Penn State Breaks MSU’s Big Ten Undefeated Streak

Michigan State entered the game against Penn State as No. 1 in the Big Ten standings. But Penn State was a great competitor and knocked the Spartans off their top spot, 66-54. The Spartans are now 4-1 in the Big Ten Conference.

The top scorers for the game were Annalise Pickrel with 17 followed by Klarissa Bell and Aerial Powers with 12. Powers also led the team with 10 rebounds. Powers’ rebounds were not enough however.

“We didn’t get a lot of second chance shots because of our rebounds. Even if shots weren’t falling, our second chance shots would’ve helped a lot,” Powers said.

The Spartans started strong with early scoring. In the first half, senior forward Annalise Pickrel was an early scorer along with senior Klarissa Bell. Pickrel scored most of her points in the first half and the Spartans went into halftime leading 34-27 over Penn State.

In the second half, the Spartans started to run into some trouble. Penn State took the lead multiple times. The Spartans could not seem to get back on top and lost their momentum in the game as the second half progressed. They missed a lot of easy shots and Penn State scored on multiple free throw attempts.

“The air kind of went out of the bag. The frustration got there,” Coach Suzy Merchant said about her team’s second half performance.

The Spartans have learned their lesson from the game and are moving forward after Sunday night’s game.

“The Big Ten is a marathon, not a sprint,” Pickrel said. “I think we were sitting a little high from our last couple of games, so this is a wake up to how the Big Ten really is.”

The Spartans will stay home and take on Illinois for a Thursday night game at 7 p.m.

Jennifer Aldridge is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.

Photo: Michigan State University Women’s Basketball