After a tough five-game losing streak, Michigan State women’s basketball took down the Detroit Mercy Titans 91-41 Sunday afternoon—never once relenting the lead.
The Spartans started off the game strong defensively, holding the Titans to just four points in the first ten minutes of play while scoring 26 of their own to go on a 17-0 run.
Sophomore forward Isaline Alexander made her mark Sunday, logging a double-double for the green and white. Alexander was consistently on top of the board for the Spartans, clocking a season-high 10 rebounds and 10 points. The underclassman also had season highs in assists, blocks and steals—two in each category.
“Offensive rebounding is great and you gotta get in there and get extra possessions and we like that too, but for us, our five spot being able to box out and really kind of dominate—that's something that we're looking for in our five,” Head Coach Suzy Merchant said. “She (Alexander) had 10 boards and six of them were on the defensive end, so that was certainly a positive…When we get defensive rebounds, it allows us to play a little more up-tempo and push long transition.”
The team as a whole was able to log 52 rebounds all together and 28 points off of fast breaks.
With junior guard Gabby Elliott out, coach Merchant stressed the importance of upperclassman guards like redshirt junior Julia Ayrault stepping up in her absence, and she delivered. With 13 points, Ayrault broke her previous season-high (8) that she logged last weekend against Ohio State. She also made a season-high three three-pointers.
“We had opportunities—I thought—on the road at Ohio State, and we just didn't knock down those shots,” Merchant said. “It was good to see Julia do that tonight because we were gonna need that from her for sure.”
Sophomore guard/forward Matilda Ekh was right up there with Ayrault, knocking down 13 points of her own over the course of the game.
Michigan State Women’s Basketball will be back at the Breslin Center Tuesday at 7 p.m. to take on Prairie View A&M with streaming available on Big Ten +.
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