Thursday, February 22, 2024

MSU women’s basketball beats Minnesota despite hot shooting second half from the Gophers

February 23, 2023

MSU women's basketball beat the University of Minnesota Gophers 71-67 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Following the Spartan victory, MSU's three graduating senior athletes Stephanie Visscher, Jayla James, and Kamaria McDaniel were honored on the court during a senior night celebration.

Michigan State women’s basketball got off to an extremely hot start on their Senior Day game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, taking a ten-point lead into the second quarter

Minnesota battled back in the second quarter though, ultimately setting the second half up for a back-and-forth affair that stayed unresolved until the final minutes of the fourth quarter

A rather poor defensive effort led to some easy opportunities from beyond the arc for Minnesota, and they were able to convert on a lot of them in the second half as they knocked down eight of their 14 shots from three in the final 20 minutes. In the last few minutes though, sophomore guard DeeDee Hagemann said that her team was able to turn their energy up to give themselves their 14th win of the season

“I feel like in the previous quarters, our intensity went down,” Hagemann said. “We can't really blame it on anything but us but at the end of the fourth quarter, we just kept our intensity up. I feel like that was what really changed.” 

Acting Head Coach Dean Lockwood thought that his team gave a lackadaisical effort after the hot start, but were able to fix some issues down their stretch which helped result in the win

“I thought early on, we were bearing down on the game,” Lockwood said. “I didn't think we were bearing down as much later on and they really found a rhythm. We kind of were able to stay the course though. We changed our ball screen defense. And I think once we got back to communicating and switching like we were doing in the early part, I think that helped us kind of fend them off a little bit.” 

In her final home game as a Spartan, graduate student guard Kamaria McDaniel, who led her team in scoring with 15, said that while her team did not make some mistakes throughout the game, they learned from them as the game went on

“In basketball we're gonna make mistakes and have lapses and teams are gonna go on runs,” McDaniel said. “That's the name of the game. That's why we play the game. It's about resiliency. If we can be resilient and learn from our mistakes, then that's when we can capitalize and be better. We knew what we did wrong. And so, we went out there and didn't let history repeat itself. And that's what it's about because things are gonna happen. But it's not about what's happening. It's about how you react to that. And I think that you know we were able to be resilient today and learn from our mistakes. And in enough time to make sure that we got the dub.” 

The team’s focus now shifts to Penn State as they will head to State College to take on the Lady Lions for their final regular season game on Saturday afternoon

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