Jankoska’s 42 points lead Spartans Past No. 11 Buckeyes

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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State hosted a record-breaking women’s basketball game at the Breslin Center on Tuesday night. The Spartans took on No. 11 Ohio State in four exciting quarters. Not only did Michigan State win 94-75, but Tori Jankoska beat the career record of points and the number of points scored individually at Michigan State in school history.

In the first quarter, Michigan State came out with speed and aggression, while Ohio State struggled with sloppy passes and missed shots. Three minutes and eight points later, Jankoska broke the all-time scoring record that was held by her former teammate Aerial Powers. After multiple shots from Jankoska and fast breaks from Michigan State’s offense, the score was 15-9.

Coach Suzy Merchant talked about Jankoska’s play after the game.

“She plays like a coach,” Merchant said… “Yeah, she’s been a God send since she stepped foot on this campus for sure.”

Ohio State continued to make costly errors, which helped the Spartans balloon the lead to 10 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was just as problematic as the first for the Buckeyes. Ohio State fell behind in shooting, while Jankoska led the boards with incredible three-pointers, jump shots, and fast breaks. Jankoska and Lexi Gussert helped organize the offense, while Taryn McCutcheon was on the bench in foul trouble. The quarter ended with several controversial foul calls going both ways. Despite tough calls, the Spartans managed to keep the lead the entire first half at 54-41. Scoring 31 points in the first half, Jankoska led the offense.

“Everybody stepped up and did what they needed to do,” Jankoska said. “Jenna was getting defensive rebounds, Brandy was a maniac at the top of the zone, Brandy was hitting shots, everyone was hitting shots. Everyone was doing their job.”

After the halftime break, Ohio State came out with some pep in their step, but could not manage to get a lead. Brandy Agee, Kennedy Johnson, and Taya Reimer made some smart plays and crucial decisions in the third quarter. Reimer played tough defense against the quick Ohio State players. Agee started to get down the floor faster and took advantage of open shots. Johnson worked hard in the key, boxing out and rebounding. Taryn McCutcheon was also put back in for the second half to lead the Spartan offense once again.

Michigan State struggled with Ohio State’s defense and failed to score in the first five minutes, but the Spartans eventually picked up the pace and held a 15-point lead against the Buckeyes. After Nia Hollie fought for an offensive put back and a good move by Gussert, the Spartans held a 20-point lead, 72-52.

The Buckeyes rebutted in the final quarter with several shots outside the key, but it was not enough to get ahead. Ohio State’s defensive pressure stopped Michigan State from scoring. After a lull in points from the Spartans, Victoria Gaines hit a shot with five minutes to go. The most points scored in a game by a single player in history at Michigan State was 41 points, after Jankoska made her second foul shot, the new record was 42.

“It was one of the funnest games I have ever been a part of, and not just because I broke records,” Jankoska said.

McCutcheon got back into the game with one minute to spare, and got a shot off to seal the game, 94-75.

Agee spoke about the preparedness her and the team felt before this game.

“We knew they had a chip on their shoulder,” Agee said. “We knew they were going to come out hard at us.”