Feb. 05, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Becca Mills and Tori Jankoska each scored 22 points to lead No. 24 Michigan State in a 69-53 victory over Illinois on Wednesday night.
Michigan State (16-7, 8-2 Big Ten) racked up 41 points in the first half and jumped out to a 17-point lead at the break. Midway through the second half both teams went without a basket and combined to miss 10 shots over three minutes, after which the Spartans took their largest lead of the game at 23 points.
The Spartans shot 53.3 percent from the floor and held Illinois (9-14, 2-8) to 17-of-55 shooting from the field and 17.6 percent from 3-point range.
Ivory Crawford scored 20 points and went 9 of 10 from the line for the Fighting Illini. Illinois kept up with the Spartans in the second half, even outscoring them 29-28, but it wasn't enough to close the first-half deficit.
- Michigan State's 8-2 start in the Big Ten ties its best in program history. The 1996-97, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2010-11 teams also began 8-2.
- It is the first time in program history that the Spartans won their first five Big Ten road games. In all, only 19 Big Ten teams have accomplished this feat. In those first five conference games, MSU has a margin of victory of 15.6.
- MSU held Illinois without the field goal for the final 7:10 of the first half, closing on a 17-3 run.
- Under Coach Merchant, the Spartans are now 117-11 when holding their opponent to 60 or fewer points.
- Tonight was Jankoska's fourth 20-point game this season, tying her for the fourth most by a Spartan freshman.
- With 289 points this season, Jankoska now has the 10th most points by a Spartan freshman.
- MSU is 6-0 this season when Jankoska leads in scoring.
- Jankoska tied her season high with eight field goals made.
- Mills set a career-high in points (22) and free throws made (8-for-8).
- Michigan State shot 69.6% in the first half, its best percentage in any half this season.
- For the game, the Spartans shot 53.3%, their second-best percentage this season.
- The Spartans held Illinois to 30.9%, the second lowest by a Big Ten opponent this season.
- MSU had a +17 rebound margin (39-22). It was the second-fewest rebounds allowed by MSU this season and the fewest by a Big Ten opponent.
- It was the Spartans' fifth-straight win in Champaign.
- With her one 3-pointer, Annalise Pickrel is now tied for seventh on the MSU career list with 123.
- Cara Miller played 13 minutes, her most since Dec. 7 at Virginia Tech.
- MSU held Illinois' leading scorer Amber Moore (15.5) to a season-low five points.
- It was MSU's eighth-straight win on Feb. 5, having not lost since 1993.