Spartans Soar past Buckeyes

The Spartans hosted the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday afternoon where they won 70-49.

The Breslin Center was filled with pink in support of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. With a crowd of over 10,600, the largest of the season, the game held a high level of energy all night.

MSU came out strong with the Spartans going on a 14-4 run to start the game. Becca Mills led the charge, scoring 11 points and grabbing five rebounds in the first half. Freshman Aerial Powers also added 11 points to MSU’s first half performance.

The Spartans shot 53.3 percent (16-30) from the field in the first half.

“The energy of the crowd helps a lot to keep our energy up,” Ariel Powers said. “We were just focused tonight.”

The Buckeyes struggled to connect in the first half shooting 27.8 percent (10-36) from the field. OSU had five turnovers in the first half. MSU’s high energy level appeared to overwhelm the Buckeyes over the course of the night.

It was a very physical matchup. The teams combined for 26 personal fouls throughout the game. There were many plays that went without calls that the players and fans expressed their disapproval of.

MSU had four players reach double figures in the game. Annalise Pickrel and Mills led the Spartans with 17 points each. Pickrel also added 11 total rebounds and six assists. The freshman duo of Tori Jankoska and Powers combined for 26 points.

Sophomore Ameryst Alston led the Buckeyes with 25 points and five steals. Cait Craft and Raven Ferguson combined for 18 points.

“I was happy with our defensive effort, guarding that dribble drive motion is tough to guard, especially with Ameryst Alston coming at you the way she can with the power behind her drive,” MSU head coach Suzy Merchant said. “Our defense was there tonight.”

With this victory the Spartans claimed the season series against conference rival Ohio State.

MSU will be traveling to Madison, Wis. to face off against Wisconsin (10-15 overall, 3-10 Big Ten) in their next game on Feb. 20. The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

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Hayleigh Geurink and Jalen Walker are multimedia journalists for Impact Sports.

Photo: Nubia Buckingham/Impact Sports