Jankoska Scores 1,000; Powers returns to Action

Jankoska+Scores+1%2C000%3B+Powers+returns+to+Action

Accomplishments would be the appropriate word for today, as the Spartans coupled individual achievements with a 79-60 win over Idaho State.

First, junior guard Tori Jankoska became the 25th Spartan to score 1,000 points for her career, doing so in only 67 games.

The other big news of the day came when redshirt junior and Preseason All-American, Aerial Powers, saw her first game action scoring 12 points in 20 minutes.

The Spartans are now 3-0. MSU looked impressive again as they have continued to dominate its opponents defensively, keeping the Bengals of Idaho State shooting under 45 percent from the field.

MSU head coach Suzy Merchant, however, felt the game could have been a lot better on the defensive side.

“We got lazy on going under ball screens,” Merchant said. “You got to give them (Idaho State) credit for knocking shots down. They shot a lot better than they did last year.”

The first half emphasis was on points in the paint for MSU as 30 of their 45 first half points were scored down low. Leading this was grad student center Jasmine Hines, who had 10 points in the first half alone, finishing with 16.

As the half went on, the feeling in the Breslin Center air was the crowd’s anticipation of Jankoska getting closer to 1,000 points. The offense was of course being run through her, but with a sense of urgency to get her to that record mark.

Jankoska, when asked about this feat, talked about it while adding in some comedy as well.

“Coming into the season I knew I was close to 1,000 because my grandma keeps track of all my stats,” Jankoska said with a smile. “It is an exciting feat, but this year it is more about what I can do to help the team.”

A big round of applause in the first half came when Powers came into the game with 5:50 left in the first quarter. She wasted no time getting on the board, as she scored a layup a minute later. It will take her time to get back to her usual self, but she looked good for her first game action.

She spoke on how she felt in her first minutes on the court.

“First of al,l my mind was all over the place because it was my first game,” Powers said. “Coach has me playing two positions now, so I have to make sure I know all the plays for both spots. Honestly though, I think I was a little timid to start.”

The Spartans came out slow in the third quarter, as Idaho State went on a 6-2 run, combining paint play and converting on free throws. However, this lull for MSU did not last long as they quickly turned things around on both ends. The scoring in the quarter was led by both Jankoska and Hines, as they took over for the Spartans to increase their already large lead.

MSU once again had multiple players who scored in double figures. This time it was Jankoska, Hines and Powers’ turns to lead the Spartans in scoring. Jankoska also flirted with a double-double, as she had nine assists to go with her 18 points.

As a team, the Spartans shot 49 percent from the field, which is their highest in game action to date. They also dominated on fast break points, outscoring Idaho State 14-2, and points in the paint, winning that battle 46-24. Eleven Spartans also got on the scoreboard, which is also the highest they have had in this young season.

Leading the way for Idaho State in scoring was senior forward Anna Policicchio, who had 17 points.

The Spartans’ next game is in the Bahamas for the Junkanoo Jam, as they take on Cincinnati next Friday at 5:45 p.m.