ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

#11 Terrapins Fall to Michigan State

14 January 2018, 12:45 | Charlene Valdez

Wolverines travel to Breslin to take on conference foes


It's been an issue at times this season for the Spartans but was critical on Saturday.

"We just did not do the things we needed to do", said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. "I think this is obviously an example though, when you talk about the depth of the Big Ten".

On the other side of things, MI also enters off a loss but it was an encouraging one: A one-point defeat against No. 5 Purdue in a game in which the Wolverines played well enough to win.

The sophomore point guard was mostly a nonfactor offensively a year ago as a freshman (1.6 points per game), but has turned into a legitimate threat on that side of the ball this season.

Junior Eleanna Christinaki added 13 points while sophomore Stephanie Jones tallied 12.

Michigan State Coach Suzy Merchant said the win would be good for morale for a team dealing with its own slew of injures including two players out with anterior cruciate ligament tears. That's what you're going to see every night, and I don't think we responded well to it at all. Maryland shot 36 percent from the floor to Michigan State's 43 percent from the field at intermission, compounding poor offense with uncharacteristic errors.

As the Terrapins rose for the national anthem against Michigan State, sophomore guard Blair Watson stood in her black warmup suit, leaning on a crutch.

After taking a 10-9 lead in the first 4:51, MSU was unable to hold the lead for most of the first half. Former 4-star wide receiver Hunter Rison is transferring from the Spartans, an announcement made earlier this week. While ailing an ankle injury, Wagner was as active as he has ever been this season and used his "in-out" game very effectively. In 37 minutes, she collected 25 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 6 threes with 2 turnovers. "We've done a better job this year just one of those days we didn't do a very good job, so I'm not anxious about quicker guards, I'm anxious about somebody just gritting their teeth and getting the job done".

"It's one of the more festive atmospheres in the Big Ten", Beilein said.

"We definitely have to cut down on the turnovers because we're giving (opponents) so many extra possessions, " guard Joshua Langford said. However, past year was an outlier as the games between these two teams average a 1.3 point differential in favor of the Spartans.

Kansas State (12-5, 2-3) led 67-64 with 3 minutes left when Lagerald Vick knocked down a three-pointer in front of the Jayhawks' bench and Newman scored on a put-back to give Kansas the lead.

The Spartans took advantage of the size discrepancy in the matchup, and pounded the paint. Winston was the catalyst in getting MSU a lead late in the first half. "We're a good offensive team, we shot 50 percent all game, we just didn't get enough shots up because we kept turning the ball over".

Charles was the only other scorer able to get a few good shots up - she had six points at halftime.

Jaren Jackson had 19 points and six blocks, limited by foul trouble for the Spartans.

In two seasons at Michigan State, Jackson caught 17 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown in 10 games played. MI responded by going on an 8-0 run and re-taking the lead up 42-39 with 16 minutes left. Someone is going to look like they are heading in the right direction and the loser looks like they are back to struggling.

That "one game at a time" approach has led MI to a 14-4 record. The Wolverines finished 42 percent (24 of 57) from the field and 40 percent (6 of 15) from behind the arc. Zavier Simpson contributed 16 points and five assists and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman added 14 points for MI (15-4 overall, 4-2 Big Ten).

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