In yet another close loss, Michigan State women's basketball failed to complete its comeback for a fourth straight game, resulting in a fifth consecutive loss of the season.
At one point, MSU trailed No. 3 Ohio State by 18 points. Again, Head Women's Basketball Coach Suzy Merchant's team locked in to bring the game close at the end, but, again, they could not convert on the late attempts that would have gave them the lead at certain points.
“We had our opportunities, it just didn't come to fruition,” Merchant said.
In the last two minutes, plenty of players had good looks but nothing would fall. Senior guard Moira Joiner missed a 3-pointer in the corner while sophomore guard DeeDee Hagemann, who didn't play in the first half, missed two contested layups with 24 seconds left that would have tied the game. These failures led to MSU's comeback ultimately falling short.
Early on, the turnover bug hit MSU hard as it went into the locker room down 10 with 16 turnovers. In the second half, the Spartans held onto the ball, only losing it six times in the 20 minutes, and because of that, were able to bring the deficit to just one late.
Despite facing a high-powered offense, even though they were limited today without senior guard and double-digit scorer Jacy Sheldon, the Spartans stepped up to the test and hung with the Buckeyes all the way until the end without senior forward Taiyier Parks. They gave OSU everything they could handle.
A bright spot for MSU's offense today, however, was Joiner. Leading the team in scoring with 16 on 3-6 shooting from beyond the arc, Merchant only had good things to say about her after her first start of the season.
“I rode her pretty hard today minutes wise but she's tough, she's gritty, she made some really big plays for us, some big stops, some rebounds.” Merchant said. “It is a team effort with that kid for sure.”
Junior guard Gabby Elliott went down right before the third quarter came to an end and she had to be helped off the floor. Merchant doesn't know for sure how serious it is, but it doesn't look good for the Spartans defense.
“In the women's game you always worry about things like that with knees, so it is frustrating.” Merchant said. “We will get a better eval when we get back but our trainer didn't feel like it was a good situation.”
MSU will pause its Big Ten play for a couple of games starting next Sunday as it will head home to face Detroit Mercy.
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