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MSU women's basketball struggles to convert turnovers into points

February 6, 2023
<p>Senior Guard Moira Joiner takes a breather before finishing out a gritty game against the University of Michigan at the Breslin Center on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. The Spartans lost 77-67 after leading the Wolverines for the entire first half.</p>

Senior Guard Moira Joiner takes a breather before finishing out a gritty game against the University of Michigan at the Breslin Center on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. The Spartans lost 77-67 after leading the Wolverines for the entire first half.

Photo by Jack Armstrong | The State News

Throughout all the wins and losses, the Michigan State women’s basketball team has had one constant—their ability to force turnovers.

The Spartans are currently ranked 16th in the nation for their ability to do so, and MSU’s loss against Michigan Sunday afternoon was no different. The green and white were able to force 20 turnovers in comparison to the ten they gave up themselves.

The problem with the game against the Wolverines was not that they couldn't force turnovers—it was that they were not able to convert turnovers into points. The Spartans were only able to amass 14 points on their 20 turnovers, and Michigan had the same amount of points on just half the amount of turnovers.

Senior guard Moira Joiner had six steals herself and was such a strong asset on both sides of the ball for Michigan State. Joiner played fast, was ready to fight for the ball and put up a fight from start to finish.

“I've been trying to be more hands-on defense and stuff, but that (number of steals) goes to my teammates too, that are doing their job so I can get in those passing lanes,” Joiner said. “We'd turn a team like Michigan over 20 times—we need to do something with that, you know? We didn't do anything on the other end. We kind of failed to make a play or make a bucket.”

Michigan State shot the ball 77 times from the field, but they were only able to get 24 of them to fall. The Spartans had more missed field goals than shots the Wolverines had in total. If just a few of those missed MSU shots had hit the mark, Sunday afternoon's game could have been a totally different story.

In the first half of the game, the Spartans were forcing turnovers and making buckets, but they fell apart quickly in the second half, and were not able to get past the large Wolverine defense.

Michigan was also able to get the ball moving down the floor quickly and racked up 24 points off of fast breaks, but Michigan State was only able to collect 11 of their own.

“It’s just disappointing we couldn't get that win for the fans. How frustrating is it to be this close to another one and not be able to kind of finish it out,” Joiner said. “It's like you're kind of going insane a little bit, you know? You're right there. You're doing the same thing, and then you're like expecting a different result when you don't finish the game the way you start it.”

In order to begin winning all of the close games that Michigan State has battled in this season, the team has to be able to continue forcing turnovers and then converting them into tangible points.

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