Written by Courtney Wills
It was a night of career highs for MSU senior Liz Shimek against last nightâ€™s 69-63 win over Wisconsin .
Shimek showed great tenacity and focus allowing her to clinch both her 1,000th rebound and 1,500th career point.Â She is only the fifth MSU Spartan to achieve this great honor of reaching over 1500 points while at the same time becoming the first player to gain 1,000 rebounds in four years.
Yet, it was not only Shimek who impressed MSU Coach McCallie.Â Freshman Aisha Jefferson helped boost the struggling Spartans in the last minute with her key jumper.
â€œI thought Aisha Jefferson, our freshman, was maybe the difference maker in the game.Â Itâ€™s always nice if a freshman comes in and can be such a difference maker, and she really was,â€ said MSU Coach Joanne McCallie.
From that moment, Michigan State went on an amazing 9-0 run to seize the win making their final five free throws of the game.
Both Jefferson and MSU point guard Lindsay Bowen maintained great composure in the final minute giving MSU the opportunity to make two key steals.
Turnovers and last minute free throws were the name of the game in this grueling Big Ten battle according to Coach McCallie.
â€œWisconsin hit some long and very big shots and particularly shots with one second left on the shot clock.Â We just talked about itâ€™s time to grow up and get some stops here-stops that we did not even do last game out,â€ said McCallie.
Late in the second half, Wisconsin began to put major pressure on the Spartans after multiple three-point shots made by Jolene Anderson giving the Badgers a ten-point lead.
â€œWe didnâ€™t do a very good job of taking away any of the players that we hoped to slow down for them.Â Weâ€™ve got a lot of growing to do,â€ said McCallie.
In the last week and a half, MSU has faced some very tough Big Ten teams, which may have played a role in tonightâ€™s tight match up.
â€œWeâ€™ve been playing a lot of games and itâ€™s kind of like a WNBA team, I guess, but we definitely need to get our legs back under us and get ready and focus for a very tough battle ahead in Minnesota ,â€ said McCallie.
Victoria Lucas Perry and Lindsay Bowen both finished with solid performances with 16 and 15 points.
The Spartans will hope to gain their next victory against the Minnesota Gophers this Sunday, Jan.15.