After four consecutive wins, the women’s basketball team regressed once again Saturday night.
Similar to the two consecutive losses suffered at home in January, the then-No. 24 Spartans (16-8 overall, 8-3 Big Ten) were lifeless against then-No. 22 Nebraska on the road, losing to the Huskers, 76-56.
A 22-0 first half run sealed the game early for Nebraska, which maintains third place in the Big Ten race. MSU had a chance to break a first-place tie with No. 9 Penn State, but remains in second place.
Redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers was the lone Spartan to score in double digits with 17 points and seven rebounds. Nebraska senior forward Jordan Hooper has 18 points to lead all scorers, and junior guard Tear’a Laudermille had 15 points. Junior forward Emily Cady has 13 points and nine rebounds for the Cornhuskers.
The 20-point loss, which is the largest margin of the season, was another showcase of MSU’s tendency to stagnate on offense. The Spartans attempted 17 3-pointers, making only four, and turned the ball over 16 times, leading to 24 Nebraska points. The Huskers also hit the offensive glass, grabbing 11 offensive rebounds.
The Spartans led 14-6 early in the game, but would not score for more than nine minutes following the eight-point advantage. Nebraska’s 22-0 run, which later became 34-6, spelled doom early for MSU, which settled for jumpers instead of feeding junior forward Becca Mills in the paint, who was a major catalyst during the four-game winning streak preceding the loss.
MSU was without junior guard Kiana Johnson, who is suspended indefinitely. Head coach Suzy Merchant declined to speak on the reason behind Johnson’s suspension on Friday.
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