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MSU women's basketball earns win over Dayton in overtime

November 17, 2013
	<p>Freshman guard Aerial Powers takes a shot over Dayton guard Tiffany Johnson on Nov. 17, 2013, at Breslin Center. <span class="caps">MSU</span> defeated Dayton in overtime, 96-89. Brian Palmer/The State News</p>

Freshman guard Aerial Powers takes a shot over Dayton guard Tiffany Johnson on Nov. 17, 2013, at Breslin Center. MSU defeated Dayton in overtime, 96-89. Brian Palmer/The State News

Photo by Brian Palmer | The State News

It went all the way down to the wire and needed an overtime period to finish, but the No. 19 MSU women’s basketball team pulled out the 96-89 win against No. 23 Dayton.

The Spartans (2-1 overall) were led by redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers (24 points), freshman guard Tori Jankoska (24) and senior forward Annalise Pickrel (21).

Powers came out with one of her best all-around games, head coach Suzy Merchant said, despite her nine turnovers, including a few crucial ones in the final minutes of the second half. Powers finished with 24 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals.

“I love her aggressiveness,” Merchant said. “Sometimes that can get her in trouble with decision making, but she played so hard today, you gotta, at times, go with it.”

Despite leading much of the game, MSU found themselves trading punches with Dayton down the stretch.

With MSU trailing by two with just a minute left in play, Pickrel was fouled on her way for a layup. She made both free throws to tie the game at 74. Powers immediately stole the inbound pass which led to an easy basket by sophomore guard Cara Miller to erupt the crowd.

But Dayton guard Amber Deane was able to make her own layup, as well as draw a foul against senior guard Klarissa Bell. She pursued to make the free throw to give Dayton the one-point lead.

After making the big steal, Powers made a poor turnover which led Bell to foul Deane again, but Deane could only hit one shot from the line.

Powers quickly tied MSU up again with a 7-foot jumper.

MSU had the ball again with .8 seconds on the clock, but Powers stepped in bounds to give Dayton the ball back on its side of the court. The Flyers got one quick shot off, but it banked off the rim to force overtime.

In overtime, MSU controlled much of the play and forced Dayton into attempting a couple late 3-pointers to no avail.

The game also was plagued with 56 fouls, and both teams went to the free-throw line a combined 70 times.

With the new rules by the NCAA making it harder for defenders to make contact on the ball handler, Merchant said her emphasis on offense is to drive baseline and kick the ball out.

“I’ve watched a lot of film and I still gotta figure it out myself what’s a block and a charge,” Merchant said. “There’s definitely and emphasis for us on putting the ball on the floor and attacking the rim (offensively).”

In the first half, Dayton stayed in the game going 9-11 from the free throw line, but only shot 19 percent (6-32) from the field.

After MSU contained Dayton for much of the first half, the Flyers shot much better in the second half (22-46) to get back in the mix.

MSU reached its largest lead of 15 points with about 16 minutes left in the second half, but Dayton cut the lead to four with baskets on four of the next five possessions, including a corner 3-pointer by Flyers guard Andrea Hoover. With seven minutes left, Flyers guard Celeste Edwards hit a layup and hit the and-1 after being fouled. It was Dayton’s first lead since just two minutes into the game.

Hoover had a game-high 25 points, but fouled out with a little more than a minute left in regulation. Malott helped Dayton’s high-scoring offense with 19 points of her own and had 15 rebounds. Deane also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists.

Jankoska also had nine rebounds for MSU and finished 4-for-7 from 3-point range.

With Jankoska and Powers performing at such a high level in an intense environment already in their young careers, Pickrel said it takes pressure off of veterans, like her and Bell.

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“My freshman year I certainly would not have been able to do that,” Pickrel said. “Their composure and their fight, they just followed really well, and at points they were the leaders and they started things with their intensity and their aggression.”


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