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MSU Women Begin NCAA Tournament Against Arizona State Friday

March 15, 2017

#9 Michigan State (21-11, 9-7 B1G) at #8 Arizona State (19-12, 9-9 PAC-12)
 Date Friday, March 17
 Time 7:30 p.m. ET
 Location Columbia, S.C. | Colonial Life Arena
 Tickets Click To Purchase
 Television ESPN2
 Radio Spartan Sports Network | WJIM-AM 1240
 Game Notes  Michigan State | Arizona State
 Statistics  Michigan State | Arizona State
Internet Coverage Live Stats | NCAA Tournament Central | NCAA Bracket
 Social Media @MSU_WBasketball  width=  |  Facebook  width= |   Instagram  width=

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State women’s basketball drew the ninth seed in the Stockton Region and will face eight-seeded Arizona State on Friday, March 17 in a 7:30 p.m. (ET) tip-off in Colonial Life Arena on the campus of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. Friday’s first-round clash between the Spartans and Sun Devils will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

• MSU is in the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and the 16th time overall being in the “Big Dance.” Michigan State has gone to the NCAA Tournament 13 of the last 15 seasons. Overall, the Spartans have gone 18-15 in their NCAA Tournament appearances.

• This is the third time that the Spartans have been the No. 9 seed, also doing so in 1996 and 2009. MSU is 2-0 in the first round as a No. 9 seed and 3-2 overall.

• 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 2,186 career points. This season, Jankoska has scored 720 points becoming the single-season leading points scorer, passing former teammate Aerial Powers who netted 697 points (2015-16). The Spartans have surpassed the single-season points record the last three consecutive season. Jankoska is currently one of five players in the Big Ten to cross the 2,000-point threshold.

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.


MSU is in the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and the 16th time overall being in the “Big Dance.” Michigan State has gone to the NCAA Tournament 13 of the last 15 seasons.

This is the third time that the Spartans have been the No. 9 seed, also doing so in 1996 and 2009. MSU is 2-0 in the first round as a No. 9 seed and 3-2 overall. In 1996, Michigan State beat eighth-seeded Massachusetts, 60-57 (OT) in Storrs, Connecticut before going on to lose to No. 1 seed UConn, 88-68, in the second round. In 2009, MSU was the host site and beat No. 8 seed Middle Tennessee State, 60-59, then upset top-seeded Duke, 63-49, in the second round, losing to No. 4 seed Iowa State, 69-68, in the regional semifinals.

Arizona State (19-12, 9-9) is making its 15th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and is going dancing for the fifth straight season. The Sun Devils finished fifth in the Pac-12 and are an experienced group with three returning starters from last year’s co-Pac-12 Champions, accompanied with five freshman that were a top-10 ranked recruiting class. Senior and First Team All-Pac-12 selection Sophie Brunner leads the team in scoring with 13.5 ppg, while classmate Quinn Dornstauder is the other Sun Devil to average in double figures at 10.3 ppg. Arizona State allows just 57.3 ppg, which ranked third in the Pac-12, and owns a +7.3 rebounding margin that ranks 21st in the nation. ASU holds its opponents to 41.7 percent shooting from the field and just 28.2 percent shooting from behind the arc, which ranked second in the conference and 33rd in the NCAA. Much of the Sun Devils point production comes from inside of the arc, as they hit just 109 3-pointers this season to rank 328th in the country.

The Sun Devils have faced seven teams in the tournament field, posting a 4-8 record in those games. ASU defeated No. 4 seed Kentucky and lost to No. 3 seed Maryland and No. 5 seed Marquette in non-conference play. Against the Pac-12 tournament teams, Arizona State went 2-0 against No. 9 seed Cal, 1-1 against No. 2 seed Stanford, 0-2 against No. 3 seed Washington, while dropping all three games against No. 4 seed UCLA.

The Spartans and Arizona State have both played Maryland and Oregon this season. Arizona State defeated the Ducks at home, 68-63, on Feb. 5, while MSU traveled to Eugene on Nov. 22 and fell to Oregon, 88-55. MSU lost both its meetings with Maryland this season and the Terrapins handed ASU an 83-42 loss on Nov. 25 at the South Point Thanksgiving Tournament.

