The Michigan State women's basketball team went four-for-four during its homestead in the Breslin after securing a 105-49 win over Evansville. So far, the team has been untouchable, and they’ve continued to win by some big margins.
The Spartans held a clear advantage over the Aces right from tip-off, which allowed the Spartans to find a groove early. One player in particular who found herself in a perfect groove was Junior guard Jocelyn Tate.
Tate had a stellar performance against the Aces, going a perfect 4-4 from the field with one three-pointer, along with going 2-2 at the free-throw line. She also tagged on four assists, two rebounds and two steals.
Transferring from Boling Green to follow head coach Robyn Fralick meant starting all over for the most part for Tate, but as the season progresses, it is starting to visibly show that Tate every day is getting more comfortable with the coaches, the program and with her teammates.
After the big night, Tate, along with graduate guard Julia Ayrault, both held interviews with reporters. One thing that Tate focused on, as she wore a comfortable-looking baja sweater, is that she is continuing to become more and more comfortable with her teammates and as a Spartan.
"I love them a lot, honestly. I love that we're getting closer every day, and I look back a lot and I am like, 'Wow, we've come so far since the summer,' so like I'm looking forward to the season and looking forward to growing with them every day," Tate said after the game.
As her comfort and chemistry continues to build with the team, Tate becomes even more comfortable on the court. Coach Fralick, after teasing Tate a bit after for her fouls, pointed out that Tate continued to do a great job picking her spots and finishing at the rim.
"I know she's back there right now, so I can tease her. She did a good job of picking her spots of finishing and creating, but she did foul too much," Fralick said jokingly after Tate finished with three fouls. "No, she did a great job of decision-making and finishing when she had good times to score."
Although she teased Tate in the end, before the game Fralick gave Tate a pep talk and told her to just get back into her routine, the same routine that she would see Tate play into at Bowling Green together, and in the end that worked out "perfectly" for Tate.
"It's definitely a confidence booster, I would say. I've been struggling the past couple of days with finishing, and she's told me, 'You’ve got to get back into your routine,' and I did. I got back into my routine, and so now I'm seeing my results work out in the game," Tate said after the win.
She also added that there is a comfortable feeling when her head coach is giving her advice. Since they both came over to MSU together, there is a big trust factor between them, and that trust allows Tate to take in what Fralick says and use it on the court.
"She's so comfortable giving me advice, and she knows how to give it the correct way where I can take it easily and move on," Tate said. "I just trust that everything she says is going to help me, and I trust every single one of the other coaches, so hearing all of their feedback and being able to take it has helped me come a long way."
You can expect to see Tate continuing to impact the scoreboard in any way as the team continues to build more chemistry down the road. They will especially need it as they start to play games away from home, starting with the Cancun Challenge in Cancun, Mexico.
The Spartans will face James Madison University in the first game of the Cancun Challenge. Tip-off for that game is set for Thursday, Nov. 23, at 6:30 p.m.
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