Thursday, February 2, 2023

Foul disparities hinder MSU women's basketball in Iowa loss

January 19, 2023
<p>Graduate Student guard Kamaria McDaniel (5) celebrates a big made basket during a matchup against Iowa, held at the Breslin Center on Jan. 18, 2023. The Spartans fell to the Hawkeyes in overtime, 84-81.</p>

Graduate Student guard Kamaria McDaniel (5) celebrates a big made basket during a matchup against Iowa, held at the Breslin Center on Jan. 18, 2023. The Spartans fell to the Hawkeyes in overtime, 84-81.

Photo by Jack Patton | The State News

In the Michigan State women’s basketball team’s 84-81 nail-biting, overtime loss to the No. 10 Iowa Hawkeyes, the largest disparity on the score sheet was at the bottom of the personal foul column.

Through the 45 minutes of play, three players fouled out for the Spartans, leaving the green and white down two starters and a double-digit scorer by the end of the game.

With seven and a half minutes left in regular time, senior forward Taiyier Parks fouled out. A few minutes later, sophomore forward Isaline Alexander followed, and as the seconds were winding down in overtime, sophomore guard DeeDee Hagemann logged her fifth foul of the game, sending her to the bench as well.

In total, Michigan State logged a season-high 25 fouls throughout the course of the game — significantly higher than its season average of about 18 fouls per game.

On the other side of the court, graduate student forward/center Monika Czinano was the only Hawkeye player who fouled out.

Iowa had just 16 fouls total.

Head coach Suzy Merchant said that she thought the calls were a little one sided on Wednesday night.

“I think they get—Cait (Caitlin Clark) gets—the benefit of the doubt. I mean, anytime she drives, the whistle's ready to go,” Merchant said. “I thought there were times when they were initiating the contact and we had verticality and they were driving into us and we were strapped up and on our end those were kind of no calls.”

The veteran head coach said that although some of the fouls were warranted — especially towards the end of the scrappy game — the disparity between the end foul totals for the two Big Ten teams was too great.

“They didn't call them for us, but on their end it seemed to be a foul, so I thought that was disappointing,” Merchant said. “Now, we had fouled a little bit down the stretch there, but not enough to be 25 to 16 disparity.”

The Hawkeyes were sent to the free-throw line on 27 different occasions where they were able to net 22 points.

Iowa's star junior guard Caitlin Clark had, by far, the most free throws making 12-14, nearly as many as the 16-19 from the entire Michigan State team.

It was a tough loss for the Spartans, especially after holding a former Big Ten Player of the Year like Clark to just six field goals on her 19 shots.

Frustration was evident from the Spartan bench especially as things came down to the wire, and the crowd was right there with them getting riled up.

“We've lost three overtime games and two of those we were just absolutely flat, disinterested, then decided to play late in Purdue and Wisconsin,” Merchant said. “Then, it's kind of too late. And then here, I thought our effort was good, but our efficiency wasn't great on the offensive end.”

The Spartans will be looking to bounce back from their four-game losing skid at the Breslin Center at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon against Rutgers.

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