Spartan Women Close Out the Regular Season at Nebraska Sunday
Michigan State going for season sweep with Nebraska, seeking first-ever win in Lincoln
|Michigan State (19-9, 9-6 B1G) at Nebraska (6-21, 2-13 B1G)|
|Date||Sunday, Feb. 26|
|Time||2 p.m. ET|
|Location||Lincoln, Neb. | Pinnacle Bank Arena|
|Tickets||Click To Purchase|
|Radio||Spartan Sports Network | WJIM-AM 1240|
|Game Notes||Michigan State | Nebraska|
|Statistics||Michigan State | Nebraska|
|Internet Coverage||Live Stats|
|Social Media||@MSU_WBasketball | Facebook | Instagram|
- Michigan State concludes the regular season with its second game of the season with the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. (ET). The Spartans have won three-straight games and improve to 19-9 overall and 9-6 in Big Ten action. MSU defeated Nebraska 93-73 earlier this season and looks to sweep the season series.
- Senior guard Tori Jankoska became the first Spartan and the 21st B1G women's basketball player to join the 2,000-point scoring club. She now has 2,090 career points. This season, Jankoska has scored 624 points becoming just the second Spartan to score 600 points in a season.
- Freshman guard Taryn McCutcheon became the MSU freshman assists record holder, breaking the previous mark of 143 by Vnemina Reese in 1999-2000. With five helpers Wednesday, McCutcheon now has 146 assists, moving up to fifth on the overall MSU single-season assists list. With three assists Wednesday, Jankoska now has 145 helpers, one spot behind McCutcheon as No. 6 on the single-season assists list.
- Tori Jankoska became the third Spartan in MSU women's basketball history to achieve a triple-double with 24 points, which was the most points scored in a Spartan triple-double, adding 10 assists and 10 rebounds against Minnesota on Feb. 16. Spartan-great Kristin Haynie had the last triple-double against Vanderbilt on March 27, 2005 with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Kim Archer had the first triple-double in school history against Northwestern on March 8, 1984 with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
- Michigan State's 19-point comeback was the largest under head coach Suzy Merchant, topping a 16-point comeback done three times under Merchant, most recently in the 2014-15 season on Dec. 4, 2014 vs. Georgia Tech, and also rallied from down 16 points at Florida State on Dec. 1, 2010 and to Iowa on Jan. 10, 2008.
FINALLY... TRIPLE-DOUBLE TIME
Tori Jankoska had come close to having the third triple-double in school history multiple times. She finally became the third Spartan in MSU women's basketball history to achieve a triple-double with 24 points, which was the most points scored in a Spartan triple-double, adding 10 assists and 10 rebounds against Minnesota on Feb. 16. Spartan-great Kristin Haynie had the last triple-double against Vanderbilt on March 27, 2005 with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Kim Archer had the first triple-double in school history against Northwestern on March 8, 1984 with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Jankoska Triple-Double Near Misses
Nov. 30 at Syracuse 21 pts., 9 rebs., 7 ast.
Dec. 2 vs Oakland 37 pts., 10 rebs., 7 ast.
Dec. 6 vs Quinnipiac 18 pts., 14 rebs., 7 ast.
Jan. 1 vs Illinois 17 pts., 10 rebs., 7 ast.
Jan. 7 vs Nebraska 27 pts., 8 rebs., 7 ast.
Feb. 2 vs Indiana 15 pts., 13 rebs., 7 ast.
Nebraska brings an overall ledger of 6-21 and 2-13 in the Big Ten into Sunday's regular-season finale. The Cornhuskers are in 14th place in the league standings. In its last two outings, Nebraska knocked off Indiana, 67-64, on Feb. 19, which snapped an eight-game losing streak, before losing at Michigan, 88-60, on Feb. 23.
Four Cornhuskers scored in double-figures in the loss at Michigan, paced by Jessica Shepard and Allie Havers with 12 points apiece. Hannah Whitich added 11 points, which was matched by Maddie Simon off the bench. Shepard posted a double-double with 11 rebounds, adding five assists. UN shot 43.1 percent from the field, but committed 22 turnovers in the loss.
Shepard is the lone Cornhusker in double-figures, averaging 18.1 points per game, which ranks 10th among the Big Ten scoring leaders. She is also fourth in the B1G in rebounding at 9.7 rpg, snaring 7.2 per game on the defensive end to rank second in the league in defensive rebounds.
