Michigan State falls to Arizona St, 73-61, in NCAA Tournament
 
 
 
 
March 17, 2017

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Tori Jankoska led the way with 26 points, but in the end it would not be enough as ninth-seeded Michigan State fell to No. 8 Arizona State by a final score of 73-61 on Friday night.

MSU vs. ASU Boxscore Open PDF

Quinn Dornstauder scored 16 points hitting all six of her baskets from the field and all four of her free throws to lead the Sun Devils.

Dornstauder's teammates helped out too, shooting 59 percent from the field in the first half to lead by 22 at the break.

''It was just a good day. We all shot very well. And we had a good offensive start,'' Dornstauder said.

Arizona State's also had its stingy defense. Without a 26-point fourth quarter, it would have been the lowest point total of the season for Michigan State (21-12).

Jankoska, the nation's 10th leading scorer at 22.5 points a game, scored 15 of her 26 points in the fourth quarter. She only attempted three shots in the first half.

''Everywhere I went there were two people on me,'' Jankoska said.

Michigan State led for the first few minutes, but Kiara Russell, who came into the game shooting 20 percent behind the arc, hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 6. The Sun Devils went on a 16-2 run over the next six minutes to take a 22-8 lead. They would lead by double digits the rest of the game.

Friday's game was the first time this season Thorne has had all her players healthy enough to play. The Sun Devils were 9-9 in the Pac 12 in 2017, a season after sharing just the second regular season title in Thorne's 20 seasons at Arizona State.

''This is what has been coming with this team all year long - just relaxing and playing to their aptitude,'' Thorne said.

Sabrina Haines scored 15 points and Reili Richardson added 13 for the Sun Devils.

JANKOSKA'S FAREWELL

Jankoska leaves Michigan State with 2,212 points, the most in school history. She also leaves with Spartans coach Suzy Merchant's undying gratitude.

''She's a top 10 draft pick. There's not a doubt,'' Michigan State's coach said of the 5-foot-8 all-Big Ten guard, who also leads the team in rebounding. ''She might not pass the eye test - whatever. But she's a winner.''

Jankoska worked hard to hold back tears after the game. ''Playing at Michigan State has been a dream come true for me,'' she said.

GAME PLANNED THWARTED

Merchant copied the plan Pac 12 teams have used all season against the Sun Devils - collapse on the inside and dare Arizona State to shoot jumpers.

''Everybody in their league plays that way. And against us, they hit the shots,'' Merchant said.

The Sun Devils came in shooting 30 percent on 3-pointers, but made 44 percent of their shots behind the arc Friday. They were 5-for-9 on 3-pointers in the first half.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan State: The Spartans hadn't lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament since 2012 - the only other time they exited without a win in Merchant's 10 years at the school. Michigan State started the game holding teams to making just 29.4 percent of their 3-pointers. The Sun Devils were 44 percent from behind the arc on Friday and only Wyoming and Maryland twice have shot better on 3s.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils shot 49 percent from the field. They averaged 41.7 percent coming into the game. Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne won her 400th game Friday at the school. She also won 40 games at Northern Arizona before coming to the Sun Devils in 1996.

UP NEXT

Arizona State plays top-seeded South Carolina in the second round on Sunday, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16 in Stockton, California. The two teams played at the start of last season in Hawaii, with the Gamecocks winning 60-58 in overtime.

Postgame Notes - NCAA Tournament First Round - Michigan State vs. Arizona State

  • Senior guard Tori Jankoska netted double-figures in every game of her senior campaign. Her double-digit streak stretches all the way back to the 2015-16 season where she had a 34-game stretch of 10 or more points. She scored 26 points in tonight's game.
  • Jankoska led the Spartans for the 29th time this season in points, netting 26 tonight. She also marked her 21st game of the season scoring 20 or more points. 
  • Jankoska's 26 points was the most points she has scored in the NCAA Tournament. Her previous best was 17 against Mississippi State (3/20/16). Jankoska's 26 points put her tied for fourth all-time on the Michigan State NCAA Tournament individual single game records. She tied Aerial Powers who netted 26 in 2014 against Hampton. 
  • Redshirt-freshman forward Victoria Gaines scored five points in her first NCAA Tournament game of her career, at the half she was leading the team in points. 
  • Freshman guard Taryn McCutcheon concluded her freshman campaign with the freshman assists record tallying 169, adding two in her final freshman game against ASU. She also finished third in the freshman record books with 47 made three-point field goals this season, her three-point field goal percentage was also tabbed as third in the freshman books at 37-percent. 
  • Junior guard Lexi Gussert played in her third NCAA Tournament game and netted her first basket in the tournament. She scored three points shooting a perfect 1-for-1. 
  • The Spartans have had six different starting lineups in the 33 games this season. Senior Tori Jankoska, graduate student Taya Reimer along with freshman Taryn McCutcheon have started all 33 games. Redshirt senior guard Branndais Agee has started 28 games this season. Redshirt freshman Victoria Gaines has started 21 games, while junior Lexi Gussert has started three games. Sophomore Jenna Allen has started a trio of games this season. Sophomore Hana Vesela has started two games, while freshman Nia Hollie has started six contests. The Spartans have had the same starting lineup the last 19 games.
  • Jankoska recorded eight rebounds in tonight's game, those eight rebounds were the most boards she had brought down in an NCAA Tournament game.