A spirited comeback effort spearheaded by freshman guard Tori Jankoska couldn’t help the Spartans overcome IPFW’s hot outside shooting.
The Mastadons knocked down 13-of-23 3-point attempts and shot 53.7 percent overall to help defeat the No. 21 women’s basketball team, 81-76, at Breslin Center.
Redshirt freshman forward Aerial Powers had 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting and 14 rebounds, six which came on the offensive end. Jankoska finished with 13 points, five rebounds and two steals, scoring six of her points in the final six minutes. Junior guard Kiana Johnson had six points and 11 assists.
Five Mastadons finished in double-figures. Amanda Hyde led IPFW with 23 points and seven assists. Ariana Simmons had 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Rachel Mauk had 14 points and six assists.
Mauk started the second half with a three, but MSU took the lead with a 13-0 run soon after. Senior forward Annalise Pickrel knocked down a long ball, and Powers made a layup to cut the lead to three. Mills made good on a jumper, and Powers hit another layup to give MSU a 44-43 lead.
IPFW took control soon after, leading 57-53 going into a media timeout. Another 10-second violation gave the Spartans the ball with a little over 11 minutes on the clock, but redshirt freshman guard Brandais Agee couldn’t convert on two layup attempts under the rim.
The Mastadons continued to toll. Mauk hit a layup, and Haley Seibert lined up for a corner 3-pointer to give IPFW a 62-53 lead with 8:43 left in the game. Simmons drained a three two possessions later, pushing it to 65-53 with under seven minutes left.
Jankoska finally snapped the 12-0 run with a midrange J with 7-and-a-half minutes left. Bell drained a three — her first made basket of the game — to cut the lead to 65-58 with 6:26 on the clock.
The Spartans continued the late game run, stealing another ball in transition which led to Jankoska making a fast break layup. A media timeout was called with 4:23 on the clock and the Spartans trailing by 5, 70-65.
Out of the timeout, Jankoska stole the ball from Mauk, leading to a 30-second timeout with 4:11 left in the game.
Hyde hit a tough falling layup to extend the lead to seven with under four minutes left, and Pickrel was called for a foul on the other end. But after a turnover, Jankoska found Pickrel under the rim, cutting it back to five with under three minutes left.
Seibert hit two free throws with just over a minute left to push the lead to seven, 76-69. MSU managed to cut the score to three with three seconds left, 79-76, but Hyde iced the game with two free throws to send IPFW home with a win, 81-76.
MSU trailed 40-35 at halftime, allowing IPFW to shoot 53.6% overall and nail 7-of-13 3-pointers.
Kiana Johnson drained her only shot attempt of the first half, a 3-pointer, to cap off a 10-0 run, giving MSU a 22-15 lead.
IPFW then went on a 9-2 run. Seibert drained a three, Hyde added two more, and suddenly the score was tied, 24-24. The Mastadons scored seven more to take a 31-24 lead on a 16-2 run.
Jankoska nailed a three to cut the lead to five, and Pickrel scored near the rim to trim it to three, 35-32. IPWF responded with a free throw and midrange jumper to add cushion to the lead.
Powers continued her strong first half. She was fouled on a layup and converted the and-1 to trim the lead back to two. IPFW hit another jumper, and the Mastadons entered halftime with a 40-35 lead.
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