Whitich is second on the team in scoring with 8.1 ppg and leads UN in assists with 2.6 pg. Nicea Ellely adds 2.4 helpers per game and tops the team in steals with 1.6 pg.
Nebraska nets 62.0 points per game to rank 12th in the Big Ten, while ranking 14th in scoring defense at 76.3 ppg, to also rank 14th in scoring margin at -14.3.
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD
Sunday is the second meeting this season between the Spartans and Cornhuskers, with MSU winning, 93-73, on Jan. 7 in East Lansing, boosted by four players in double-figures, led by Tori Jankoska's game-high 27 points. That win snapped a four-game losing streak to UN, who leads the all-time series, 5-3. MSU is 3-1 at East Lansing, but in search of its first win in Lincoln, sitting at 0-3, as well as 0-1 on a neutral court.
LAST TIME VS. NEBRASKA
Senior guard Tori Jankoska scored 27 points, inching closer and closer to the Michigan State all-time scoring record, as the Spartan women's basketball team handled Nebraska, 93-73, on Jan. 7 at the Breslin Center.
Jankoska helped the Spartans lead wire-to-wire, scoring a game-high 27 points. She is now just seven points away from passing Aerial Powers (2014-16) as MSU all-time leading scorer. With 1,811 points, Jankoska becomes just the second MSU women's basketball player to score over 1,800 points, as Powers ended her career with 1,817 points.
Senior forward Taya Reimer had her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Lexi Gussert added 11 points. Off the bench, sophomore Jenna Allen added 12 points.
With the win, Michigan State improved to 12-4 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play. Nebraska has lost six games in a row, falling to 4-12 overall and 0-5 in B1G action.
TIME TICKING AWAY
Michigan State has only one regular-season game left this season on the road at Nebraska. The Big Ten standings are tight once again this season. After winning three-straight games, the Spartans are in a three-way tie for fourth place with Indiana and Purdue with matching 9-6 records. Ohio State upset Maryland on Feb. 20 to give UMD its first conference loss and tie up the No. 1 spot in the standing. Ohio State and Maryland both stand with marks of 14-1, while Michigan stands in third with a 11-4 mark.
Tori Jankoska is also re-writing the single-season record books. With 624 points this season, she is third on the single-season charts in points in a season passing Liz Shimek (2005-06) who netted 597 points in the season. Jankoska is currently first in points per game with 22.3 ppg. She is also first in 3-pointers in a season with 100 this campaign. With a 90.1 free throw percentage, Jankoska is currently third in single-season free throw percentage. Lindsey Bowen holds the single-season record with a 95.5 free throw percentage during the 2002--03 season and a 92.0 percent free throw percentage during the 2005-06 season.
PACKING THE STANDS
After a season-high attendance of 10,646 against Maryland on Feb. 12, the Spartans moved into the top 10 in the nation in attendance. Michigan State is ninth in the country in attendance, averaging 6,011 fans per game at the Breslin Center. MSU is first in the Big Ten in attendance ahead of Purdue, which is averaging 5,907 fans per game. The 10,646 fans were 13th on the all-time MSU attendance list. The season-high last season was 9,017 against Iowa.
Tori Jankoska is in very rare company among the top scorers in the Big Ten. Senior guard Tori Jankoska is seventh in the nation in career points scored with 2,090 scored during her four seasons. Washington's Kelsey Plum is first, scoring 3,340 points in four seasons. There are five players from the Big Ten in the top 10 in active career scoring.
