It was just a couple of weeks ago that MSU 's women's basketball team beat Penn State on the road, on CBS, and the Spartans were impressive doing it. Since then the teams have gone in opposite directions and I can't understand why. MSU began 4-0 in Big Ten play and is now 4-4 with the latest loss coming Thursday night at home to an Illinois team that was 0-7 in league play entering the game. Granted two of MSU's wins were against last place Indiana, but the Penn State and Michigan wins seemed legit.
It's been a nightmare the past two weeks of poor offense led by turnovers, bad free throw shooting, foul trouble and other missed opportunities. Suzy Merchant looked frazzled after Wednesday's loss, a game the Spartans really needed to keep their fading NCAA tournament hopes alive. In looking at their last eight games, I say they can win or lose any of them. They get a return home game at 3pm Sunday against Penn State and the Nittany Lions are fresh from crushing Michigan. The Spartans will change their lineup, but in my mind they need to eliminate all of the silly turnovers they commit (23 against Illinois) and just play harder. Stay tuned. This is not Suzy's best team at 12-9 but where it finishes will be a challenge for the coach and her staff.