The No. 13 Michigan women’s basketball team’s game against Michigan State on Monday, Jan. 18 has been postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the Spartans’ program. The matchup would have marked the fifth consecutive game for the Wolverines without postponement, but instead, it marks the second straight postponement for Michigan State.
The Wolverines are no stranger to dealing with COVID-19 protocols and postponement. It too would have had to deal with its own issues for that game, since junior wing Leigha Brown has been out due to COVID-19 protocol since the Nebraska game on Jan. 7. Other players were also out earlier in the season.
Monday’s game would have marked the 95th time the teams would have played each other. Currently, Michigan State leads the series 72-22. Since Kim Barnes Arico took over as Michigan’s head coach in 2012, the Spartans have lead the series 7-6. Last season, the Wolverines swept the Spartans for the first time since 2015.
Michigan remains undefeated this season, standing at 10-0. In a regular-season the match-up is tense, a rivalry game neither school wants to lose. In a season like this — with the Wolverines trying to hold onto their perfect record, a recently-ranked Michigan State seeking revenge after last year’s sweep and Michigan trying to hold onto its win streak over its rival — it would have been one for the books.
Michigan State graduated four seniors last year — including Taryn McCutcheon, their former point guard. In their final match-up last year, McCutcheon notched 14 points against Michigan. Michigan graduated just one senior from last season, Kayla Robbins, who was injured in the final game between the teams last season.
Despite losing multiple seniors, Michigan State brought in four transfers this season, along with one freshman — 4-star recruit Kendall Bostic. The transfers include guard Janai Crooms, center Lauren Rewers, forward Alisia Smith and forward Jayla James.
Before Monday’s game was postponed, Michigan State had two games postponed already. Many other women’s basketball teams across the country have also canceled or postponed games. Aside from Nebraska and Minnesota, every Big Ten women’s basketball team has postponed or canceled at least one game.