The Michigan State women’s basketball team rolled right over the Wright State Raiders in the Spartans' 99-55 win on Sunday afternoon. In its second game of the season, MSU continued to show what this squad of new faces and new coaches has to offer as they start the Robyn Fralick era 2-0.
Although it's still early, the Spartans continue to show the hard work and dedication they put in during the off-season. Excitement will likely continue to build around this squad as they find themselves improving every day.
Junior forward Isaline Alexander won the tip for the Spartans and junior guard DeeDee Hagemann took the ball straight from the tip-off to the basket for the first points of the night. However, Raiders graduate student guard Layne Ferrell immediately responded with a baseline layup to tie the game early.
After a quick three-minute lapse of scoring from both teams, thanks to active defense from both the Spartans and the Raiders, sophomore guard Abbey Kimball got the scoring going again with a smooth step-back jumper.
Kimball’s shot sparked something in both teams – after the three-minute scoring drought the teams had a shoot-out favoring the Raiders, as they hit three three-pointers in five minutes.
The Spartans were able to keep it close despite the hot start from the Raiders behind the arc, and only found themselves down two points with a minute and a half left in the first quarter. With only 30 seconds left in the first quarter, senior guard Gabby Elliot hit a turnaround jumper from the elbow to tie the game at 19-19.
The Spartans completely flipped the script on the Raiders in the second quarter, as Elliot got things going with five straight points and the first Spartan three of the quarter. MSU went on to hit four more three-pointers that resulted in a 24-2 run. The Spartans continued to find open shooters beyond the arc racking up 18 assists in the first half. Defense stayed strong as well, only allowing the Raiders to score five total points in the second quarter.
The hot second quarter led to a 25-point Spartan lead, and MSU confidently went to its locker room after a successful shooting streak. Elliot led all scorers with 12 points and two three-pointers at the half. The Spartans also held WSU to just 9-28 from the field and 4-12 from deep after hitting three early in the first.
The third quarter started the way the second one ended, with Michigan State firing on all cylinders as Wright State continued to try and find a working offense. Alexander was able to find an opportunity when she fouled and made an attempt for an 'and one' play. Though she missed the extra point, Alexander miraculously grabbed her own rebound and put it back up for the rare four-point play.
MSU was on a roll, as the team scored another 12 points by the six-minute mark of the third quarter while the Raiders continued to search for offense.
Hagemann and graduate student guard Moria Joiner were able to create another stellar play that left the Breslin in awe. After MSU forced another steal, its 10th of the night, Hagemann dove to save the ball. As she dove she found a cutting Joiner to make the diving assists and increase MSU’s lead even further.
The three-point shooting from the Spartans cooled a little bit, but their offense continued to thrive as they put up a 29-point quarter. The Raiders saw a strong offensive system for a moment, scoring 18 points in the third quarter, but MSU continued to dominate and hold a 35-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
By the fourth quarter the Spartan lead was completely out of range for the Raiders, but the Spartans continued to play hard all the way through, as they continue to look for the perfect balance as the season continues.
MSU's resilience resulted in a near triple-digit game, as the Spartans kept it up until the very last minute. The final score stood as 99-55, with the Spartans comfortably defeating the Raiders for their second win in a row.
The Spartans strutted their offensive and defensive skill power all game as they finished with five different players in double digits, with three of those players having multiple steals.
Hagemann led all scorers, and was all over the floor as she finished with 17 points, eight assists, three steals and two rebounds. Hagemann helped spark the huge scoring run in the second quarter for the Spartans and stayed in a rhythm all game.
Joiner and graduate student guard Julia Ayrault both finished the night with 13 points, as they both had hot moments during the Spartans' second-quarter run. Ayrault also finished with two steals and two blocks, while Joiner finished with three rebounds and a steal.
Elliot, who started the run in the second quarter for the Spartans, also had a big night, as she went 2-2 from the three-point line while only missing two shots. She picked up a total of 12 points, along with seven rebounds and two steals.
Alexander also broke double digits in the win as she finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Spartans will have a three-day break before suiting up inside the Breslin once again as they look to keep their win streak alive. MSU will take on the University of Detroit Mercy on Nov. 16 in what will be the Spartans' third home game in a row.
The Spartans will also look to continue the all-time 17-0 streak against the Titans. MSU will face off against UDM on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. inside the Breslin Center.