By Connor Bell
Even though this game is a few days away, it was supposed to have been played a week ago but was moved due to inclement weather. This gives us extra time to analyze some really key aspects of this game and see who will come away with the “W”. It’s time to meet the visiting Michigan State Spartans.
The Spartans boast an impressive record of 16-4 overall and are 7-2 in Big Ten Conference play. They also are currently in third place in the Big Ten behind the Terps and Ohio State. Averaging 75.9 points a game and holding their opponents to 59.9 points the Spartans have shown how they can score in a hurry and also limit the opposing teams offense to little in the field as they are second in the Big Ten in scoring margin versus their opponents.
The Spartans leading scorer is Aerial Powers who averages 19.1 points a game, according to the Big Ten. However, despite Powers averaging almost 20 points a game, the Spartans are seventh in the Big Ten in total offense and fourth in total defense.
Meanwhile the Terps are first in both categories, but second to Michigan State in 3-point field goal defense. Based on the Spartans schedule they manage to beat teams everyone expects them to beat, however, they have really struggled against ranked teams, losing both to Ohio State and Baylor. They will need their defense to really step up against the high-powered Terps offense.
As for Maryland, this season has not been the easiest for them as their undefeated Big Ten Conference record was broken with a loss at home to Ohio State, and they could not bring down the powerhouse of women’s basketball, Connecticut. Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough is coming off a career high performance and the Terps will need her to continue to be a threat against the Spartans.
The Terps are have a 20-2 record and their average margin of victory is almost up to 30 points. Three of Maryland’s players are in the top 30 in scoring for the Big Ten and Brionna Jones has the highest field goal percentage in the Big Ten as well. The way I see it, as long as the Terps get good looks at the basket, their presence physically and talent-wise should overwhelm the Spartans.
Final Score Prediction: Maryland-76 Michigan State- 67