In the 2023-2024 season opener and regular season debut of head coach Robyn Fralick, Michigan State women's basketball defeated the Oakland Golden Grizzlies 87-62.
Oakland won the tip-off, but MSU's graduate student guard Moira Joiner kicked off the scoring with a three-pointer to get the Spartan squad rolling. The first quarter was a very fast start, with both ends of the court being heavily utilized for a back-and-forth game. Oakland played very aggressive defense to help them move ahead in the game.
A media timeout at 3:49 gave the teams a break with an Oakland lead. Coming back from the timeout, junior guard DeeDee Hagemann hit a deep three-pointer bringing the Spartans to a one-point deficit. Hagemann came right back down the court with a layup to pull MSU ahead 16-15.
In an extremely tension-filled second quarter, both teams came back to the court after the first quarter equally as aggressive. The players on both teams were diving on the floor for the ball and getting their way to the rim. Joiner hit a dagger three-pointer, moving MSU to a five-point lead, and senior guard Gabby Elliott turned her rebounds into points helping MSU stay on top. Afterward, sophomore guard Abbey Kimball's two-pointer brought the Spartans to a 10-point lead, forcing an Oakland timeout.
In the first half, Hagemann led the scoring for the Spartans with 14 points. Multiple scorers and rebounders helped MSU stay in control of the game with a 41-29 lead heading into the locker room.
The Spartans continued to dominate with great defense into the third quarter. MSU kept Oakland to just two points compared to their previous eight with under five minutes to go in the quarter. Oakland's energy was spent by the second half, and the Golden Grizzlies could not match up to MSU, causing them to fall thirty points behind. Joiner hit a high three-pointer at the end of the quarter, making the crowd go crazy and bringing the score to 68-35.
MSU continued to dominate, but Oakland attempted to diminish the Spartans' lead.
Despite the large lead, fouls were a big problem for the Spartans this game. With Oakland pushing back bringing MSU;s lead from 33 to 30, the Spartans called a timeout. With under five minutes left in the game, Oakland started to power back with the Spartans now being up just 21 points, but the Spartans remained calm and built their lead back up to 27.
MSU finished the game strong with a 25-point win.
MSU women's basketball will play against Wright State this Sunday at the Breslin Center. The game will begin at 2 p.m.
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