In their fourth game in seven days, the No. 21 MSU women's basketball team took a trip to Western Michigan to play Friday night. In a close game against the Mustangs, senior guards Tori Jankoska and Branndais Agee helped the team inch out Western Michigan in overtime by a final score of 68-64
The Spartans had seven turnovers in the first quarter. Agee and freshman forward Madrekia Cook had two turnovers while Jankoska, graduate forward Taya Reimer and sophomore center Jenna Allen had one to add to the total. Western shot 33 percent from the three, while MSU was 0-for-4 from behind the arc.
In the second quarter, MSU scored 14 points, while holding the Mustangs to five points, erasing the Bronco lead. Western was 2-of-18 from the field goal and made only 25 percent of their free throws. The Spartans, in contrast, were 8-of-13 from the free throw line.
MSU improved in the rebound department at the end of the first half. In the first quarter, the team had 13 total rebounds, with 5 offensive and 8 defensive rebounds. In the second quarter, The Spartans had 12 defensive boards to contribute to the total of 16. Agee tied for the team-high with 8 defensive rebounds with Allen.
WMU scored 21 points in the third quarter to MSU’s 16 points,giving the Broncos a two point advantage leading into the fourth quarter, 44-42. WMU shot 75 percent from the three-point line compared to MSU’s 25 percent. In the last half of the game Meredith Shipman lead her team to outscore the Spartans, by scoring 11 points, three rebounds, and 4 assists.
However, through even efforts to try and close out the game in four quarters, it wasn’t enough. The game was pushed into overtime with the score being tied at 60. Fouls played a factor in the overtime period, MSU made 5-of-5 free throws and Western’s Shipman fouled out in the last 40 seconds of the game. Freshman point guard Taryn McCutcheon helped MSU to seal the deal with a three-pointer, which was an aspect missing from the team all night.
It was Allen’s first time playing since the first exhibition game against Northwood University when she collided with another player and chipped her tooth. Allen scored 13 points which tied as the second leading scorer of the night, behind Jankoska with 17 points. Allen also had 11 rebounds which contributed to her double-double for the night.
The No. 21 Spartans will get four days worth of rest before they face Oregon on Tuesday in Eugene, Ore.