Saturday, October 16, 2021

Sports | Women's Basketball

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Women's basketball defeats Penn State, 54-46, Big Ten Tournament title within reach

After a hard fought defensive battle, the MSU women’s basketball team upset No. one seed and number 8 in the nation Penn State, 54-46. Senior forward Courtney Schiffauer gave the Spartans their first lead of the game with a driving layup less than five minutes into the second half. Penn State answered with a 3-pointer during the next possession, but sophomore forward Becca Mills returned the favor with a jumper to tie it at 24. The Spartans led by as many as eight, but back-to-back Penn State three pointers cut the lead to one with just more than eight minutes to play. But thanks to Mills and senior guard Jasmine Thomas, the Spartans pulled away. Mills finished with 16 points and was just 1 rebound shy of a double-double, and Thomas ended up with 17 points and 6 rebounds and 3 assists to go with her 2 steal. The Spartans take on Purdue Sunday at 4 p.m.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

MSU women trail Penn State at half, 19-17

Defense, rebounding and fouls were the keys to the first half as the MSU women’s basketball team trails top seeded Penn State, 19-17. Both teams shot less than 25 percent from the floor, but the Spartans dominated the boards leading Penn State 25-17 on the glass, seven of them being of the offensive variety. The Nittany Lions got out to a quick 14-5 lead, but the Spartans then went on a 9-2 run to get it back to within two points. From the 7:55 mark on, neither team scored a field goal. Still senior guard Jasmine Thomas was the top performer for the Spartans with five points, two rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Junior forward Annalise Pickrel picked up a trio of fouls early in the half and was forced to sit, and both teams looked tired as they committed 13 turnovers between them.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

MSU: 10th-straight season with 20 wins or more

There were two records on Suzy Merchant’s mind heading into Wednesday’s home matchup with Northwestern – one evoked nerves while the other evoked pride. The first, the Wildcats’ losing record on the season, made the sixth-year MSU women’s basketball coach nervous because she knew the number wasn’t indicative of how good Northwestern was. The second was the fruit of MSU’s 54-45 victory Wednesday night, which marked the Spartans’ 10th-straight season of 20 wins or more. “Those are always important numbers and you know how important it is to get there,” Merchant said.