FINAL: MSU women's basketball falls to Maryland, await fate for NCAA Tournament
The MSU women’s basketball team faced the No. 2 Maryland Terrapins Saturday in the semifinal round of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Spartans were unable to contain Maryland senior Brionna Jones, who finished the game with 32 points, as the Terrapins defeated MSU, 100-89.
Jones was 12-for-14 from the field and also grabbed nine rebounds and six assists.
Maryland entered Saturday’s matchup No. 2 in the nation in field goal percentage with 50.5 percent. The Terrapins finished the game shooting 60 percent from the field, while MSU netted 53 percent of its shots from the field.
MSU was outrebounded by Maryland 34-27, which assisted the Terrapins as they notched 23 second chance points to MSU’s eight.
The Spartans committed 14 turnovers Saturday and allowed the Terrapins to score 22 points off the Spartan turnovers.
Senior guard Tori Jankoska netted 31 points and five
The Terrapins, who lead the nation in scoring as they average 90 points per game, started the game making 5-of-7 field goals.
A Spartan scoring drought gave way to a Terrapin 10-0 run in the first quarter, but Maryland soon found themselves on a drought of their own.
In the closing minutes of the first quarter, three Terrapin turnovers allowed the Spartans to take a 7-0 run, but senior center Brianna Fraser netted a layup with three
Near the end of the first half, the Spartans couldn’t record a basket in over four minutes. The Terrapins took a 6-0 run as MSU went 0-for-5 in the drought.
To close out the first half, the Terrapins scored six points in 44 seconds as the Spartans made just one of their last nine field goals and trailed Maryland, 47-34.
The Terrapins finished the half shooting 68 percent from the field, while the Spartans scored on 12 of 28 attempts for 43 percent.
Maryland’s leading scorer senior guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough ended the half connecting on 6-of-9 field goals, including 2-for-3 from 3-point range, and led all scorers with 17 points.
Jankoska had a team-high nine points at the half for MSU.
Midway in the third quarter, the Spartans generated an 8-0 scoring run in just over a minute and allowed the Spartans to cut their deficit to single-digits. However, the Terrapins responded by extending the lead after making two straight baskets.
Early in the final quarter, the Spartans managed to go on a 7-0 scoring run and cut Maryland’s deficit to just five, but the comeback couldn’t be completed as MSU was eliminated from the tournament.
MSU will now look to secure a NCAA Tournament berth to continue its season.