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MSU women's basketball prepares for Big Ten rematch against Michigan Wolverines on the road

February 16, 2024
<p>Senior Guard Moira Joiner takes a breather before finishing out a gritty game against the University of Michigan at the Breslin Center on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. The Spartans lost 77-67 after leading the Wolverines for the entire first half.</p>

Senior Guard Moira Joiner takes a breather before finishing out a gritty game against the University of Michigan at the Breslin Center on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023. The Spartans lost 77-67 after leading the Wolverines for the entire first half.

Photo by Jack Armstrong | The State News

Michigan State women’s basketball is on a two-game losing streak after falling 86-71 to No. 5 Ohio State at home last Sunday and 94-91 against Indiana University away. The Spartans are traveling to Ann Arbor to have a rematch against their in-state rival, the University of Michigan, on Sunday, Feb. 18.

When the Spartans and the Wolverines met earlier in the season, Michigan State came out with a huge 82-61 win. Since then, the Spartans have won and lost two games and brought their record to 17-7 overall and 7-6 in the Big Ten conference.

The Wolverines, on the other hand, hold a 16-10 overall record and are 7-7 in the Big Ten

The Spartans are 3-4 in away games and the Wolverines are 10-3 in home games, which makes a greater home advantage for the Wolverines heading into Sunday.

With this game being another highly anticipated matchup, Michigan State head coach Robyn Fralick expressed the importance of the rivalry and how it is different from any other team

“Well, the game is different, the feel is different (and) the preparation is different,” Fralick said. “To have any other feelings around it is to minimize it and you have to play like it’s a different game. There is a different emotion around it, and energy. Our home crowd here was amazing. We have to have that same mentality about it is a different game and we need to go in and play like it is.”

Since last Sunday, the Spartans had a week of rest and time to prepare to hit the court again, something that Fralick said was good as the team was able to reset and adjust what they need to improve on for Michigan.

“It's been a good week (and) we’ve been able to just reset and rest,” Fralick said. “Focus back on us a little bit and we got another big string of games coming up in a row.”

From the last matchup against Michigan, Fralick said the Wolverines are great opponents and the Spartans need to play well on both sides of the ball again, just like they did the last time the two teams played.

“They're a good team and they’re playing for a lot too, a lot of us are right now,” Fralick said. “There is a lot at stake in these last few weeks of the season. They’ve got good interior play; you know they are a team that have some really good wins on the season as well. I thought our game here we played great on both sides of the ball, and we’ve got to be able to play great on both sides of the ball again.”

Going into the next game, Fralick said the team is going to have to stay focused and block out the outside noise and stay together throughout the entire game

“It’s a high-level game, it’s going to be really competitive, it's going to be really physical,” Fralick said. “I think we’re going to have to do a good job at staying present in the things that matter. You know when there is a lot of noise and fans I think you have to do a really good job of staying outside of distractions and staying tight in the huddle and making sure we’re moving together and on the same page throughout the whole game.”

The Spartans and Wolverines tip-off will start on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 12 p.m. The matchup will also be streamed on the Big Ten Network.

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