FINAL: MSU women's basketball smashes Wolverines, advance to semifinal
Following an upset win by the MSU women’s basketball team on the road earlier in the season against the University of Michigan, the Wolverines were looking to rebound from that loss in the quarterfinals
After the game was tied at the end of the first quarter, a layup by freshman forward Mardrekia Cook gave MSU a lead they would never relinquish as the Spartans defeated the Wolverines, 74-64.
Redshirt-freshman forward Victoria Gaines netted a career and
MSU finished the night shooting 41 percent from the field and grabbed 44 rebounds, while the Wolverines shot 36 percent and logged 41 boards.
The Spartan bench was dominant. MSU’s reserves ended the night outscoring U-M's bench, 22-5.
MSU’s leading scorer on the season, senior guard Tori Jankoska, scored 14 points in the win.
The Spartans, who struggled early in the first quarter of Thursday’s win over Wisconsin, were able to get off to a more efficient scoring start to begin Friday’s game as they held a 9-4 lead 2:49 into the first quarter.
At the end of the first quarter, MSU was tied with the Wolverines at 19.
Both teams struggled to find the basket to start the second quarter. 3:01 into the quarter, the Spartans were able to get on the board first as Cook scored on a layup.
The Wolverines couldn’t score a basket until 4:30 into the second quarter as a 3-pointer from U-M’s leading scorer, Katelynn Flaherty, was made from beyond the arc.
In the closings minutes of the half, the Spartans went on a 9-0 run, but two 3-point shots from Flaherty ended MSU’s late-half run.
The Wolverines netted just nine points in the second quarter as the Spartans ended the half with a 34-28 lead and shot 34 percent from the field. The Wolverines, who committed nine turnovers in the first half, scored on 12 of 33 attempts from the field for 36 percent.
MSU’s bench was strong in the first half and outscored U-M’s bench, 14-0.
The Spartans came out powerful to begin the second half as MSU went on a 7-0 run to take a 13-point lead over the first 2:28 of the half.
MSU held a double-digit lead for the majority of the second half, but the Wolverines made a late-game 8-0 run to cut the deficit to nine as the Spartans committed multiple turnovers and found themselves on a scoring drought.
The comeback couldn’t be completed as the Wolverines were eliminated in the conference tournament.
The Spartans, who advance to the semifinals following Friday’s win, will face No. 2 seed Maryland tomorrow afternoon.