Monday, November 29, 2021

Spartan women's basketball set to take on Minnesota

February 23, 2014
	<p>Redshirt freshman Aerial Powers goes up for the basket past Ohio State guard Ameryst Alston on Feb. 15, 2014, at Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes, 70-49. Erin Hampton/The State News</p>

Redshirt freshman Aerial Powers goes up for the basket past Ohio State guard Ameryst Alston on Feb. 15, 2014, at Breslin Center. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes, 70-49. Erin Hampton/The State News

Photo by Erin Hampton | The State News

On Monday, Breslin Center will feature a Big Ten freshman showdown.

Redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers and freshman guard Tori Jankoska will face off against another young star in the conference, Minnesota redshirt freshman Amanda Zahui B., when the No. 23 women’s basketball team (18-8, 10-3 Big Ten) takes on Minnesota at 7 p.m.

Powers and Jankoska both have had stellar rookie campaigns for MSU. But Zahui B. arguably has been the best freshman in the Big Ten this season.

The 6-foot-5 Swedish center is third amongst conference freshmen in scoring (15 points per game), and first in field goal percentage (54.6 percent) and blocks (2.9). Her 10.8 rebounds per game lead the conference.

Zahui B., the reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week, has earned the honor six times this season. The second-leading Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolade-getter is Powers, who has earned it four times.

Powers is fourth amongst freshmen in scoring (13.5), third in rebounding (7.8), third in field goal percentage (49.8) and third in steals (1.8).

Powers also leads the Spartans in each of those categories except field goal percentage, where she ranks third on the team.

Jankoska is no slouch herself, as she is third on the team in scoring (12.3), third in 3-point accuracy (37.1 percent), and second in steals (1.3) and free-throw percentage (79.1).

Zahui B. had 21 points and seven rebounds in the Big Ten opener against MSU on Jan. 4, but it was the Spartans that exited Williams Arena with a 81-56 win.

The 25-point margin of victory is MSU’s highest this season in conference play.

The Spartans likely will be without junior guard Kiana Johnson once again, who is suspended indefinitely and has missed the past four games.

Just three games remain for the women’s basketball team in the regular season, who are tied with No. 17 Nebraska for second place a game and a half behind No. 9 Penn State.

Nebraska will face Penn State on Monday at 6 p.m., a game that will have major implications on the title race.

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