MSU advances to Big Ten Tournament championship game, blows out Ohio State 82-63
INDIANAPOLIS—The matchup on Saturday between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 MSU was going to be a thrilling one from start to finish, and that’s exactly what it was, if you’re a Spartan fan. Saturday was the third meeting this season between the Spartans and the Buckeyes, with each prior matchup being decided by five points or less. In the end, it was the Spartans who claimed victory against the Buckeyes in blowout fashion, 82-63.
Unlike the contest on Friday night, the Spartans were off and running early and looking much more alert than they did against Purdue. MSU played both sides of the ball and as a result got out to an 18-12 lead by the end of the first quarter. Buckeye guard Kelsey Mitchell carried OSU’s offense in the first, scoring eight in the opening quarter.
MSU carried their scoring momentum into the second quarter, starting the period on a 12-4 run with contributions from junior guards Aerial Powers and Tori Jankoska. The Spartans would proceed to open up the floodgates on OSU, who were held to only eight points in the second.
The Buckeyes made 9-of-32 from the field in the first half while the Spartans scored 26 in the quarter and went 11-for-14 shooting to establish a 44-20 lead going into halftime. Powers and Jankoska combined for 29 of MSU’s 44 points. Powers led the scoring effort with 19 points and seven rebounds while Jankoska complimented her with 10 points and seven boards of her own.
The Spartans continued their offensive flow in the third with unanswered layups from Powers and Jankoska. Powers made it a 30 point contest with 3:43 left in the third quarter after she made a pair of free throws. By the end of the third MSU had doubled OSU’s score and led 72-36, their largest lead of the game.
OSU's 27 points in the fourth quarter would come to no avail. Powers finished the game with 31 points and 11 rebounds. Jankoska would follow her lead with 23 points and eight rebounds of her own. The Spartans shot 47.4 percent from the floor to trump OSU's 31.5 field-goal percentage. MSU kept Mitchell in check compared to her 43 point game on Friday, she finished the game with 20.
The No. 3 Spartans will play the No. 1 seeded Maryland on Sunday. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised on BTN.