Spartans Clipped By Cornhuskers, 76-74 In OT, Sunday
Jankoska nets seven 3-pointers on way to 29 points in MSU regular-season finale.
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Michigan State women's basketball lost a hard-fought battle at Nebraska, 76-74, in overtime Sunday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena in the regular-season finale.
Boxscore vs. Nebraska
With the loss, MSU ends regular-season play with a 19-10 overall and 9-7 Big Ten record. Nebraska improves to 7-21 overall and 3-13 in league play.
Senior guard Tori Jankoska netted 29 points and snared a team-high eight rebounds for the Spartans, while sophomore forward Jenna Allen tied a season-high with 13 points off the bench. Redshirt-senior Branndais Agee added nine points and six rebounds, while graduate student Taya Reimer tallied eight points and seven boards.
Nebraska was led by Jessica Shepard's double-double with 32 points and 11 rebounds, while Hannah Whitish netted 24 points, including hitting a pair of big 3-pointers in overtime.
MSU shot 26-of-68 (38.2 percent) from the field, making 12-of-27 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range. The Spartans were 10-of-13 at the charity stripe.
Nebraska had a 40.9 field goal percentage (27-of-66), making 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) behind the arc. The Cornhuskers were 15-of-30 (50.0 percent) at the free throw line.
Michigan State and Nebraska went back-and-forth in the opening minutes, with the Cornhuskers taking a 10-8 lead at 5:22. That would be the home team's last lead of the half as MSU ended the first quarter on a 14-0 run and took a 22-10 lead after the opening stanza. Reimer had six points in the opening 10 minutes.
The Spartans' lead swelled to 25-11 at 8:18 on a 3-pointer by freshman guard Taryn McCutcheon, before Nebraska cut the gap to seven on two occasions, but MSU held the home team at bay and led, 34-25, at intermission.
In the third quarter, the Spartans twice had leads of 12 points, the last at 6:49 at 41-29 after a bucket by Agee. Nebraska cut the margin down to 46-40 at 1:25 on a Havers basket, but MSU again kept the home team at bay and the visitors had a 49-42 lead after three quarters.
The Cornhuskers clawed away at the Spartans' lead and took their first lead of the second half at 63-62 with 47 seconds left on a layup by Havers. Shepard netted two free throws with 27 ticks to go for a 65-62 lead. However, that was a short-lived lead as Jankoska netted a high-arching 3-pointer from deep on the left wing that kissed off the glass and through the net with 20.3 seconds to go to tie the score at 65-65. Shepard got a shot off with five seconds left but it was off the mark, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra period, Whitish sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around a Jankoska trey and Nebraska had a 71-67 lead with 3:27 to go. MSU got within, 75-74, with 19 seconds to go on two Jankoska free throws. Whitish made 1-of-2 charity stripe shots for a 76-74 advantage. MSU ran its offense, but missed a layup with five seconds left and Shepard corralled the rebound in a scrum and was fouled. However, she missed both free throws, and the Spartans collected the rebound, but Jankoska's three-quarter court launch bounced off the rim at the buzzer, ending the game.
Senior guard Tori Jankoska's team-high 29 points was her 18th 20-point game this season as part of her 42nd of her career.
Jankoska's 29 points Sunday gives her 653 points this season, continuing to close the gap on the MSU single-season scoring list. Former teammate Aerial Powers holds the top two spots, No. 2 with 678 points from 2014-15 and 697 from 2015-16.
Jankoska padded her MSU career scoring record, now with 2,119 points.
With seven 3-pointers, Jankoska was one shy of her career-high, but it was her 10th game this season with five or more 3-pointers, including five of the last six contests.
The seven 3-pointers gives Jankoska 305 for her career, also continuing to pad her school record and is the first Spartan player with over 300 treys. Jankoska now has 107 triples this season, also building on her top mark in the program record books.
Sophomore forward Jenna Allen tied her season-high with 13 points, marking the third time this season that she has tallied a baker's dozen. but first time in Big Ten play as part of her second double-digit outing in league action and sixth of the season.
Freshman guard Taryn McCutcheon dished out six assists Sunday, giving her 152 this season, adding to her freshman record for helpers and also moving up to No. 4 on the MSU single-season assists list, passing Deb Traxinger with 148 dimes in 1979-80. Jankoska distributed three assists Sunday, giving her 148 and tying Traxinger for the No. 5 spot.
Sunday was MSU's second OT game this season, leveling its mark at 1-1 after winning at Western Michigan, 68-64, on Nov. 18.