Michigan State beats No. 20 Michigan before record crowd
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Tori Jankoska made five 3-pointers in setting a single-season school record and scored 28 points in leading Michigan State over No. 20 Michigan 86-68 on Sunday before a record sellout crowd of 12,707 who watched the in-state rivals in their only meeting this season.
Jankoska’s five 3-pointers gave her 297 in her career, breaking the mark of 294 set by Lindsay Bowen (2002-06).
”When she’s making shots you know good things are going to happen to your team, for sure,” Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant said.
Branndais Agee and Taya Reimer added 15 points each for the Spartans (18-9, 8-6 Big Ten), who handed the Wolverines (21-7, 10-4) their only loss in 14 games at Crisler Center this season on a day the previous attendance record of 5,991 was more than doubled.
Hallie Thome scored 21 points with a game-high eight rebounds for the Wolverines, who lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. Kysre Gondrezick added 19 points and Nicole Munger 12.
Jankoska was tasked with defending Michigan’s leading scorer, Katelynn Flaherty (20.3), who finished with just four points on 2-of-12 shooting.
”We need Tori to score but sometimes she is a little underrated in other areas: the ability to be a playmaker, ability to get rebounds, ability to defend,” Merchant said. ”She is always guarding one of the better swing guys we go against and no one’s better than Flaherty. I thought (Jankoska) did a really good job…”
Michigan State trailed 43-42 at halftime but a 16-0 run, with seven points from Jankoska, gave the Spartans the lead for good midway through the third quarter. Leading by eight, the Spartans closed the final 5 1/2 minutes on a 14-4 run.
The Spartans shot 58 percent and made half of their 20 3-point attempts while the Wolverines were 3 of 17 from the arc.
Jankoska, a senior and the program’s only 2,000-point career scorer, goes home for Senior Night against Penn State on Wednesday. It will be particularly bittersweet for Merchant.
”This one’s a tougher one,” Merchant said. ”Tori, she’s got the heart of a champion. … I don’t know if it goes back to how she came into this world, with some heart issues when she was a baby, having to be that fighter. I’ve just never seen anyone that maybe doesn’t have the athleticism and the skills of everybody else just find a way to will herself to be the best she can be.”
The Spartans will certainly be welcomed at home. Michigan State has finished in the top 15 nationally in attendance for 12 straight seasons, so Wolverines coach Kim Barnes Arico was understandably pleased with the turnout Sunday.
”It wasn’t the outcome we wanted … but my first year here we had a great crowd which was mostly green, which was horrible, so today it was mostly maize and blue and it was unbelievable,” Barnes Arico said. ”So thanks to the crowd.”