Spartan Women’s Basketball Edged by No. 4/3 Iowa, 76-73, Tuesday


IOWA CITY, Iowa – Michigan State women’s basketball dropped a heartbreaker to No. 4/3 Iowa, 76-73 Tuesday evening at a sold-out, Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa All-American Caitlin Clark hit a three at the buzzer for the game winner.

The Spartans had their four-game winning streak halted, falling to 11-3 this season and 1-2 in Big Ten play. Iowa improves to 14-1 overall and 3-0 in league action.

Michigan State had four players in double figures led by graduate guard/forward Julia Ayrault who had 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Junior guard DeeDee Hagemann added 14 points and four assists. Graduate guard Moira Joiner and graduate guard/forward Tory Ozment both added 10 points. Joiner has reached double figures in scoring in all 14 games this season.

Despite not having one of their best shooting nights from long range, the Spartans hung with one of the most potent offenses in the nation.

Iowa’s Clark led all scorers with 40 points on 14-of-34 shooting from the floor, adding five assists, but the tenacious Spartan defense forced her into six turnovers.

Michigan State jumped out to an early 8-0 lead due in part to six-straight points from junior guard/forward Jocleyn Tate. The Hawkeyes came roaring back with a 12-0 run to take a 12-8 lead. MSU was held off the scoreboard for over four minutes before a much need trey by sophomore guard Abbey Kimball. Clark scored three-straight baskets for Iowa, but Michigan State got a steal and a bucket from Ozment to make it a 25-17 game after 10 minutes.

In the second quarter, the Spartans made six-straight buckets. An Ayrault trey made it 35-33 with Clark out of the game. Ayrault followed that with a layup to tie the game with two minutes left in the half. Michigan State used a 9-0 to re-take the lead The Spartans ended the half on a 13-2 run, as they held Iowa to only 10 second-quarter points, including a four minute scoreless drought.

Iowa had the hot hand early on in the third quarter, taking a 39-37 lead, but then the Spartans used a 7-0 run to take a 44-39 lead, as the MSU defense held Iowa scoreless with another nearly four-minute scoreless stretch. Neither team had more than a 10-point lead at any point of the game. Clark got hot at the end of the quarter to put Iowa back on top briefly, but Hagemann’s layup with one second remaining tied the score at 55-55, heading to the fourth quarter.

The Spartans went three minutes without scoring as the Hawkeyes began to take control in the fourth quarter, using a 9-0 run. The Iowa spurt was snapped by a Kimball trey to make it a 66-60 contest. Michigan State wasn’t done fighting and began to chip away at the Hawkeye lead. An Ayrault trey made it a 68-67 game with under three minutes remaining. The game went back and forth the remainder of the game until Clark’s dagger at the buzzer gave Iowa the victory.

Michigan State finally returns home to the friendly confines of the Breslin Center after four-straight road games to host Maryland on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

Michigan State Women’s Basketball Post-Game Notes: at Iowa

• Michigan State is now 11-3 on the season, and all three losses have come when the Spartans score less than 80 points and are held to less than eight 3-pointers … MSU was contained to 69 points in its first loss of the season to Creighton (11/24) and 74 in a loss to Nebraska (12/9) … the Spartans’ seven treys Tuesday matched their second-lowest of the season after also only making seven and four in the aforementioned losses to Creighton and Nebraska, respectively.

• MSU’s defense limited Iowa to 76 points, the second-fewest points scored by Iowa in a win this season and third lowest output of the season, as well as the Hawkeyes’ fewest points in a Big Ten game this season and fewest in a B1G regular-season game since Feb. 21, 2023 vs. Maryland.

• The Spartan starting five of junior guard DeeDee Hagemann, sophomore guard Abbey Kimball junior guard/forward Jocelyn Tate, graduate guard Moira Joiner and graduate guard/forward Julia Ayrault was MSU’s 11th game with that starting five, and is now 8-3 with those five on the court for the opening tip-off.

• Despite playing with only seven players with a two-player bench, MSU out-scored Iowa in bench scoring, 19-4, behind 10 points by graduate guard/forward Tori Ozment and nine points by sophomore guard Tharyn Hallack … that marked the first time in a B1G game and just the third time overall this season that Iowa’s bench has been out-scored and the four points was a season-low for the Hawkeye’s bench … MSU’s bench has now out-scored its counterparts in 11 games, and the Spartans are 9-2 on the season when doing so.

• Also despite a significant height advantage, the scrappy Spartans had a 39-38 rebounding advantage over the taller Hawkeyes … it was also the first time in a B1G game this season that Iowa has been out-rebounded, as well as just the fourth time all season … MSU out-rebounded the opposition for the ninth time this season, but Tuesday was the Spartans’ first loss when having the edge on the glass, sliding to 8-1.

• Graduate guard/forward Julia Ayrault led four Spartans in double-figures with 16 points, marking her fifth double-digit scoring game in a row, posting 10+ points for the 11th time in the 14 games, as part of her 24th career game with double-figures.

• Ayrualt also registered three blocks, her third-straight game with multiple blocks as part of the seventh game in the last eight outings  and a total of 11 games so far during the 14 games this season.

• Ayrault now has 36 blocks this season through 14 games, already the most by a Spartan in a single season since 2017-18 when Taya Reimer had 38 on the season … Ayrault is just seven blocks from cracking into MSU’s top 10 single-season blocks list, as Liz Shimek had 43 in the 2004-05 season

• The three blocks Tuesday night gives Ayrault 107 blocks for her career, tying for the No. 6 spot on MSU’s career blocks list, matching Erin Skelly (1997-2001) with 107 rejections. 

• Ayrault added eight rebounds to also share the MSU lead on the glass … it was the third time this season that Ayrault has shared the team lead or led the Spartans in both scoring and rebounding … overall it was the fourth game this season that she has led or shared the scoring lead for the Spartans, but the first in a loss, as MSU is now 3-1 when Ayrault leads the team in scoring … it was Ayrault’s seventh game leading or sharing the lead on the glass, and the Spartans are now 5-2 when doing so.

• Junior guard DeeDee Hagemann added 14 points for her second-straight double-digit scoring outing and third in the last four games as part of the ninth game this season.

• Hagemann also dished out four assists to register her fourth-consecutive game with three or more assists, part of the ninth time overall this season … Tuesday night was the ninth time this season that Hagemann topped the Spartans in assists, as MSU is now 7-2 when she leads the team in helpers.

• Graduate guard Moira Joiner continued her streak of netting double-digits in every game this season by tallying 10 points Tuesday … Joiner has 10+ points in 16-conescutive games dating back to the 2022-23 season and in 17 of her last 18 games played … overall, Joiner has scored in double-figures in 43 career contests.

• Joiner made two 3-pointers Tuesday, as she has at least one trey in 13 of the 14 games this season, including multiple triples in nine games.

• Graduate forward Tory Ozment added 10 points off the bench, posting double-digits for the second time in as many games on the way to her sixth double-figure scoring game this season and the 20th of her career.

• Ozment also shared the team-lead on the glass with eight rebounds, marking the third-straight game with eight rebounds, and fourth game in a row with five or more boards, part of the eighth overall time this season.

• Junior guard/forward Jocelyn Tate was the third part of the three-way tie for the team lead with eight rebounds, a new season-high as part of her fourth game in a row with five or more boards … Tate’s season-high eight rebounds tops her previous high of seven boards vs. Richmond (12/20).


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