Thursday, November 30, 2023

Preview: MSU women's basketball set to travel to Ann Arbor for rivalry bout against the Wolverines

January 14, 2023
<p>Freshman guard Matilda Ekh (11) dribbles the ball during the game against Michigan on Feb. 10, 2022, at the Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 63-57.</p>

Freshman guard Matilda Ekh (11) dribbles the ball during the game against Michigan on Feb. 10, 2022, at the Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 63-57.

Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

After falling to Wisconsin in overtime last time out, Michigan State women’s basketball (10-7, 2-4) will look to end their two-game losing streak in a rivalry matchup on the road against the No. 17 Michigan Wolverines (14-3, 4-2). 

Senior guard Moira Joiner led the Spartans in scoring last time out as she tied her career-high against the Badgers with 20 points while coming off the bench. If MSU is to pull off the upset, they will need a similar type of performance from her or sophomore guard DeeDee Hagemann, who put up 17 points against UW, which was her best scoring performance in a conference game of her career.

Graduate student guard Kamaria McDaniel has been a steady presence on the offensive end for the Spartans all season long as she leads the team in overall points scored with 246. Against the Badgers, she extended her double-digit scoring streak to five games with 11 points recorded. She ranks 18th in the Big Ten in scoring average as she averages 14.5 points a game.

Sophomore guard/forward Matilda Ekh is on the cusp of Spartan history as she just needs one three to tie Taylor Alton for 14th all-time threes made. She currently has the best shooting percentage from beyond the arc in MSU history (.402). She is 115-for-286 in her two years with Michigan State.

The Spartans are one of the top teams in the Big Ten in turnover margin, ranking second in the conference eighth in the country at plus 7.2. MSU also currently ranks near the top of the Big Ten and the nation in sharing the ball, averaging 18.6 assists per game. Those numbers are good for third in the conference and 10th in the country. 

The Spartans are 1-4 against ranked teams this season, with their lone win coming at home against Indiana a couple days before the new year. They are 1-2 against ranked Big Ten opponents. 

As for U-M, they are stout on the glass and lead the conference in rebounding defense at 29.1%. After earning her first double-double of the season last game with 11 points and 10 boards, senior forward Taiyier Parks will need to bring similar energy down low once again.

U-M ranks around the middle of the pack in the conference in scoring offense at 77.1 points per game, which puts them at eighth in the Big Ten. Their scoring defense however is near the top of the league, as they only allow teams 60.9 points a contest.

The Wolverines are led in scoring by graduate student forward Emily Kiser, who averages 17.4 points per contest, which is eighth overall in the Big Ten. U-M also has two others who score an average of double digits, as sophomore guard Laila Phelia and fifth year guard Leigha Brown notch 16.6 and 15.9 points a game respectively. 

In all time meetings, MSU has dominated the Wolverines, leading 73-23. The Spartans are 28-15 in Ann Arbor. They split the season series last year, with both teams taking their home games. 

Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. on BTN+.

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