Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Kamaria McDaniel remains bright light in loss to Indiana

March 3, 2023
<p>MSU Mascot Sparty hypes up the crowd as guard Kamaria McDaniel crosses the floor to kiss the Spartan head logo at the center of the court at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. McDaniel, from Inkster, Michigan, came to MSU this season after two seasons at Baylor University.</p>

MSU Mascot Sparty hypes up the crowd as guard Kamaria McDaniel crosses the floor to kiss the Spartan head logo at the center of the court at the Breslin Center in East Lansing on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023. McDaniel, from Inkster, Michigan, came to MSU this season after two seasons at Baylor University.

Photo by Jack Armstrong | The State News

The Michigan State women’s basketball team went down swinging during their down-to-the-wire 94-85 loss to No. 1 Indiana in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The Spartans held the advantage over the Hoosiers for most of the game, but the talented Indiana squad was able to regain control late in the second half to come out on top.

A large part of the reason Michigan State was able to stay in the game for so long against a team like No. 1 seeded Indiana was the stellar performance from graduate student guard Kamaria McDaniel.

McDaniel has been a constant fixture in the green and white during her one year in East Lansing, leading the Spartans in scoring with an average of 14.2 points per game. Friday afternoon was no different. McDaniel led all players in scoring and notched a season-high 32 points.

Following the loss, McDaniel attributed a lot of her offensive success to the plays the rest of the Spartans were able to make on the other side of the court.

“My teammates are amazing at giving me the ball, and we got defensive stops which opened up the open court and getting them fast breaks,” McDaniel said. “We were getting stops, and that was helping them momentum. When you're playing good defense, and your teammates are getting you the ball, I'm just able to kind of be myself and be that scorer that you know I've been.” 

Against Indiana McDaniel drove through to the net, fought through contact and even hit a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arc—in what will most likely be her final collegiate game.

McDaniel was just three rebounds away from a double-double against the Hoosiers and grabbed the second most of any player on the floor—second only to senior guard Moira Joiner.

MSU women's basketball acting head coach Dean Lockwood said that McDaniel is the type of player they want consistently shooting the ball no matter how many she may miss.

“When she goes strong, and she plays with a high level of efficiency—Kamaria—she can score points. That was what she did today,” Lockwood said. “She took great shots, she attacked the basket, she took the shots when she was open, and again, she just played to who she was. That's again, so important for any player in any team. She was exactly true to who she was.” 

The Spartan’s time in the Big Ten Tournament came to a close Friday afternoon, but the possibility of an NCAA Tournament game is still up in the air. While MSU currently sits outside of the tournament bubble on ESPN's bracketology, the team will officially learn its fate Sunday at 8 p.m. on ESPN's selection show.

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