Michigan State women's basketball will be forced to close out the 2022 schedule without a key starter.
Junior guard Gabby Elliott went down with an ACL injury during the final seconds of the third quarter in the team’s loss against Ohio State last weekend and will be out for the remainder of the season, as confirmed by women's basketball spokesperson Kara Fisher.
Elliott transferred to MSU from Clemson back in March. During her time at Clemson, the Detroit native earned ACC All-Freshman team honors and finished her freshman year second on the team in scoring with 13.6 points per game. Over the course of her sophomore year with the Tigers, Elliott averaged 9.4 points per game.
Gabby Elliott continued to excel once she transferred to Michigan State where she started in all 11 games played by the Spartans so far in the season averaging 9.5 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Unfortunately for the team, the Michigan State squad is no stranger to injuries having been plagued with them last year and even only having 10 healthy players on the roster at one point in the season.
Senior guard/forward Tory Ozment and redshirt junior guard Julia Ayrault were forced to sit out all of last season with an ACL and left-foot injury respectively, while senior guard Moira Joiner missed 17 games due to injury and then concussion protocol and sophomore forward Isaline Alexander missed two with a knee injury.
Head Coach Suzy Merchant said that with Elliott out for the remainder of the season, she expects to see more out of other guards on the team like Ozment, Ayrault and graduate student Stephanie Visscher
“A few kids really need to kind of lift themselves up a little bit and elevate,” Merchant said. “They're capable, and we're gonna need 'em. They're upper class. They're older kids. It's not their first rodeo.”
Ayrault has had 30 points so far this season, and arguably played her best game last Sunday against Ohio State. The redshirt junior clocked a season-high 8 points and 9 rebounds to bring MSU within 6 points following a double-digit point deficit going into the third quarter—effectively keeping Michigan State on the heels of OSU until the very end.
“Gabby's a huge loss, and we're praying for her,” said Ayrault. “She's gonna kill her rehab. Like I said, just a big loss for us.”
The Spartans will need to find a way to carry on without Elliott as they try to stop a five-game losing streak against Detroit Mercy on Sunday.
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