FINAL: MSU women’s basketball fends off comeback, tops Northwestern for fourth win in a row

FINAL: MSU women's basketball fends off comeback, tops Northwestern for fourth win in a row

Senior forward Taiyier Parks kept MSU in the game through the first seven minutes as she accounted for five Spartans' seven points, while Northwestern pushed their total to 15.

After the MSU timeout seven minutes into the first quarter, the script completely flipped in MSU’s favor. Graduate guard Kamaria McDaniel helped bring the green and white within five as the first period ended with a three-ball, a bank shot, and one.

MSU continued their steady comeback early in the second quarter as a sophomore guard/forward Matilda Ekh got hot. She scored nine points in the period's first five minutes while shooting 3-4 from deep. She continued her hot start throughout the period, ending the half with a game-high 17 on 5-6 shooting from beyond the three-point arch.

Parks also continued her strong game throughout the first half as she went into the locker room with 11 points and five boards.

Northwestern started the game red hot from the field as they were 9-13 from the field in the first quarter but went ice cold in the second period as they went into the half 14-32. MSU also hit on most of their threes, while the Wildcats could not. The Spartans held a 7-13 to 2-9 advantage throughout the first two quarters.

The Spartans were the worst free-throw-shooting team in the Big Ten coming into the game but put together a very solid outing from the line in the first 20 minutes. They went 8-9 before the 15-minute break.

MSU similarly opened the second half as how they ended the first one. In the first five minutes of the third quarter, Parks picked up where she left off. She put up 4 points and a rebound to bring her total to 15 and six rebounds.

Northwestern also did more of the same in the start of the third quarter as they went on a couple-minute field goal-less stretch to begin the half.

MSU kept their foot on the gas throughout the third quarter as they started the final period leading 62-49. McDaniel finished the quarter strong, scoring five of her total 13. Redshirt junior guard Julia Ayrault hit two threes in that span as well.

The strong three-point shooting continued throughout the game for MSU as they finished 10-21 from deep. The Wildcats still could not get it going from a distance, though, going 3-18 when all was said and done.

The match slowly became tightly contested in the final quarter as Northwestern climbed back into the game to bring themselves within five in the final minute. MSU played poorly throughout the quarter as their turnovers mounted to 13. They also missed several free throw attempts, dropping their percentage to 63% on 17-27 attempts.

However, in the final minute, they pulled it together as senior guard Moira Joiner hit two big free throws to bring MSU’s lead to seven. Northwestern turned the ball over at the 10-second mark, effectively ending the game.

The Spartans now move to 10-5 on the season and 2-2 in conference play.

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