FINAL: MSU downs Wisconsin, earns date and rematch with rival Wolverines
A jumper from senior guard Tori Jankoska 3:13 left in the third quarter was ultimately the night’s biggest play for the MSU women’s basketball team, who took on No. 11 seed Wisconsin Thursday night in its first game of the Big Ten Tournament.
After trailing for most of the night, Jankoska netted a jump shot to give MSU a lead that they would take into the fourth quarter. Jankoska finished the night with a game-high 22 points.
The Badgers were unable to regain the lead as they were only able to tie the game twice in the fourth quarter and were defeated 70-63 as the Spartans advance in the conference tournament.
MSU, who faced the Badgers once in the regular season on Jan. 25. and won 81-57, finished the night shooting 39 percent from the field and recorded 46 total rebounds, while the Badgers made 25 of 59 baskets for 42 percent and grabbed 34 rebounds in the loss.
The Spartans struggled early in the first quarter.
The Badgers found their shooting groove early, but MSU found themselves on a 7-2 deficit to begin the game.
After three Spartan turnovers in the span of 2:18, the Badgers capitalized, taking a 12-4 lead with 4:48 left in the opening quarter.
However, the Badgers’ early scoring run would end as Wisconsin was unable to find the basket in the closing minutes of the first quarter. After a scoring drought and MSU run of 7-0 over 4:21, redshirt-senior Avyanna Young scored on a layup to end the Badgers’ deficit with 27 seconds left in the first quarter.
A Branndais Agee jumper with five seconds remaining in the first quarter cut the Spartans’ deficit to one as the Badgers led 14-13.
With 7:33 left in the second quarter, graduate student forward Taya Reimer hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 18.
Reimer finished the game with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
A layup by freshman Mardrekia Cook gave the Spartans their first lead 2:52 into the second quarter.
The second quarter was filled with lead changes, but the Badgers managed to close out the half on a 7-0 run over the span of the last 2:15 as they led 37-30.
The Spartans were unable to defend in the paint in the first half. 28 of the Badgers’ 37 points came from the paint, while MSU scored just eight points in the paint to end the half.
At halftime, Agee led the Spartans at the half with nine points. The Spartans concluded the half shooting 37 percent from the field to the Badgers’ 47 percent.
6:06 left in the game, the Spartans took what was then their largest lead of the game after a layup was good by Reimer, who was also fouled during the shot. Reimer made the and-one attempt to give MSU a
The Badgers couldn’t come back from their fourth quarter deficit and the Spartans managed to come away with a closely fought win.
The Spartans will now face the University of Michigan tomorrow night in the third round of the Big Ten Tournament. MSU upset the Wolverines 73-56 on Jan. 1 earlier in the season.