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Consistency a key as MSU women's basketball hopes to continue win streak

January 28, 2015
<p>Sophomore guard Tori Jankoska attempts to score Jan. 28, 2015, after getting past Indiana guard Alexis Gassion during the game against Indiana at Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Hoosiers, 72-57. Emily Nagle/The State News</p>

Sophomore guard Tori Jankoska attempts to score Jan. 28, 2015, after getting past Indiana guard Alexis Gassion during the game against Indiana at Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Hoosiers, 72-57. Emily Nagle/The State News

Photo by Emily Nagle | The State News

Consistency. Combine it with talent and great things can happen.

But consistency has been one thing he women's basketball team (11-10) as lacked this season.

“You see flashes (of how good they can be), and now they have to be consistent,” head coach Suzy Merchant said. “In order to be a player, you have to be night in and night out.”

Now that the Spartans are getting settled into their seven-player roster, they have much more to accomplish in the course of the last nine regular season games.

MSU’s 77-71 victory against Wisconsin on Sunday means not only one more victory, but a chance for the team to begin a winning streak, something the Spartans haven’t been able to claim lately.

“We’re 2-7 (in the Big Ten), there’s nowhere to go but up from here,” sophomore guard Tori Jankoska said.

Merchant said she knows her players have fight in them, but all of the players have to show that during games.

“I believe there has to be some consistency throughout the kids … We can’t just have one or two players show up,” she said.

To sophomore Aerial Powers — who now is tied for the lead in double-doubles in the NCAA — the Wisconsin game was a sign that all the players can come together to get wins.

“We need consistency from here on now,” Powers said.

Even though Merchant said the team is always in the game with a chance of winning it, players like Jankoska want more.

“We always talk about how we’re right there, but it gets a little annoying honestly that we’re always right there,” Jankoska said.

One important thing to have to achieve consistency is confidence.

“Boosting our confidence as individuals and as a team will be good,” Jankoska said. “We have to do moves we know we can do and hit shots we know we can hit.”

With only seven players eligible to be active on the court, Jankoska said they are now getting back on track as they start trusting each other.

“We’re finally getting some chemistry, and that’ll be to our advantage,” she said.

Part of the chemistry came from how well the bench did over the last few games.

“It’s getting easier,” Johnson said. “The team has more faith in me.”

Senior Becca Mills said that the Spartans’ post-season does not look great.

The Big Ten Tournament will take place March 4-8 in Hoffman Estates, Ill., so MSU has a little over a month to spike their confidence level and work on being consistent.

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Powers said that every win is important until then.

“Everyone knows we haven’t done well in the conference, but we played together to get the win (against Wisconsin),” Powers said.

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