EAST LANSING, Mich. — It was a hard fought 72-68 loss against No. 10 Maryland (21-3, 10-1 in the Big Ten) for Michigan State women’s basketball (14-11, 4-8 B1G), losing its sixth straight game in conference play.
From starting tip-off, the Spartans never flinched, going shot for shot from beyond the arc with the top-10 Terrapins. MSU’s sophomore guard Taryn McCutcheon and redshirt sophomore forward Victoria Gaines combined to go 4-for-7 from the three-point-line at the half.
While both teams demonstrated their shooting ability from long distance, Maryland began to make offense tough for MSU, forcing them to turn the ball over 12 times in the first half and seven times in the third quarter — stunting any Spartan comebacks.
Sophomore forward Nia Hollie provided a spark from the bench adding five points and five rebounds giving MSU the edge in both bench points (37) and rebounds (40).
Maryland did not have an answer for Taya Reimer and her aggressive effort. The senior forward had a season-high and her first double-double of the season, finishing the game with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Besides the double-double from Reimer, Gaines was able to notch a career-high in points tonight leaving the court with (16) points, seven rebounds, and two assists.
Injuries played a major factor in Thursday night’s loss, and have played a role in the six-game losing streak. MSU has been playing without three key sophomores: guard Shay Colley, forward Mardrekia Cook, and forward Nathy Dambo, leaving MSU with only nine eligible players.
Merchant also said the scheduling has played a big role in the season’s struggles.
With MSU coming up short Thursday night against Maryland, they now look ahead to another challenging game against No. 21 Michigan (20-6, 9-4) on Sunday, Feb. 11 at noon on ESPN2.