After watching Sunday’s game where Michigan State faced off against Purdue, it’s easy to see that while the Spartans are heavy on defense they really need to improve their offense. There were way too many buckets missed by the women on the team. While the team did tie up with the Boilermakers and eventually went into overtime against the Indiana team, ultimately they lost. The reason why? I believe it’s because they need to be more vigilant about making their baskets. The team only shot 30.5% from the field.
We’ve seen this sort of offensive lack before with Michigan State. When they played against Penn State’s Lady Lions earlier this month, the women had a difficult time scoring in the field. Ultimately they lost that game as well. What has been keeping the team to only three losses has been their stellar defense – but when you have a team with insurmountable offensive skill, defense only gets you so far. Once the other team gets past your defense, it becomes a game of who will make more baskets.
Sure, you can use the strategy of getting fouled and going up to the line – but when you have a hard time making free throws, that strategy isn’t going to work. And for some reason, the women of Sparta were not making their free throws this go around.
In the second half of the game, we saw a lot of back and forth between the two teams. For every shot the Spartans would make, the Boilermakers had a shot to answer them with. Both Jasmine Thomas and Jasmine Hines, who are both stellar players, had their career record minutes played this past game. These women looked great on the field as did Courtney Schiffauer. What concerned me, however, was that even though they got the rebounds and moved that ball down the court, the ball didn’t go in when it should have.
In the upcoming Thursday night game against Northwestern, let’s hope the women pull together their offensive lines and take more time when setting up their free throws and their field goals. Let’s face it, the goal of the defense when you are in field goal range is to put on the pressure and force bad shots. By standing their ground and paying attention to their positions with respect to the basket – just a slight adjustment – these women could come out victorious. I know I’ll be rooting them on come Thursday night!