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Jankoska dominates in first game for childhood favorite Spartans

October 31, 2013
	<p>Freshman guard Tori Jankoska goes up for a layup during the game against Ferris State on Oct. 30, 2013, at Breslin Center.  The Spartans beat the Bulldogs, 100-52. Danyelle Morrow/The State News</p>

Freshman guard Tori Jankoska goes up for a layup during the game against Ferris State on Oct. 30, 2013, at Breslin Center. The Spartans beat the Bulldogs, 100-52. Danyelle Morrow/The State News

Photo by Danyelle Morrow | The State News

In her debut college game, Tori Jankoska put up 27 points, had 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, leading the Spartans to a 100-52 victory over Ferris State University.

Women’s basketball head coach Suzy Merchant was pleased with Jankoska’s performance.

“Tori was aggressive, and played with a mentality that was fearless,” Merchant said. “(And) I do think she has that ability to extend the defense quite a ways behind the arc.”

As for the rest of the season, Merchant has high hopes for her freshman guard.

“Tori has a high IQ and a high skill set, and I do like her toughness, feistiness and competitiveness,” Merchant said. “She plays with that fearlessness that you like, so I want her to play that way all the time.”

Michigan’s 2013 Miss Basketball and Michigan’s Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year previously played at Freeland High School, where she was a 3-year captain. She averaged 24.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 3.6 steals per game, and broke her school’s total point record with 2,333 career points.

Jankoska said she chose MSU after her freshman year of high school, adding that she has wanted to play here since she was five years old.

“I came to all the camps, and I was a little 10-year-old running around here and dreaming of playing here one day,” Jankoska said. “And then when I got the offer, I just couldn’t turn it down.”

Jankoska said she loves college basketball. The team, the sport, and the coaching staff is perfect for her. She said her playing time helped her find her new role at MSU and build confidence in her shooting.

“I think my role on both teams is similar,” Jankoska said, also referring to her high school career. “(I’m a) shooter and driver, making opportunities for other people to score.”

With the regular season ahead, Jankoska has set goals for herself on both ends of the floor.

“I would say one of my goals is to play my role and play it well,” Jankoska said. “Also definitely getting better defensively, being a shooter on the team, and helping out no matter what.”

The Spartans face Grand Valley State University on Nov. 3 at the Breslin Center in their second and final exhibition game of the season.

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