26 turnovers, including 16 in the first half, several of which were unforced. No matter which lineup head coach Suzy Merchant employed, the turnovers were aplenty.
Sophomore forward Lykendra Johnson had five, junior guard Brittney Thomas and sophomore guard Porsche Poole each had four and the senior trio of Aisha Jefferson, Allyssa DeHaan and Lauren Aitch had three each.
MSU was haunted by Wisconsin guard Rae Lin D’Alie, who racked up 13 points, six rebounds, seven assists and more importantly, six steals. She played all 40 minutes.
The Spartans, who hadn’t trailed by more than 11 this season, found themselves down by about 15 for much of the second half. MSU led 7-6 but did not lead after that.
After a harmless first half, the Spartans found themselves in the bonus and then the double-bonus with about seven minutes left, but MSU’s only player to regularly get to the charity stripe, Johnson, continued with her struggles at the line. shooting 3-of-7 from there.
She finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, both team highs.
Being in the double-bonus helped MSU get going, as it cut the lead to four, 53-49 with 1:39 to go on a basket by Jefferson, capping a 20-8 run.
But the Badgers would connect on a free throw and then hit a bucket with about a minute to play. Wisconsin salted the game away with free throws, as the Badgers also were in the double bonus.
Freshman guard Jasmine Thomas was the only other Spartan in double figures, finishing with 10. Guard Alyssa Karel paced Wisconsin with 21 points.