For just the second time this season, the Spartans went into overtime against Iowa.
It was a tough and physical game, but the Spartans extended their losing streak to four by falling to Iowa, 71-68.
Only up by 1 with 2:06 to go in the fourth, senior forward Lexi Gussert was all smiles after hitting a clutch 3-pointer off the backboard to give the Spartans momentum to a possible victory. However, a costly foul by senior forward Kennedy Johnson with eight seconds to go sent Iowa forward Megan Gustafson to the line. Gustafson tied the game up at 65 and added to her 36 total points.
In overtime with 8.8 seconds to go, Iowa regained the lead by a clutch basket from senior forward Chase Coley that sealed the victory.
The Spartans were swiping heavily on defense tonight, forcing the Hawkeyes to 24 turnovers opposed to their 12 turnovers. MSU had 14 steals and would score 24 points off those turnovers, which was one of the biggest factors to a tough fought loss tonight. However, the Hawkeyes dominated the paint by out-rebounding the Spartans, 52-38.
“We didn’t have to shoot the ball, which is where it started,” head coach Suzy Merchant said. “We were up with 36 seconds left and we talked about that and I don’t know, Branndais shot it twice even. So that was kind of tough.”
Sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon played a huge 43-minute game which resulted in her third double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 assists.
“Just got to get a little bit more tougher and with a little more heart,” McCutcheon said. “That’s our focus right now in every practice and every game from now on. We got some good games coming up, we’re very confident, and yeah we’re frustrated right now, but we’re going to use that motivation for the rest of the month.”
The Spartans will travel to Penn State University on Sunday, Feb. 4, with tipoff scheduled for 2 p.m.