Women’s Basketball Grinds Past Oakland

After a five-game road trip spanning from the West Coast to the East, the Michigan State women’s basketball team finally came home to the Breslin for a Friday night match against Oakland University. The Spartans came out with an 81-74 win over the Golden Grizzlies.

The star of the game was MSU senior guard Tori Jankoska. Jankoska lit the game up with a double-double of 37 points and 10 rebounds. With seven assists, Jankoska was just three helpers short of a triple-double. Her 37-point game was the third-highest total in a single game in school history. She was 11-of-16 from the field and shot 50 percent from behind the arc.

“I was proud of her (Jankoska) because this team has been through a lot. We’ve traveled so much. We’ve been gone so much,” said coach Suzy Merchant. “We’ve played like eight games in a short span…Our kids were really tired, so to see her (Jankoska) be able to step up and do that as a senior, I think is inspiring, really.”

Sophomore forward Jenna Allen backed Jankoska up with 13 points, followed closely by 12 points from senior guard Branndais Agee. MSU (7-2) held the lead in the game for 30 minutes, only being outscored by seven points in the third quarter.  

Perhaps one of the biggest highlights of the game was MSU’s rebounding. Oakland (4-3) ranks sixth in rebounding (46.5 RPG) in NCAA, with senior forward Hannah Little leading the Horizon league with 12 RPG. However, MSU dominated in the paint by out-rebounding Oakland, 44-34. Having not performing so well in rebounding in previous games, this was an accomplishment the Spartans could check off their list.

A trend that seems to be going on in MSU basketball is an extreme amount of traveling. Both the men and women’s teams have traveled back and forth across the country in a span of a few days. This has taken a toll on the ladies’ bodies as well as performances. However, according to Allen, tiredness should not be an excuse.

“For the men’s and women’s team, fatigue has set in, and it’s a big factor for us, but we got to push through that,” said Allen. “We should not be not getting back, not getting rebounds because we’re tired that’s something we have to push through.”

Sophomore guard Taylor Jones led Oakland in scoring with 19 points in 28 minutes off the bench.