Saturday, March 2, 2024

MSU women’s basketball struggles on both sides of the ball, defeated by No. 5 Ohio State – The State News

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Michigan State women’s basketball could not overpower No. 5 Ohio State and its offensive powerhouses throughout the four quarters, as the Spartans fell to the Buckeyes 86-71. 

Four Ohio State players finished the game in double-digits as opposed to Michigan State’s three: junior guard DeeDee Hagemann and graduate guard Julia Ayrault ,who both tallied up 10 points, and sophomore guard Theryn Hallock who scored 18 points.

Michigan State head coach Robyn Fralick said that the team often felt disconnected on both sides of the ball throughout the entire game.

“From a game perspective, it was a total stinker,” Fralick said. “You know, credit to Ohio State, they’re a very good team, very experienced, very talented. Tonight, I thought it was the most disconnected basketball (game) we’ve played on both ends of the court. So, we have a little bit of time right now to kind of zoom back in on ourselves and figure some of these things out.”

The second quarter against Ohio State had the most impact of the game for Michigan State. The Buckeyes had an 8-0 run to start out the quarter and the Spartans responded with a 7-0 run of their own but eventually went flat and allowed 27 total points in the quarter. Michigan State had multiple turnovers and could not get going offensively, as the team only scored 12 points.

“We turned it over more than we have; they set 27 points off turnovers. That’s something we haven’t really had this year,” Fralick said. “For the most part, we have been able to win the turnover margin of points off turnovers and I thought that second quarter, I mean that is when we got our most turnovers and they got some easy baskets.”

With Michigan State’s play usually being very competitive but having a different turnout today, Fralick said the team has more to learn and needs to follow through even after these go left. 

“You know, I think I will know more after I watch the film,” Fralick said. “I just think we have some work to do with composure and continuing to play even if a few things don’t go our way. I thought that was a little bit off for us today more than it has been. So, I think we’ll learn and see.”

Sophomore guard Theryn Hallock was a key contributor for the Spartans offensively, as she finished the game with 18 points, two rebounds and two steals. She fought to the end for Michigan State and had a huge spark into the second half.

“Theryn has really come (far) from her freshman to sophomore year,” Fralick said. “She has a really pretty dynamic burst of speed, and I thought in the second half especially, she found some creases and crevices. Regardless of the score, there is a pride to playing the right way, there’s a pride to getting better, and I thought Theryn engaged in that.”

Going forward, the team has a schedule that gives a week of rest before their next game against Michigan. With this rest, Fralick said the team needs to be tougher on defense. 

“I think I’ll learn more as I watch. One thing right now is (to) get a little bit of rest, and then defensively, we have got to be tougher to score on,” Fralick said. “I mean, I think consistently, we’ve got to find ways to be more resistant.”

Michigan State will play next on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 12 p.m. against the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The game will be streamed on Big Ten Network.

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