Player, School Points
- Kelsey Mitchell, OSU.................................2,442
- Nia Coffey, NU ..........................................2,213
- Tori Jankoska, MSU..................................2,090
- Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, MD............. 2,009
- Ally Disterhoft, IOWA.............................2,003
Big Ten 2,000-Plus point Scorers
3,000 POINTS CLUB
3,093 Rachel Banham, MINN 2011-16
2,000 POINTS CLUB
2,919 Kelly Mazzante, PSU 2001-04
2,818 Jantel Lavender, OSU 2008-11
2,578 Katie Smith, OSU 1993-96
2,510 Maggie Lucas, PSU 2010-14
2,442 Kelsey Mitchell, OSU, 2015-
2,405 MaChelle Joseph, PUR 1989-92
2,312 Jolene Anderson, WIS 2005-08
2,307 Anucha Browne, NU 1982-85
2,303 Jessica Davenport, OSU 2004-07
2,285 Lindsay Whalen, MINN 2001-04
2,251 Shereka Wright, PUR 2001-04
2,213 Nia Coffey, NW 2014-16
2,182 Stephanie White, PUR 1996-99
2,165 Ameryst Alston, OSU 2012-16
2,160 Jenna Smith, ILL 2007-10
2,097 Carol Ann Shudlick, MINN 1991-94
2,090 Tori Jankoska, MSU, 2014-17
2,089 Ashley Berggren, ILL 1995-98
2,044 Laura Coenen, MINN 1982-85
2,015 Tayler Hill, OSU 2010-13
2,010 Samantha Prahalis, OSU 2009-12
2,009 Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, MD 2014-17
ALL-TIME SPARTAN SCORING
Tori Jankoska has moved up to fourth on the all-time Michigan State basketball scoring list. Shawn Respert holds the all-time record among both the men and women's teams with 2,531 points. Jankoska is fourth with career 2,069.
- Shawn Respert 2,531 1990-95
- Steve Smith 2,263 1987-91
- Scott Skiles 2,145 1982-86
- Tori Jankoska, 2,069 2014-17
ANOTHER CAREER RECORD AND COUNTING
Jankoska broke the 3-point field goals record after netting five treys at Michigan to bring her grand total up to 297 made 3-pointers. Jankoska passed Lindsay Bowen (2002-06) who netted 294 3-point field goals during her time as a Spartan.
Michigan State currently stands with an RPI of 42, which is fourth in the Big Ten. Maryland has an RPI of 21. Ohio State is second in the league in RPI, while Michigan is 37th. Iowa is 46th, while Indiana is 47th. Northwestern sits at 64th.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: JANKOSKA VS. OSU
Senior guard Tori Jankoska netted a MSU single-game record 42 points and also became the Spartans' all-time leading scorer with a 3-pointer at the 6:49 mark of the first quarter for her 1,818th point, passing former teammate Aerial Powers (2014-16) at 1,817 ... With her 42 points, Jankoska passed Maxann Reese's record of 41 points set on Jan. 29, 1999 vs. Iowa ... Jankoska now has 2,069 career points ... With 31 first-half points, Jankoska also set a new MSU single-game record for points in a half, bettering the previous mark of 28 by Reese in her record-setting 41-point game ... Jankoska scored 19 points in the first quarter, recording the most points scored in the first quarter by any Spartan.
NEW CLUB: MEMBER OF ONE
Senior guard Tori Jankoska became the first Michigan State women's basketball player to reach 2,000 points. She became MSU's all-time leading scorer against Ohio State with 1,898 career points on Jan. 10. The senior guard now has 2,090 career points.
MSU improved to 11-1 this season when at least three players have scored in double figures. The Spartans have had at least three in double figures against Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio State, Nebraska, Illinois, Rhode Island, Quinnipiac, Southern, Western Michigan and Oakland. MSU's only loss came against Maryland on Feb. 12.
RE-WRITING THE RECORD BOOKS
Tori Jankoska continues to look to break Michigan State records. Through 28 games this season, the senior guard has 624 total points. The single-season record for points was set by Aerial Powers during the 2015-16 season when she scored 697. Michigan State will be looking to break the record for the third-straight season as Powers previously set the record with 678 points during the 2014-15 campaign. Jankoska needs 73 points to tie Powers' single-season record.
JANKOSKA ADDED TO WADE WATCH LIST
Jankoska has been added to the Wade Watch List by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) on Feb. 6. She is one of 35 student-athletes named to the list.
Jankoska is one of 10 players added to the preseason list of 25 Wade Watch List honorees. Joining Jankoska on the list 10 hopefuls are: Monique Billings of UCLA, Lexie Brown of Duke, Tyra Buss of Indiana, Napheesa Collier of Connecticut, Asia Durr of Louisville, Chantel Osahor of Washington, Brittney Sykes of Syracuse and Katie Lou Samuelson and Gabby Williams of Connecticut.
The Freeland, Michigan native, is one of seven players from the Big Ten represented on the Wade Watch List, along with Indiana's Tyra Buss, Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell, Maryland's Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, Michigan's Katelynn Flaherty and Northwestern's Nia Coffey. Four other Spartan opponents made the list in Notre Dame's Lindsay Allen and Brianna Turner, as well as Syracuse's Alexis Peterson and Brittney Sykes. She is also part of the Naismith Watch List and the Staley Midseason Watch List.
