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New faces stand out in Michigan State's exhibition victory over Saginaw Valley

October 30, 2022
Graduate Student guard Kamaria McDaniel during an exhibition game against Saginaw Valley State University at the Breslin Center on Oct. 30, 2022. The Spartans defeated the Cardinals 90-56.
Graduate Student guard Kamaria McDaniel during an exhibition game against Saginaw Valley State University at the Breslin Center on Oct. 30, 2022. The Spartans defeated the Cardinals 90-56. —
Photo by Jack Patton | The State News

The Michigan State women’s basketball team defeated Saginaw Valley State 90-56 in its exhibition game Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center.

In the first half of the game, the Spartans were struggling offensively shooting just 11 for 40 from the field and turning over the ball on seven occasions, but they were able to pick up the slack forcing turnovers and getting 19 points off 19 turnovers.

The Cardinals got the first basket of the game, but some of MSU’s defensive plays and forced turnovers kept the Spartans in the lead for the rest of the game despite their slow start offensively.

The team was struggling to get rebounds, and Head Coach Suzy Merchant was not a fan of MSU's defensive plays.

“We just got to get more tenacious and together,” Merchant said. “Our gaps weren’t there ... when people were driving it was wide open.”

After leading by eight at halftime, Michigan State came out with a vengeance in the second half, outscoring Saginaw Valley 30-18 in the third quarter.

Junior guard and Clemson transfer Gabby Elliott tied for the team lead in points at 14 with Baylor graduate transfer Kamaria McDaniel. Elliott also led MSU in rebounds (8) and showed standout effort and skill in her first game for Michigan State.

The junior guard announced in March she would be transferring to MSU after a season and a half at Clemson where she received ACC All-Freshman team honors during the 2020-2021 season.

Theryn Hallock is another new face that stood out during today’s game. The freshman guard racked up 13 points for the Spartans.

“Her effort is phenomenal," Merchant said. "She’s kind of a focus and finish at the rim kind of kid. I was really impressed with her, and I really have been.”

The team will be back at the Breslin Center to open the season Nov. 7 at 12 p.m. against Delaware State.

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