Sunday, April 21, 2024

MSU women's basketball defeats Purdue 68-59, grab fifth road win of the season

February 22, 2024
Michigan State junior guard/forward No. 11 Jocelyn Tate drives the net at the Crisler center in Ann Arbor, Feb. 18, 2024. Michigan State secured a season sweep of the rival Wolverines, breaking a two-game losing streak in the process.
Michigan State junior guard/forward No. 11 Jocelyn Tate drives the net at the Crisler center in Ann Arbor, Feb. 18, 2024. Michigan State secured a season sweep of the rival Wolverines, breaking a two-game losing streak in the process. —
Photo by Brendan Mullin | The State News

The Michigan State women’s basketball team has collected back-to-back games in the winning column after their defeat against Purdue for the second time this season with a score of 68-59. The win on Wednesday, Feb. 21 is the Spartan’s second win in a row after dropping back-to-back games for the first time all season with losses to Indiana and Ohio State

The recovering victory for the Spartans move them up to 9-6 in conference play and 19-7 on the season. The win also closes the margin between the Michigan State-Purdue series history, but Purdue still leads the series 44-39. 

Sophomore guard Theryn Hallock led the way for the Spartans in the first half as she was hitting shots from all angles. Hallock finished the first half with a perfect performance as she tallied up 11 points while going 4-for-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from three-point land. 

The Spartans went into halftime with a 35-21 lead and at this point, they had been playing fast and efficient basketball on both sides.

Unfortunately for the Spartans, after having a solid second quarter, they had possibly one of the worst quarter performances of the season, only scoring 11 total points as they shot 4-for-18 from the field and 1-for-7 from deep in the third quarter. Going into the fourth quarter, Michigan State was ahead by just 10 points.

After the tough third quarter, the Spartans were able to pull it back together after a momentum-sparking three-pointer from graduate guard Moira Joiner. It had seemed that after the harsh third quarter, the Spartans had been through it all and would walk away from this one, but that was not the case. 

Refusing to give up, the Boilermakers made one final 6-0 run late in the game to bring the Spartan lead within five points with less than 45 seconds to go. While both sides had seemed exhausted in the final few minutes, junior guard DeeDee Hagemann was able to dig deep and make four free throws to close out the game with a final score of 68-59.

Five different Spartans finished with double figures, but Hagemann, who finished with 13 points and 11 assists, and Hallock, who led the team in scoring with 16 points, were the biggest names of the night for the Spartans.

With the win, the Spartans have successfully completed their second series sweep of the season after sweeping Michigan for the first time since 2019 on Sunday. Head coach Robyn Fralick enjoyed her team's fight and resiliency throughout the game as they pulled another out on the road. 

“It was a great win," Fralick said. "We knew this was a tough place to play, especially at Purdue. I thought our team dialed in and I thought we stayed resilient. It was a game of different runs and stretches and we stayed resilient throughout.”

The game of runs that Fralick mentioned nearly became a threat towards the end of the game as the Boilermakers brought the Spartan lead down to five points late in the game after making a fourth-quarter run. However, Michigan State was able to recover from the Purdue offensive spurt due to some timely baskets and free throws.

“They’ve been good at home, we knew that we were up for a tough challenge tonight but we withstood it," Fralick said. "I thought when they cut (the lead), we had two really really timely baskets and we were able to make our free throws down the stretch.”

Moving forward towards their next matchup against Rutgers, whom the Spartans previously played and defeated 82-64 on Jan. 30, Fralick would like to keep the same defense intensity her squad showed against Purdue on Wednesday.

“I think it’s the least amount of points we’ve given up in a conference game," Fralick said. "So if you want to win in this league and you want to win on the road, you have to guard."

The Spartans will be taking on the Scarlet Knights on Saturday, Feb. 24 inside the Breslin Center after returning from their road trip. The matchup between the two teams will also be streamed on Big Ten Plus. 

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