Who: No. 23 Michigan State women's basketball and Michigan
Where: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor
When: Sunday, Jan. 27, 2 p.m.
The No. 23 Spartans (14-5, 4-4 Big Ten) will travel to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines (12-8, 3-5 Big Ten) for the Spartan’s biggest road test of the season.
“We’re a good team, we just need to make it a great team by winning on the road," junior guard Taryn McCutcheon said. "I think Michigan’s going to get us going. We’ll all be hyped up to play, we’ll have a lot of emotion impacting that game. I feel like everybody's going to play well and that will get us going on the road and snowball from there."
The Spartans have struggled on the road (2-4) and are coming off their 11 consecutive home win this season.
“That’s the biggest problem right now. We go on the road and I got five of my eight kids in rotation and their (offensive ratings) are half the number, like I don’t know what to do with that,” MSU coach Suzy Merchant said. “You can’t be half the offensive player as you are at home. You gotta be consistent and good teams, great teams, if you really want to be great you need to have the same people be as motivated tonight as they are against Michigan.”
The in-state rivalry has been on a national platform for decades and is one of the more deep seeded rivalries in the NCAA.
Redshirt junior Victoria “Coco” Gaines knows how much this game means to her teammates as well as the fans.
“I’m not from Michigan so I don’t really experience how people from Michigan feel about Michigan, but I just know that we have to kick them in the butt,” Gaines said.
The Spartans are shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from behind the threes point line. Jenna Allen, Taryn McCutcheon, Nia Clouden, Victoria Gaines and Shay Colley will most likely be the Spartans starting line-up.
The Wolverines are shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from behind the arch. Senior guard Nicole Munger, senior center Hallie Thome, sophomore guard Deja Church, sophomore guard Hailey Brown and freshman guard Amy Dilk.
“It’s going to be a battle just because the hate for Michigan," Gaines said.