The Michigan State Spartans wrapped up their season on Saturday with a visit by the Wisconsin Badgers. Senior day for MSU ended with a 67-54 win over UW and an eighth place finish in the Big Ten regular season standings. MSU moved to 8-7 in league play and 13-7 overall with the victory.
The offense looked rusty for Michigan State early on as Wisconsin took a slim 12-11 lead at the 2:00 mark in the first quarter before the Spartans could close out up 14-12 for the period. In the second, MSU opened with a 7-0 run to push the lead to 21-13 in the first three minutes of action. As Moira Joiner sailed a pass to Tory Ozment to open up a 25-15 double-digit lead with 5:53 remaining in the second, the Badgers called for a timeout. A 6-0 run for UW ensured to cut it to 25-21, but the Spartans responded with their own 6-0 run to close the half up 33-23.
After the Badgers opened the second half with a 6-0 run, the Spartans were forced to call a timeout. Alyza Winston responded for Michigan State with back-to-back three pointers, but the Badgers still kept chipping away to cut it within four at one point. MSU was able to push the lead back out to double-figures before the end of the third, though.
Michigan State continued to push out the lead in the final period, at one point leading by as much as 16. Winston scored seven points for MSU alone in the final period, while the seniors for MSU Mardrekia Cook, Claire Hendrickson, and Laurel Jacqmain were all able to kiss the Spartan head at center court on their way off the court for the final time.
Taiyier Parks led the team in scoring for the second straight game and notched her second double-double of the season with 14 points, 11 rebounds, two steals, and one block. Winston also matched Parks in scoring with 14 points, while Alisia Smith led on the boards with 12. Ozment added 10 points to round out the players in double-figures in scoring. Nia Clouden led the team in assists (six) and steals (three).
Imani Lewis led Wisconsin in scoring (18) and rebounds (eight). Julie Pospisilova led in steals (three) while Sydney Hilliard led in assists (three). The Spartans won on the offensive glass, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds to Wisconsin’s seven, and overall on boards 38-34. MSU went 7-for-18 from three-point range and 25-for-63 from the field overall.
Suzy Merchant Post-Game Remarks
Claire Hendrickson Post-Game Remarks
Alyza Winston Post-Game Remarks
Big Ten Tournament
The Spartans drew the seven seed for the tournament. Ohio State self-imposed a postseason ban following recruiting violations that were discovered which resulted in only a 13-team tournament this year. Ohio State finished seventh in the final conference standings.
This marks just the second time MSU has drawn a seven seed in the tournament. In the 1999 tournament the Spartans went 1-1 with a win over Indiana before falling to Penn State. In the 2021 tournament, Michigan State will face the No. 10 seed Penn State on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on FS2. The Spartans defeated PSU on Feb. 13 in Happy Valley, 75-65.