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‘I wish everyone on my team played as hard as Mo Joiner': Joiner’s consistency stands out against Wisconsin

January 12, 2023

Michigan State women’s basketball failed to complete its comeback on Wednesday night, suffering its second straight Big Ten loss to the Wisconsin Badgers.

After fending off No. 4 Indiana and proving they can hang with gritty teams like Northwestern and Maryland, MSU entered Wednesday’s game with hopes of building on that momentum.

While the Spartans trailed on the defensive end of the floor for the entirety of the game, their offensive efforts kept them alive. Although there were several players that stepped up on the offensive end, senior guard Moira Joiner dazzled the crowd. 

Joiner collected 20 total points, matching her career best from the game on Jan. 20 2020 against Rutgers during the 2019-20 season. She went 4-6 from beyond the arc, and it seemed as if whenever MSU needed a basket to trim Wisconsin’s lead, Joiner was open.

During Head Coach Suzy Merchant’s post game press conference, she recognized Joiner for her versatility and the vital contributions she brings to the team.

“You’ve gotta be a two-way player consistently ... Mo’s a two-way player,” Merchant said. “She really can guard, defend and play with such great energy and toughness, and she can score the ball.”

Merchant said that while her team tends to struggle to match their performance on both ends of the floor, Joiner’s diverse skills often keep MSU in the game. She models consistency and perseverance to the rest of the roster.

“She plays long minutes, she plays hard. I wish everybody on my team played as hard as Mo Joiner 'cause that kid plays so hard in every possession,” Merchant said.

During Joiner’s 32 minutes on the floor, she picked up two rebounds, three assists and recorded three steals.

Merchant said that Joiner’s constantly putting forth 200%, even in practice. 

Joiner’s urge for her team to succeed has rubbed off on her teammates as well. They acknowledge the example that the veteran has set for her peers.

“(Joiner) can bring it offensively and also keep up on the defensive side,” senior forward Taiyier Parks said. “She brought it tonight and it helped us a lot.”

Parks described Joiner as one of the more vocal players on the 2022-23 squad. She said she brings the necessary energy to encourage her teammates to work to get to where they need to be.

Joiner wasn’t too pleased with Wednesday’s outcome, despite displaying noticeable improvements of her own throughout the showdown against the Badgers.

Joiner said that the 2022-23 MSU women’s basketball team's lack of consistency is what’s killing them in conference play. Until the Spartans are able to find a regular rhythm on both sides of the court, it will continue to be a challenge to overcome their opponents.

“It feels good to have a good game but it doesn’t really matter if you don’t win,” Joiner said. “We’re just trying to come together as a team right now.”

MSU women’s basketball will head to Ann Arbor to face its rival, Michigan, on Saturday in the first part of the home-and-home series.

"We're going to come home with a win on Saturday," Joiner said.

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