Basketball team prepares for MSU

Following their come from behind 50-47 win over Northeastern University Nov. 11, the Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team turns their attention to the Michigan State University Spartans.

The Spartans have a win of their own this season, an 83-39 blowout of the University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks on Nov. 11.

The Eagles played the Spartans once last season, a 60-59 overtime loss at the Breslin Center on Dec. 3, 2011. In that game, then-sophomore Natachia Watkins had 12 points in the loss for the Eagles. The all-time numbers for the matchup have been very lopsided, in favor of MSU. The Spartans are 13-1 against the Eagles dating back to 1977.

Watkins had nine points in the Nov. 11 win against Northeastern. The real story was redshirt senior guard Miranda Tate. With 23 points, she was the dominant force behind the Eagles’ victory. Tate also had seven rebounds and spent 37 minutes on the court.

The key to beating the Spartans will be to find ways for Tate to get the ball. Despite shooting 8 for 23 from inside the line, she was 6 for 13 from the three point range. If she can get the ball, she will score.

Senior center India Hairston and junior guard Desyree Thomas will need to be more of a presence on the court against MSU. Hairston spent 33 minutes on the floor against Northeastern and Thomas was in for 32 minutes, but both don’t have many points to show for it. Hairston had three points, while Thomas only scored two. They both pulled down seven rebounds each.

The Spartans had five players who scored in double digits against UT-Arlington: Klarissa Bell with 19 points, Annalise Pickrel with 18, Jasmine Hines and Jasmine Thomas with 11 each and Becca Mills with 10.

The Eagle defense needs to shut down at least a portion of those five players if they are going to beat MSU. With two of their star players, Aerial Powers and Madison Williams, out for the season with injuries, Bell and the rest of her team have needed to step up and produce for the relatively young Spartans.

The game against MSU is scheduled to tip off Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.
The matchup falls in the middle of the Ice Man Classic. The women play on the second of five consecutive days of basketball at the Convo. Be sure to come out and cheer on the women’s team as they hope to continue their undefeated 2012 campaign.

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