Saturday, December 4, 2021

Women's basketball up on Illinois at halftime by 3

January 23, 2014
	<p>Junior forward Becca Mills guards Illinois forward Nia Oden on Jan. 23, 2014, at Breslin Center. The Spartans were defeated, 61-51. Betsy Agosta/The State News</p>

Junior forward Becca Mills guards Illinois forward Nia Oden on Jan. 23, 2014, at Breslin Center. The Spartans were defeated, 61-51. Betsy Agosta/The State News

Photo by Betsy Agosta | The State News

The women’s basketball team leads Illinois 28-25 at halftime.

Mills was the primary source of offense for the Spartans early, scoring MSU’s first seven points. The junior forwards leads all scorers with 14 first half points. Freshman guard Tori Jankoska has seven points.

Illinois, a team known for creating turnovers, had success in that category in the first half. MSU turned the ball over eight times but took better care of it during the latter half of the first.

As the shot clocked expired with 10:42 on the clock, Detroit native Amber Moore drained a 3 to give Illinois its first lead of the game, 14-13. She leads the Fighting Irish with eight points.

MSU retook the lead with under seven minutes to go. Mills responded to a 3-pointer by Illinois junior forward Nia Oden with a 3-point play, and senior guard Klarissa Bell laid it in on a transition opportunity to go up 20-19. For good measure, junior guard Kiana Johnson took a charge on Moore on the following possession.

The Spartans rolled from there. Senior forward Annalise Pickrel denied an entry pass by Smith and finished a fastbreak pass from Johnson to further increase the lead.

With four minutes left, Johnson stripped the ball from Oden as she attempted a layup, and Jankoska finished an athletic up-and-under scoop on the other end to make the score 24-19 and cap off a 9-0 run.

Jankoska blocked a 3-point attempt from Smith and finished a layup in transition with 30 seconds remaining.

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