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No. 21 women's basketball team beats Minnesota by 14 at home

February 24, 2014
	<p>Junior center Madison Williams, left, and redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers cheer after a Spartan point Feb. 24, 2014, during the game against Minnesota at Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Gophers, 75-61. Julia Nagy/The State News</p>

Junior center Madison Williams, left, and redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers cheer after a Spartan point Feb. 24, 2014, during the game against Minnesota at Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Gophers, 75-61. Julia Nagy/The State News

Photo by Julia Nagy | The State News

Behind a strong offensive performance from freshman guard Tori Jankoska’s, the No. 21 women’s basketball team defeated Minnesota at Breslin Center, 75-61.

Jankoska had a team-high 21 points and hit four 3-pointers. Junior forward Becca Mils had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and senior guard Klarissa Bell had nine points, 10 assists and three blocks.

Minnesota junior guard Rachel Banham led all scorers with 31 points but needed 30 shots. Redshirt freshman center Amanda Zahui B., one of the top freshman in the conference, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.

It was a back-and-forth affair early, but redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers sunk a spot-up 3-pointer to give the Spartans an 11-7 lead. Jankoska’s 3-pointer minutes later made it a 16-7 lead.

Redshirt freshman guard Branndais Agee checked in with under 12 minutes left and scored near the basket to increase the lead to 20-11. Bell found junior center Jasmine Hines on the next play, who spun to the rim and put the lead into double figures.

Jankoska rattled in another 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 14, 25-11.

Redshirt junior center Madison Williams delivered a highlight play not long after checking in, stuffing Minnesota senior forward Micaella Riche’ under the rim. Sari Noga kept the possession alive by making a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but Jankoska hit her third 3-pointer on the next offensive trip.

Jankoska missed out on a 3-point play opportunity after she was fouled on a circus layup, but Williams grabbed the rebound and flicked it up for an additional two points.

The Spartans shot 58.1 percent in the first half and 63.6 percent from downtown.

The Spartans continued to roll in the second half. Hines got rolling on both ends of the court, producing easy buckets and continuing the defensive job on Zahui B.

Bells’ fastbreak layup with 15:03 remaining gave MSU a 54-37 lead.

Powers fouled out with under 10 minutes remaining after a questionable call that elicited boos from the crowd. She argued the call and was hit with a technical. By that point, the Spartans still had a double-digit lead.

Minnesota cut the lead to 11, 62-51, after a 7-0 run that happened during Powers technical foul.

Jankoska made a layup with 6:01 on the clock to snap the run, but Zahui B. scored on the next possession. Noga’s jumper with 3:54 trimmed the lead to nine.

Bell hit a clutch 3-pointer with 3:28 on the clock to put the lead back at double digits 67-55. Mills then made a layup with 2:31 to play, giving MSU a 14-point lead and sealing the win.

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