JANKOSKA VS. THE NATION
Senior guard Tori Jankoska is second in the nation in 3-point field goals per game with 3.57. Jankoska is also seventh in the nation in total points scored with 624. Washington's Kelsey Plum is first with 922 points, while Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell leads the Big Ten with 680 points. Jankoska is also ninth in scoring, averaging 22.2 ppg. The senior is also ninth in the nation in free throw percentage (.901).
As a team, Michigan State is 12th in the nation with 17.9 assists per game.
Michigan State's 94-75 win over Ohio State on Jan. 10 marked the first time scoring over 90 points in back-to-back home games since last season with 114-106 win over Minnesota on Feb. 21, 2016 and 107-105 3OT win over No. 5/5 Ohio State on Feb. 27, 2016 of last season.
Overall, this was the first time that MSU scored over 90 points in back-to-back games since 102-54 win vs. Canisius on Nov. 14, 2013 and 96-89 overtime win vs. No. 23/21 Dayton on Nov. 17, 2013. This was also the first time ever that MSU scored 90+ points in back-to-back Big Ten games.
The win over Ohio State was the first time scoring over 80 in back-to-back Big Ten games under head coach Suzy Merchant and first time since 2000 when MSU beat No. 21/21 Purdue, 84-64 on Feb. 17, 2000 and lost to Michigan, 90-87 in 2OT, on Feb. 20, 2000.
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
Under Coach Merchant, Michigan State is 27-46 against ranked teams, including 18-14 at home, 6-18 on the road and 3-14 on a neutral court. As a ranked team against fellow ranked team, MSU is 15-22 versus ranked teams. This season, MSU is 2-3 against ranked with losses to No. 20/21 Syracuse, No. 2/2 Notre Dame and No. 3/2 Maryland and a win against No. 11/11 Ohio State and a most recent win at No. 20/20 Michigan.
In head coach Suzy Merchant's tenure, when two numbers on the scoreboard were achieved it typically has been a sign of a MSU win. Overall, MSU has scored at least 70 points 17 times overall this season. MSU has won 104 of its last 112 games when scoring at least 70 points, and MSU is 121-15 under head coach Suzy Merchant when hanging at least 70 points on the scoreboard. This year, MSU is 15-2 when scoring at least 70 points with its only losses coming against Iowa in overtime on Feb. 9 and Maryland on Feb. 12.
GETTING IN THE LINEUP
The Spartans have had six different starting lineups in the first 28 games. Senior Tori Jankoska, graduate student Taya Reimer along with freshman Taryn McCutcheon have started all 28 games so far this season. Redshirt senior guard Branndais Agee has started 23 games this season. Redshirt freshman Victoria Gaines has started 17 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 14 games.
Jankoska leads the way starting 109 games during her Michigan State career. Branndais Agee has the second most starts of any current Spartan with 57.
DOUBLE THE FUN
Michigan State has had a lot of success when a player has had a double-double. Five different players have recorded a double-double this season and the Spartans have only dropped two games. MSU is 10-1 when Tori Jankoska has scored in double figures in points and rebounds. During her career, MSU is 22-2 when Jankoska has a double-double.
RISING THE CHARTS
Guard Tori Jankoska is in the top 10 in the Big Ten in both scoring, rebounds and assists. She is second in the league and first on the team in scoring, averaging 22.3 points per game. She is seventh in the Big Ten averaging 8.3 boards per game. Jankoska is tied for third in the league in assists, averaging 5.2 apg. So far this season, she has scored 624 total points, grabbed 231 rebounds, and added 145 helpers. Jankoska is the only player in the top 10 in all three categories.
Jankoska is one of only two MSU players to be in the all-time career top-10 in both assists and points. Jankoska is No. 1 in points with 2,090 and No. 2 in assists with 474. Lindsay Bowen (2002-06) is the only other player in both who is No. 3 in the record books with 1,751 career points and No. 5 all-time with 402 assists.
SPARTANS VS. THE BIG TEN
Several Michigan State players rank among the best in the Big Ten this season. Senior guard Tori Jankoska is second in the league in scoring, averaging 22.3 points per game. Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell is first in the conference in scoring, averaging 23.4 ppg. Jankoska and freshman guard Taryn McCutcheon are tied third in the league in assists (5.2 apg). Jankoska is first in free throw percentage (.901). Jankoska is also tops in the conference in 3-point field goals made with 3.6. In league games, Jankoska is second in scoring, averaging 22.6 ppg. Jankoska is third in the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.4 apg.
