Tuesday, July 7, 2020

PREVIEW: Michigan State women's basketball's perfect home record on the line against Ohio State

The Spartans' 7-0 home record will be challenged on Jan 16.

January 15, 2020
The Spartans celebrate during the game against Morehead State at Breslin Center on Dec. 15, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Eagles, 93-48.
The Spartans celebrate during the game against Morehead State at Breslin Center on Dec. 15, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Eagles, 93-48. —
Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Michigan State women’s basketball (9-7, 2-3) has been streaky this season. Struggling as it ended non-conference play and into the first game of Big Ten play, it seemed to be turning things around with a win against Nebraska, but dropped the next two games in one-sided contests.

The Spartans are back on the upswing with a win against Wisconsin on Jan. 12, arguably their most complete game this season. Defense and hustle from the tip to the final buzzer, proved key to their win.

Even with the win against the Badgers, this team is banged up and a shell of the well-rounded roster they had at the beginning of the season.

Redshirt senior forward Victoria Gaines, redshirt senior guard Shay Colley and redshirt junior forward Mardrekia Cook have all been battling injuries. Gaines and Colley have suffered prolonged injuries that have no timetable for return.

Several players who were expected to just be small role players have had to step up into larger roles, embracing the ‘next man up’ mentality and have helped the Spartans manage with the depth they have left.

But time won’t wait while this team gets healthy. The Spartans have another tough contest ahead of them on Thursday Jan. 16, with a 10-win Ohio State team.

Both teams are young, but for once this season, the Spartans might be the more experienced.

Ohio State’s roster consists of 12 players, 10 of which are underclassmen and they are led in scoring by sophomore Dorka Juhasz, who is averaging 13.2 points per game.

The Spartans have their own sophomore leading scorer, guard Nia Clouden has led the team, averaging 15.2 points per game. Clouden burst out of a slump in her last game against Wisconsin, scoring 20 points and leading her team to a win.

Ohio State (10-6, 3-2) has won two straight, defeating Michigan by nine points and Penn State by 10– the two teams that have handed Michigan State their most recent losses.

But the Spartans remain a perfect seven-for-seven when playing at the Breslin Center this season.

While Ohio State looks to extend its winning streak to three, the Spartans look to stay perfect at home as they debut new uniforms in the "Glow Green" game.

Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. (BTN).





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