Thursday, February 2, 2023

Preview: MSU women’s basketball looks to end losing stand against Rutgers

January 22, 2023
<p>Senior guard Moira Joiner (22) dribbles the basketball 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>

Senior guard Moira Joiner (22) dribbles the basketball 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

After dropping its fourth straight game to No. 10 Iowa in overtime, Michigan State women’s basketball (10-9, 2-6) is back at the Breslin Center to take on Rutgers (8-12, 2-6).

Rutgers comes into East Lansing on a two-game losing stand with its latest loss coming against No. 14 Michigan by a score of 81-58. 

Sophomore forward Matilda Ekh made history in her last game. She recorded her 117th, 118th and 119th three pointers in her MSU career last time out, passing Taylor Alton for 14th on the all-time list. She stands at the top of the list of career three point percentage at .403. She is now just two three point makes away from tying former Spartan star Aerial Powers.

Graduate guard Kamaria McDaniel recorded another stellar outing against the Hawkeyes, tallying her sixth-consecutive double-digit outing with 23 points. She has 14 on the season.

After tying her season high in three pointers made with two against Iowa, senior forward Tory Ozment said that her team has to be better on the offensive end if they want to come out with wins instead of losses in games down the road.

“We need to be more consistent,” Ozment said. "We had a big win with Indiana then we lost to Wisconsin, so that consistency factor has definitely got to be there. But just offensively we got to be able to make layups and make shots when it's down the stretch. I think defensively we're a tough team. We can compete with anyone but we got to be able to really score the ball and do that day in and day out.” 

After a tough performance against Michigan that followed a career night against Wisconsin, senior guard Moira Joiner put up her first double-double of her college career against Iowa, scoring 11 points while grabbing 10 rebounds.

Rutgers is led in scoring by freshman guard Kaylene Smikle. Her 16.9 points per game average is good for ninth in the conference. 

Junior forward Chyna Cornwell leads the Scarlet Knights in rebounds, as she corrals 8.9 per game. That number is good for third overall in the Big Ten. 

As a team, the Scarlet Knights stand first in the conference in blocks, as they reject 4.9 attempts per game. They are rather pedestrian in most of the other categories, coming in at 13th in scoring (63.6), 12th in scoring defense (71.7) and 14th in assists (11.9).

Michigan State leads the all time series against the Scarlet Knights with a record of 7-6. They are 4-3 against Rutgers in East Lansing and won the latest matchup 61-45 on the road last season. The last time both teams met in East Lansing, MSU came away with a 63-53 win on Feb. 24, 2021. 

Sunday's matchup will also serve as a celebration of Title IX, the landmark federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding. Women’s basketball alumni will be celebrated as well as Title IX trailblazers from all MSU sports. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. on BTN +. 

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