Thursday, February 22, 2024

MSU women's basketball closes out regular season with a solid win over Penn State

February 25, 2023
<p>Sophomore guard DeeDee Hagemann (0) signals to her teammates after scoring. MSU went on to win against Penn State 81-75 in overtime on Feb. 12, 2023.</p>

Sophomore guard DeeDee Hagemann (0) signals to her teammates after scoring. MSU went on to win against Penn State 81-75 in overtime on Feb. 12, 2023.

Photo by Jonah Brown | The State News

Michigan State women’s basketball was able to end its regular season on a high note with an 80-65 win over Penn State on the road. MSU has been playing aggressively recently, closing out their season by winning four of their last five games.

The Spartans took to the floor in Happy Valley Saturday afternoon for their final regular season contest of the 2022-2023 season. The Lady Lions won the tip, but it was a three-pointer from sophomore guard DeeDee Hagemann that kicked off the scoring.

It was a fast-paced first quarter with little respite for the players, and it wasn't until just over seven minutes into the game that a media timeout gave both teams a much-needed breather.

Hagemann is the typical fixture on the floor at the point position, but when the sophomore limped off to the bench, freshman guard Theryn Hallock took to the court. In just two minutes on the floor, Hallock was able to make a significant impact. The freshman put up seven points at the end of the first quarter with one from beyond the arch and two in the paint.

Hagemann was quickly able to get back to playing for the second quarter, and she even managed to garner a career-high 20 points throughout the game.

The Spartans were able to dominate on both sides of the ball early on holding the Lady Lions to just 19 points with 3:34 left in the first half while sinking 41 of their own to build a solid lead.

There were seven different scorers in the first half for the Spartans and numerous others that contributed with rebounding and other aspects of play that helped Michigan State remain in control of the game.

“It was a game of spirits, and it always gets a little dicey you know you get a 19-point lead, and it gets cut in a hurry and then it gets cut to single digits next thing you know I'm looking up a second half and it's a seven-point,” MSU Women's Basketball Interim Head Coach Dean Lockwood said. “But very proud of our team. As a staff, we're just so proud that, number one, everyone who came into that game contributed. Every player who got in that game really gave us something significant.” 

Unfortunately for Michigan State, the Spartan luck changed quickly, and Penn State was able to start chipping away at the MSU lead fast.

In just over three minutes, Penn State took Michigan State’s lead from 22 to 13 to close out the half.

A large part of the Lady Lion’s late success was freshman guard Shay Ciezki. Ciezki was on fire from deep hitting seven of ten three-pointers to contribute to her career-high 27 points.

The Spartans were struggling to defend Ciezki, and even when they had good defensive looks, the freshman was still able to net nearly all her shots from three.

With eight minutes left in the game, the Lady Lions slashed the Spartan lead to single digits, but Michigan State refused to let them get too close.

With just over six minutes left to play, sophomore guard/forward Matilda Ekh sunk a three for her first points since the first quarter, and the Spartans started to pick up the pace on both sides of the ball.

Penn State senior guard Makenna Marisa has been a star player averaging 17.9 points per game and a 38.7 field goal percentage. Against the Spartans, Marisa had a 9.1 field goal percentage and just two points all afternoon.

In the end, MSU was able to regain control of the game and finish out the road game with a 15-point victory.

With the conclusion of the regular season, Michigan State will be traveling to Minneapolis for the Big Ten tournament starting on Wednesday, March 1.

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