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FINAL: MSU women's basketball nears triple digits in win over Prairie View

December 20, 2022

Michigan State basketball took on Prairie View A&M for the first time on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. After a close first quarter, the Spartans took a 98-50 win over the Panthers. 

Michigan State Women’s Basketball was knocking on the door of triple digits in their Tuesday night 98-50 victory over the Prairie View Panthers at the Breslin Center. With the win over the panthers, MSU has moved onto 8-5 on the season.

Senior guard Tory Ozment kicked off the game for Michigan State, netting her first shot and drawing the foul, but she failed to capitalize on the extra point and Prairie View ran it back for a three from senior forward Kennedy Paul.

Despite the early points from Ozment, the Spartans were off to a slow start. The team was shooting just 3-11 from the field and giving up some sloppy turnovers.

Late in the first quarter, MSU started to get into a rhythm. Senior guard Moira Joiner sunk a three-pointer and as Prairie View was getting ready to respond, redshirt junior Julia Ayrault stole the ball and made a basket herself.

“She's (Joiner) consistent with her effort. She's super smart. She can read angles, she can guard just about anybody,” Head Coach Suzy Merchant said. “She's scrappy. You know, she can shoot the three-ball. She can get herself to the rim, or pull a jumper,—something she's been working on—and it's gotten better and better. So she's become a triple-threat scorer.”

In the second quarter, Prairie View’s scoring slowed down drastically and gave Michigan State the perfect opportunity to extend its lead—even after having a nearly three-minute scoring drought to close out the half.

Graduate guards Stephanie Visscher and Kamaria McDaniel lead MSU in scoring in the second quarter, clocking five points each.

At the close of the first half, Michigan State was leading Prairie View 41-26.

The first minute of the second half was nothing spectacular for the Spartans. Prairie View came out from the locker room and sunk two layups with no response from MSU, forcing Coach Merchant to call a timeout.

Immediately after, McDaniel responded with a three to break the drought.

About halfway through the third quarter, sophomore guard/forward Matilda Ekh lit up the court. Ekh made her first three of the game and Joiner stole the ball as Prairie View was getting ready to respond, resulting in another three from Ekh, and less than 30 seconds later, the sophomore netted her third three in the span of one minute—another minute after that—she sunk her fourth.

With just over a minute left in the third quarter, Prairie View graduate guard Tamiracle Taylor, who was the second highest scorer for the Panthers, fouled out of the game.

To close out the action-packed third quarter, Visscher knocked down a three to give Michigan State a 74-49 advantage.

The fourth quarter was all about free throws. Eleven of Michigan State’s points from the final quarter came from the free-throw line with freshman guard Theryn Hallock leading the team and hitting four of her six from the line.

With two high-scoring non-conference wins under their belt this week, Michigan State will be hoping to keep up the momentum Thursday, Dec. 29 against No. 4 Indiana at 4 p.m. at The Breslin Center. The game will also be streamed on BTN+.

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