Michigan State is third in 3-point field goals made averaging 7.5 per game. The Spartans are also second in assists averaging 17.9 and second in rebound margin +6.2.
SIGNEE COOKS SELECTED FOR MCDONALD'S ALL-AMERICAN GAME
Michigan State women's basketball signee Sidney Cooks (Kenosha, Wisc./St. Joseph Catholic Academy) was selected to play in the 2017 McDonald's All-American Game, as announced late Sunday night on ESPNU.
Cooks is the only player on the roster who is a Big Ten Conference signee. She also becomes the first future Spartan to play in the prestigious all-star game since Madison Williams in 2010. In the 16 years of the event for the girls, Cooks joins Williams and Tiffanie Shives (2005) as the only other incoming Spartans to have been selected to the game.
The 2017 McDonald's All-American Games will begin on March 29. The 40th annual Boys Game will be televised live on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET, while the 16th annual Girls Game will tip off at 5 p.m. ET and will be televised live on ESPN2. It will mark the 20th-consecutive year the games will be broadcast on ESPN. The games will be held in Chicago at the United Center for the seventh-straight season.
Cooks is a 6-4 forward who plays for head coach Lynell Collins at St. Joseph Catholic. She is currently ranked fifth overall and second at her position by ESPN HoopGurlz. In 2016, Cooks earned AP first-team All-State as well as USA Today first-team All-Wisconsin honors. She was named honorable mention WBCA Division 4 All-State in 2015. Last season, she surpassed the 1,000 point-plateau by scoring 20 points in a win.
CLOSING IT OUT
The Spartans have been extremely effective closing out games over the last couple years, winning 156 of their last 161 games (.969) when leading with five minutes left, including 107 of their last 113. In Coach Merchant's tenure, Michigan State is 191-9 (.955) when holding a lead with five minutes left. This season, the Spartans are 17-1.
BOUNCE BACK ABILITY
In Coach Merchant's first 10 seasons, the Spartans are 71-28 (71.7%) following a loss.
AGAINST IN-STATE SCHOOLS
Michigan State has had great success against other collegiate programs in the state of Michigan over the past 12 seasons. Since the beginning of the 2002-03 season, the Spartans are 50-4 (.925) against in-state rivals, including a 35-4 (.897) mark under Coach Merchant. All-time, Michigan State is 183-59 (.756) against other Michigan schools.
Suzy Merchant RADIO SHOW
Michigan State women's basketball head coach Suzy Merchant will start her weekly radio call-in show, the Suzy Merchant Radio Show, on Monday, Dec. 5 at Reno's East. Coach Merchant joins host Keaton Gillogly, the Spartans' play-by-play voice, from 12-1 p.m., for an in-depth look into the MSU women's basketball program. The show, produced by the Spartan Sports Network, can be heard locally on WVFN 730 AM and will also be streamed live (both audio and video) on SpartanSportsNetwork.com, as well as available on the SSN mobile app.
Radio Show Dates
Tuesday, February 28
JANKOSKA EARNS PRESEASON HONORS
Senior guard Tori Jankoska was named to the Preseason All-Big Ten team by both the coaches and the media. Michigan State was selected third in the Coaches Poll.
Big Ten regular season and tournament champion Maryland was picked first in both the Coaches and the Media polls, while the Hoosiers took the third spot in the media poll. Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell was named Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year in both polls.
Michigan State women's basketball spent the summer on a 10-day European excursion. The Spartans traveled to Europe from August 19-28. Michigan State played exhibition in each country, while taking side trips to Normandy, France and Oxford, England. The trip was as much about team bonding as it was basketball, as the learned about each other on and off the court.
LAST TIME OUT
Michigan State women's basketball overcame a 19-point third-quarter deficit to rally for a 73-64 win over Penn State Wednesday night at the Breslin Center. The comeback victory sparked the Spartans' celebrations on a successful Senior Night celebration honoring their lone senior, Tori Jankoska.
After Jankoska was held scoreless in the first half, she rallied with 21 second-half points, for a palindromic double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds. Jankoska was then recognized after the game with a ceremony with her family and teammates, honoring her record-setting Spartan career.