FINAL: Michigan State 55, No. 17 Michigan 70


Sarah Smith

Kamaria McDaniel slowly walks off the court after Michigan State’s 84-80 loss to Wisconsin in overtime on January 11, 2023. Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Jay DeCoster, Women's Basketball Beat Reporter

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Michigan State women’s basketball team dropped a Big Ten game to its rival Michigan 70-55 on Saturday afternoon at Crisler Arena. Despite a convincing start to the game, the Spartans are now 2-5 in the conference after losing their last three games. 

The Spartans came into the matchup with two straight losses against Maryland and Wisconsin. Turnovers and sloppy execution from MSU wouldn’t help snap the losing streak, as the team committed 14 turnovers in the first half while shooting 35% from the field.

“We’re not a team that turns the ball over like that,” said head coach Suzy Merchant. “I don’t think it’s a turnover problem, I just think they did a really good job of staying in front of us and taking charges. We didn’t do a very good job of being solid and strong as they were.”

After starting the contest on an 8-2 run, the Spartans couldn’t build on the lead after turning the ball over nine times, including five turnovers coming from traveling violations.

In the second quarter, the Spartans only made two field goals, and the other 12 points came from the charity stripe. 

Graduate guard Kamaria McDaniel would lead the team with 12 points on 4-16 shooting. The rest of the team failed to reach double-digits in points. 

“All we can do is learn and get better,” McDaniel said. “At the end of the day, you have to stick together. We can’t dwell on this, so we need to get back to the gym and get our shots up.”

Senior guard Moira Joiner found herself in foul trouble in the third quarter, with four fouls by the end of the quarter. She would foul out of the game midway through the fourth quarter. 

If there was anything good that the Spartans took away from this loss, freshman guard Abbey Kimball took advantage of the 10 minutes played, scoring five points, including hitting a step-back jumper.

The Wolverines were led by senior guard Leigha Brown, who finished the night with 17 points.

Michigan State will be back in East Lansing on Wednesday, Jan. 18 to take on No. 12 Iowa at 7 p.m.