Dec. 5, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A late comeback by the No. 25 Michigan State women's basketball team fell just short on Wednesday night, as Florida State knocked off the Spartans 60-58 at the Tucker Center. MSU, who falls to 5-3 on the season, was led by 20 points from senior Annalise Pickrel, and 19 points and 10 rebounds from redshirt freshman Aerial Powers in the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup.
Florida State, who is receiving votes in both national polls, improves to 7-1.
The game was scoreless for the initial 3:05 before the Seminoles took an early 4-0 lead. Michigan State would hold FSU without a field goal for the next 8:20, but a 3-pointer from Morgan Jones gave the Seminoles a 12-11 lead with 7:41 to go in the first. The Spartans followed with an 8-1 run to regain the lead and held a 25-21 advantage heading to the intermission.
The Spartans held FSU to 17.2% (5-for-29) shooting in the first half, including 1-for-6 from behind the arc, but remained close by making 10-of-14 free throws.
Pickrel scored on MSU's first possession of the second half to expand its lead to six, but Florida State scored 10 unanswered points over the next three minutes to go ahead 31-27 with 16:28 to go. The Spartans would claw back, regaining a three-point advantage (43-40) with 10 minutes left. The Seminoles responded with an extended run of their own to open their largest lead of the night at seven(56-49) with under three minutes remaining.
On back-to-back possessions, Pickrel knocked down 3-pointers to close the gap to one with 1:49 on the clock. However, the Spartans could not get any closer, missing a couple open looks with a chance to tie or take the lead in the final minute.
The Spartans out-rebounded the Seminoles, 46-36, despite FSU entering the night with a +10.0 rebound margin for the season. However, FSU took 23 more free throws than MSU, making 14 more.
Michigan State played tonight without starting point guard, junior Kiana Johnson, who sat out in an infection.
MSU remains on the road on Saturday, traveling to Blacksburg, Va., to face Virginia Tech at 2 p.m.
- Aerial Powers had her second-straight double-double. She is the first Spartan since Courtney Schiffauer on Dec. 8 and 16 last season to record back-to-back double-doubles, and the first MSU freshman to do so since Lykendra Johnson on Feb. 8 and 12 in 2009.
- Pickrel led MSU in scoring for the first time this season, becoming the fifth different Spartan to do so in the first eight games.
- Pickrel went 8-for-14 from the field (a career high in field goals made), including 4-for-8 from behind the arc (a season-high), en route to her team-high 20 points. She also added nine rebounds and two blocks.
- Pickrel is 7-for-11 (63.6%) from 3-point range over her last two games.
- Freshman Tori Jankoska made her first career start.
- Junior center Jasmine Hines made her season debut today after missing the first seven games with a concussion.
- MSU has five double-doubles on the season so far. All of last year, the Spartans only had four.
- With her two blocks, Pickrel moved into a tie for 14th all-time at MSU with 52 in her career.
- MSU falls to 4-3 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.