Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Turnovers, poor free throw shooting spoil another outstanding night from Kamaria McDaniel

December 2, 2022
<p>Graduate Student guard Kamaria McDaniel (5) shoots a jump shot during a game against Georgia Tech, held at the Breslin Center on Dec. 1, 2022. The Spartans fell to the Yellow Jackets 66-63.</p>

Graduate Student guard Kamaria McDaniel (5) shoots a jump shot during a game against Georgia Tech, held at the Breslin Center on Dec. 1, 2022. The Spartans fell to the Yellow Jackets 66-63.

After notching 28 points against No. 19 Oregon, graduate guard Kamaria McDaniel followed up her big game with another as she dropped 26 in Michigan State's women's basketball final second loss against Georgia Tech.

The Baylor transfer doesn't care about her stat lines though. All she said she cares about is winning.

"I'm just trying to win and wherever I'm needed," McDaniel said. "I'm trying to be that for my team. So however, whatever that looks like that's what I'm trying to do. It's just a blessing to be able to go out and perform but at the end of the day that doesn't mean anything if we don't win so that's my biggest goal is to try to go out there and win."

With these steady performances, McDaniel is proving to Head Coach Suzy Merchant that she deserves to be on the floor as much as possible. Merchant said she would like some of her other players to step up and do the same.

"I'd love it if everybody else can step up too," Merchant said. "You can say what you want about her game but she's performing right. And so everybody wants to play but what do you do when you play? That matters, right? It's about the minutes you get, it's what kind of consistency and what kind of production can you give us and so I think her and Matilda (Ekh) are the most consistent, permanent players that we've had. Everybody else is kind of up and down in the other three spots at a time."

Despite forcing 23 turnovers, the Spartans coughed up their possessions 25 times. Sophomore forward Matilda Ekh thinks the reason this was the case was her team's lack of toughness.

"They were just playing tougher than us and they made us insecure with the ball," Ekh said. "So a lot of the turnovers were just stupid, like, we were not ready to play and they were just playing tougher than us." 

While both Merchant and Ekh believe that MSU lost the game and Georgia Tech did not win it, Merchant thinks her team can learn from giving the ball away so many times.

"I think our team was a little bit uncharacteristic today, but you know, something like this allows them to learn," Merchant said. "There are only so many possessions in a game and we want to treat them like gold."

Despite all of the mistakes MSU made, the game came down to the wire and while they had their looks, the green and white just could not convert.

"We actually got some good looks," Ekh said. "The first sideline out of bounds we got exactly the shot we wanted, I just couldn't make it. And the baseline out of bounds, we didn't get the shot we were looking at the first but we got a good shot off of it. We just got to make it but like, I don't feel like this game should have come down to the last shot. I feel like we should've won the game earlier."

Forgetting the turnovers, another reason that Merchant thought that her squad lost was their lack of free throw conversions.

"We left 10 points at the free throw line," Merchant said. "We have to do a better job. People are getting there. You just can't shoot 60% from the line in a game like that and get there 25 times which is what you want to do. You want to get there. You've got to take advantage."

MSU will look to fix these mistakes before it welcomes Purdue to the Breslin Center Monday night to kick off Big Ten competition.

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