Three takeaways from the Spartans’ season-ending loss to Iowa State

MSU+guard+Alyza+Winston+practices+in+preparation+for+the+Spartans%27+first+round+matchup+against+Iowa+State%2F+Photo+Credit%3A+MSU+Athletic+Communications+%0A%0A

MSU guard Alyza Winston practices in preparation for the Spartans’ first round matchup against Iowa State/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Owen Oszust, Women's Basketball Beat Reporter

After Michigan State made it all the way to the semifinals in the Big Ten Tournament, they were awarded the No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament and scheduled for a first round matchup against No. 7 seed Iowa State.

In Monday night’s opening round game, the Spartans played a really tight contest against the Cyclones in what was a hotly-contested first round game. Despite shooting 44% from the field, the Spartans fell to Iowa State by a 79-75 final.

The first takeaway for Monday’s game was that neither Nia Clouden or Alyza Winston had an exceptional game. In total, Winson only had 11 points and Clouden contributed 15 points of her own .

The Spartans did have six players with at least eight points, including forward Alisia Smith, guard Janai Crooms, forward Taiyier Parks, and forward Tory Ozment. The Spartans got needed help from their supporting cast and spread the wealth throughout their team.

Another takeaway was the Cyclones’ fantastic performance from beyond the arc. Overall, Iowa State shot nearly 41% from the arc while making nine of their 22 three pointers. forward Kristen Scott and guard Ashley Joens combined for six made 3-pointers to go along with 45 points. 

Joens was able to put Iowa State on her back and fill up the score sheet with 33 points; Scott and guard/forward Madison Wise also scored in double figures.

The biggest takeaway, despite the loss,  was how Michigan State battled this entire season. The Spartans had the score knotted at 65 with just under seven minutes left in the contest.

MSU has dealt with a slew of injuries all season long and players like Julia Ayrault were banged up coming into this game. They also dealt with a two-week break due to COVID-19 problems within the organization.

With all of those extenuating factors, the Spartans still finished above .500 on the season and made the NCAA Tournament. They found a way to make a memorable run in the Big Ten tournament and also finished 8-7 in Big Ten action.

It almost seemed like the Spartans got better when they faced adversity and did a fantastic job this season. Despite this first round exit, Michigan State has nothing to be ashamed of. With the return of Clouden, Winston, Ayrault, Parks and others, the future is extremely bright for MSU.