Spartans look to get back on track at Iowa


Suzy Merchant/Photo: Siobhan Findlay

Sutton Magee, Women's Basketball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Following its biggest defeat of the season to Northwestern 76-48, Michigan State (11-8, 4-4 Big Ten) looks to get back on track tomorrow versus another ranked opponent in Iowa (16-3, 7-1 Big Ten). 

The Big Ten is a gauntlet, and you can’t dwell on any loss. Turning the page and getting a win tomorrow at Carver Hawkeye Arena is crucial for head coach Suzy Merchant and her squad. 

“I’m in shock. I don’t know who’s team that was, because that’s not how we’ve been playing,” said Merchant after Thursday’s game.

If Michigan State wants any shot at the NCAA tournament, it needs more marquee wins to look good for the committee, and this is the perfect place to start. 

Nia Clouden/MSU Athletic Communications

The Spartans were on a three-game winning streak prior to Northwestern, and playing good team basketball as well. It was headed by Moira Joiner, averaging over 15 points per game over the last three games.  

Senior Taryn McCutcheon and Nia Clouden have struggled shooting the ball as of late, and Joiner has picked up the slack. Joiner is a freshman and proving to the staff to be a valuable asset and a cornerstone piece of the future. 

To get a win tomorrow, McCutcheon, Clouden and Joiner will need to play outstanding games. If this comes with help from Kayla Belles and Tory Ozment, grabbing a road win is certainly within reach. 

Taryn McCutcheon/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Currently sitting at No. 19 and on a seven-game winning streak, the Hawkeyes sit tied for first place in the conference. Look out for the three-headed monster of Kathleen Doyle, Monica Czinano and Makenzie Meyer. They average 18.6, 15.7 and 15.2 points per game respectively. 

“We’re far from giving up, and we’re far from over,” said McCutcheon after Thursday’s game. “The Big Ten is crazy.”

This is a really talented Hawkeye squad and the Spartans will need to be locked in. 

Michigan State and Iowa face off Sunday at 4 p.m. at Carver Hawkeye Arena. The game will be televised on BTN.

Contact Sutton Magee at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @suttonmagee12.