The Spartans returned home on Girl Scout Day to face Wisconsin after their 85-56 loss against Maryland.
Starting for the Spartans were Tori Jankoska, Cara Miller, Aerial Powers, Anna Morrissey and Becca Mills.
Mills opened the afternoon with an old-fashioned three-point play. She got fouled on the low block and then nailed her free throw.
The Spartans held the lead for most of the first half. Wisconsin ended the first half by hitting a three at the buzzer and taking the lead 34-33.
The Spartans opened the second half similar to how the first half started by getting three points the old-fashioned way. Jankoska got fouled in the act of shooting and drowned her extra point.
The Spartans and the Badgers went back and forth taking the lead the majority of the second half.
MSU turned up the heat halfway through the second half and took their largest lead of the game by 14 points.
Despite the Spartans entering the second half down by one point, they won the game 77-71.
“I can’t imagine anyone that has showed up and watched us play has been disappointed, regardless of what has happened to watch that kid’s maximum effort,” head coach Suzy Merchant remarked on Powers. “If there isn’t a female on the rafters that kid should be one eventually someday.”
Sophomore Powers had an outstanding game for the Spartans. She had her 16th career double-double and now leads the NCAA in double-doubles. Powers had 23 points and 18 rebounds.
The second-leading scorer for the Spartans was Jankoska with a total of 19 points.
It was also a good day on the free-throw line for the Spartans. They ended the game going 15-17 from the line.
“It was good to see her play and compete out there. We finally got production off of our bench. 18 points off of our bench and she had 11,” Merchant said.
Freshman Kennedy Johnson came off the bench and ready to play for the Spartans. She had a career-high of 11 points.
Nicole Bauman had 23 points for Wisconsin and Tessa Cichy had 15 points.
“I think there has to be some consistency out of kids. We are getting better but we can’t just have one or two people show up,” Merchant said. “One of my expectations is to win every game and for everybody to play to their potential and be the best that they can be. Be mentally and physically tough. Compete and never quit. Those are what my expectations are.”
The women return back to action at home Wednesday, Jan. 28 against Indiana at 7 p.m.
Sophia Busk is a multimedia journalist in Impact Sports
Photo: Sophia Busk/Imapct Sports