Monday, November 29, 2021

Women's basketball facing Big Ten tourney rematch against U-M

March 7, 2014

Turns out, MSU will get that second game against Michigan after all.After only meeting once during the regular season, the No. 2-seeded women's basketball team will face No. 7-seeded Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal at Banker's Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN.

MSU won the lone regular season meeting against Michigan on Jan. 12, 79-72. Michigan defeated No. 10-seed Indiana in round one on Thursday , 82-57.

After an up-and-down regular season ended in a Big Ten title on Sunday , the Spartans are confident that the team is hitting its stride at the right time. The freshmen guard duo of Aerial Powers and Tori Jankoska will be key, as they are a huge reason why the Spartans finished with a 13-3 conference record. "It's just crazy that we're here," Jankoska said on Sunday . "We started the season not playing together and not doing very well. I think we all knew that we were going to come together and when we did it it was going to be something special."

The 'win or go home' format of the tournament is certainly a grind, but not one that senior guard Klarissa Bell is unfamiliar with. "It's a physical battle all the way through the weekend and then it's a mental battle, just making sure we're all prepared for the scout and prepared for the offensive system," Bell said.

The Spartans came close to a Big Ten championship last season, advancing to the final round before falling to Purdue, 64-47.

This year, the Spartans see themselves as a more experienced, potent team. "It's hard to get there, it's really hard to get to the championship in the Big Ten," senior forward Annalise Pickrel said. "I think what we have now is we have that mental edge now, that a lot of teams lose at the end of the season because they're so exhausted. We have to learn how to overcome that. I think we'll come pretty far in the Big Ten tournament."

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