MSU women's basketball wins second straight over the Golden Gophers
MSU women’s basketball, 15-7, 5-4 Big Ten, played University of Minnesota, 11-11, 2-7 Big Ten, on the road. The Spartans started off strong in the first quarter, but at the end of the first half Minnesota tied things up. Under interim head coach Amaka Agugua the Spartans clinched their second straight win in a row. MSU pulled away in the second half to beat the Golden Gophers, 93-74.
Early on the Gophers went on a 4-0 run that the Spartans easily came back from. Senior guard Tori Jankoska scored 12 points in the first quarter to aid her team in outscoring the Gophers in the first quarter, 21-14. In the next quarter, Minnesota’s redshirt-sophomore guard Kenisha Bell put the team on her back to help break the deficit. Bell matched Jankoska’s earlier 12 points, with two assists and one steal. Junior guard Carlie Wagner tied up the game, 40-40, with her successful jump shot with nine seconds left in the half.
In the second half, redshirt-freshman forward Victoria Gaines scored the first two points for MSU. A 3-pointer from Minnesota senior forward Whitney Tinjum brought the Gophers back into the lead, 43-42. The score was back-and-forth in the third until MSU went on a 5-0 run, bringing the score to 59-51. With accurate free-throw shooting, 2-for-3, from Jankoska, the Spartans ended the quarter with a 13-point lead, 68-55. In the fourth MSU missed plenty of shots, but rebounds from forward Kennedy Johnson and Jankoska kept the balls in play for another opportunity to score. MSU grew its lead to 19 points to end the game.
The Spartans seem to still be dealing with a turnover problem. The Gophers had a total of 14 turnovers compared to the 16 MSU collected. Jankoska had five turnovers by the time the night was over. Freshman forward Nia Hollie, however, had four turnovers while forward Lexi Gussert and guard Branndais Agee both had two.
Jankoska finished the night with 20 points, 8-for-23 and only 2-for-10 from 3-point land. She gained another career double-double with her 14 rebounds, while also having seven assists and two steals.
Freshman guard Taryn McCutcheon was the second leading scorer of the night with 15 points, 2-for-2 beyond the 3-point line. She was near perfect on the free-throw line being 7-for-8. McCutcheon also had one rebound, two steals and one turnover.
Seniors Taya Reimer and Agee both scored 11 points for the Spartans. Agee was 4-for-4 on the free-throw line, had six rebounds, two assists and one steal. Reimer had the second-most rebounds of the night with eight. She had one assist and was 5-for-8 throughout the night.
MSU women’s basketball will be back in the Breslin on Feb. 2 to play against the Indiana University. These past two games are the only two games the Spartans have won under Agugua. Big Ten conference play is now more than halfway over with only seven more games to play before the conference and NCAA Tournament.