The women’s basketball team hit on all cylinders in the first half against Iowa, entering halftime with a 49-28 lead.
In a balanced offensive attack, six Spartans have at least six points, led by redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers who has 10 and five rebounds. Senior forward Annalise Pickrel and junior forward Becca Mills each have eight points, and junior guard Kiana Johnson has six points and six assists.
Junior center Bethany Doolitle leads the Hawkeyes with 13 points.
MSU shot a blazing 54 percent in the first half and held Iowa to 41 percent shooting. MSU also owned Iowa on the boards, outrebounding them 24-11 and grabbing seven boards on the offensive end.
The Spartans got off to a quick start, draining seven of their first nine shots to build a 15-8 lead. Johnson drained her second 3 of the game with 9:27 to play, leading to an Iowa timeout as the lead grew to 13. By that point, MSU was 3-5 from deep.
The defensive intensity continued, as Iowa couldn’t find the bottom of the net for another three minutes. Powers nailed a jumper to push the lead to 20, 38-18 with six minutes left. Doolittle finally hit a jumper to snap the 11-point Spartan run.
With 10 seconds remaining before halftime, head coach Suzy Merchant whistled a timeout to draw up a play. It paid off, as Mills made a jumper with a second to spare to make it a 21-point halftime lead.
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