Michigan State defeated the Oakland Golden Grizzlies 84-71. This is their first win on the road, snapping their two game losing streak after losing to Fordham and St. Francis College this past week. They now move to 5-2 on the season.
Michigan State women's basketball Head Coach Suzy Merchant said she liked what she saw from guards and especially her post players.
"I'd like to see us play with this kind if collective effort all the time," Merchant said.
MSU came in looking to salvage a win from their three game road trip, having lost the last two in New York, although with the amount of MSU fans in the stands at the O-rena, it can be argued they had home court advantage.
The Spartans started strong in the first quarter, seemingly having moved on from their turnover problems from their two recent games, but their bad habit returned slightly in the second quarter. However, they were able to recover and hold themselves to only nine turnovers in the first half, an improvement from their previous road games.
The game was delayed by about 10 minutes in the first quarter due to a scoreboard malfunction forcing both teams to have to listen to the announcer to know how many seconds were remaining on the shot clock. This problem persisted until the end of the first half.
Despite the technical distractions, the Spartans were able to pull away with a seven point lead at halftime. They were led in the first half by senior guard Nia Clouden who ran the court for the Spartans and provided her usual calming presence that helped put her team in a position to win. She finished the game with a season high 23 points. Helping Clouden was junior center Taiyer Parks who powered her way into the paint for a season-high 16 points including some strong put-backs to put MSU ahead.
Taking charge to start the second half was graduate student center Alisia Smith who hit back to back short jump shots to keep the momentum going for the Spartans as the Golden Grizzlies made a push for the lead. She then took on the role of rebounding and cleaning up under the basket with some clutch put-backs.
The freshmen continued to make their presence known in this game with season high stats. Freshman guard/forward Matilda Ekh also continued to prove her talent for shooting clutch three pointers and long jump shots. She finished the day with a career high 15 points. Freshman guard DeeDee Hagemann also finished the game with a career high 10 assists.
Oakland was able to keep the game close by out rebounding the Spartans on offense and keep plays going on their end of the court, but MSU began to run away with the lead in the middle of the fourth quarter and kept up that energy until the end of the game.
With this win, the Spartans break their two game losing streak and end their stint on the road with a much needed win. They will return home Sunday to take on Marshall at 2 p.m.
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