During the last matchup, the Spartans defeated Ohio State 82-68 to snap a two-game losing streak. This weekend, MSU will aim for a similar performance.
The No. 25 women’s basketball team (16-8 overall, 8-3 Big Ten) will take on Ohio State (14-13 overall, 4-7 Big Ten) at 5:30 p.m. at Breslin Center on Saturday.
Coming off a 76-56 loss to No. 21 Nebraska last weekend, the Spartans remain in second place in the Big Ten standings. No. 11 Penn State (18-5 overall, 9-2 Big Ten) is in first place.
Junior center Madison Williams had a big night against Ohio State the last meeting, going for a career-high seven blocks and eight rebounds in 19 minutes. Her defensive presence led to a 13-0 first-half run that put the Spartans on cruise control.
It would be unreasonable to expect such a performance again, however. Williams’ minutes have fluctuated game-by-game, so there’s no telling how much of an impact she will have this time around.
The junior center has played three of four games since her career night and didn’t crack 10 minutes of playing time in any of them.
The Spartans will need big games from freshman guard Tori Jankoska and redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers, who both had huge nights against the Buckeyes during the last meeting.
Starting in place of junior guard Kiana Johnson, who did not travel with the team to the first Ohio State game because of personal matters, Jankoska matched her career-high with 25 points and hit five of seven 3-point attempts.
Powers scored 20 points with four rebounds, four steals, four assists and two blocks.
Johnson remains suspended indefinitely.
The Spartans are 6-0 this season when Jankoska scores 19 points or more.
Beyond the freshmen, the Spartans will need contributions across the board — only Powers managed to reach double figures against the Huskers last week.
Senior forward Annalise Pickrel and senior guard Klarissa Bell will be responsible for setting the tone on offense and defense.
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