Women's basketball reflects on pink game and breast cancer awareness
On a packed Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center the women’s basketball team hosted their annual pink game against rival University of Michigan in support of breast cancer awareness. A total of 12,434 fans in attendance marked eight-highest in school attendance history and the largest crowd attendance of the season.
The Spartans celebrated by wearing all pink including shoes, socks, and newly designed striped pink jerseys, while the Wolverines did the same as well with headbands and shoes.
“Obviously, that’s certainly something we’re all touched by,” head coach Suzy Merchant said. “Seems like by now somebody should figure out how to stop it, but we want to do our part. The biggest thing is making sure—and certainly about awareness. That's what it was about initially, and now we just need to do a better job to raise money and get this problem solved in our society.”
On Feb. 1 at a home game against the University of Iowa, the women's basketball team also wore teal shirts along with every women's athletic team on campus to recognize and celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
"I think when you can celebrate and recognize young girls and women in sports, you learn so many lessons" Merchant said after the Feb. 1 loss. "Even today, I was so frustrated, we were right there, lost a couple of close ones, but you know what, you've still got to get up the next day and hold your head high."
At halftime, MSU celebrated Girl Scout Day by announcing all their accomplishments they had achieved this past year. Everyone who either knew someone, treated someone, or is currently fighting against cancer were honored by shining their flashlights and glow sticks in the air for a memorable moment.
“We have people in our program that have had cancer,” Merchant said. “Our associate head coach’s mom life was lost to cancer. And It runs close to the heart for sure. So anything that we can do to certainly give back to the cause is important.”
Cancer runs throughout this women's basketball team as this game meant a little extra towards many of the players who have faced this disease within their families. The grandmother of sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon was diagnosed with cancer, but defeated the disease.
“It’s really an awesome thing to see everybody out here supporting for a cause and for a thing bigger than just basketball,” McCutcheon said.
Senior forward Lexi Gussert said today's pink out was one of the first things the team talked about today, especially in the guard huddle.
"This game is much bigger than us," said Gussert, who had a team-high 14 points. "Seeing the pink and seeing the survivors and you know everyone has had someone in their family affected by breast cancer. So it was a great cause and I’m glad we could get the win for this cause and everyone their and all the survivors.”
The Spartans continue their four-game homestand against the University of Nebraska this Wednesday at 7 p.m.