Friday’s game will be the first meeting all-time between Michigan State and Arizona State.

Four Big Ten schools were named to compete in the 2017 Division I NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, as announced at the selection show on Monday night, March 13. Besides MSU, Maryland, Ohio State and Purdue all earned their way into this year’s tournament.

MARYLAND - Maryland enters as the No. 3-seeded team, the highest among the four B1G teams. Maryland (30-2, 15-1 B1G) won the 2017 Big Ten Tournament and is a three-time defending regular season Big Ten Champion & Big Ten Tournament Champion. The Terrapins will play host to first and second round games at the XFINITY Center in College Park and will welcome in No. 14 Bucknell for their first matchup of the tournament.

OHIO STATE - Ohio State (28-6, 15-1 B1G) is slated as the No. 5 seed in the Lexington Region where the Buckeyes will matchup against No. 12 seed Western Kentucky. Ohio State earned a share of this year’s Big Ten Championship, its first conference title since 2010. OSU has a positive all-time record of 26-23 in the NCAA Tournament.

PURDUE - Both Michigan State and Purdue (22-12, 10-6 B1G) are slated as a No. 9 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Purdue is also in the Lexington Region with OSU and will take on No. 8 Green Bay. The Boilermakers are making their 26th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including 23 of the last 26 years.

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.

Jankoska is the only player in the B1G to record a triple-double this season. She is also only one of 23 players in the nation to earn a triple-double this season. Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu leads the nation in triple-doubles with four this season, two other players have two, while Jankoska and the rest have each picked up one.

Tori Jankoska is also re-writing the single-season record books. With 720 points this season, she is now first on the single-season charts in points in a season passing Aerial Powers (2015-16) who netted 697 points in the season. Jankoska is currently first in points per game with 22.5 ppg. She is also first in 3-pointers in a season with 119 this campaign. With a 90.5 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.

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 2,186 scored during her four seasons. Washington’s Kelsey Plum is first. There are four players from the Big Ten in the top 10 in active career scoring.

Player, School Points
3. Kelsey Mitchell, OSU............................. 2,499
6. Nia Coffey, NU .....................................2,287
7. Tori Jankoska, MSU...............................2,186
10. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, MD............ 2,093

Big Ten 2,000-Plus point Scorers
3,093 Rachel Banham, MINN 2011-16

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
2,499 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
2,287 Nia Coffey, NW 2014-17
2,186 Tori Jankoska, MSU, 2014-17
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
2,089 Ashley Berggren, ILL 1995-98
2,093 Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, MD 2014-17
2,058 Ally Disterhoft, IOWA, 2014-17
2,044 Laura Coenen, MINN 1982-85
2,015 Tayler Hill, OSU 2010-13
2,010 Samantha Prahalis, OSU 2009-12

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 third with career 2,186.

1. Shawn Respert 2,531 1990-95
2. Steve Smith 2,263 1987-91
4. Tori Jankoska, 2,186 2014-17
3. Scott Skiles 2,145 1982-86

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. With fivegames tacked on since the Michigan game she now has 317 career made 3-pointers. She is fifth among active NCAA players. Oregon State’s Sydney Wiese is first with 370 made treys.

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 2,119 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.

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 2,186 career points.

MSU improved to 13-2 this season when at least three players have scored in double figures. The Spartans have had at least three in double figures against Michigan two times, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio State, Nebraska, Illinois, Rhode Island, Quinnipiac, Southern, Western Michigan and Oakland. MSU’s only losses came against Maryland on Feb. 12 and March 4.

Tori Jankoska continues to break Michigan State records. Through 32 games this season, the senior guard has 720 total points, breaking the single-season record. The single-season record for points was set by Aerial Powers during the 2015-16 season when she scored 697. This is the third-straight season that the record has been broken as Powers previously set the record with 678 points during the 2014-15 campaign.

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 22.5 points per game. Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell is first in the conference in scoring, averaging 23.0 ppg. Freshman guard Taryn McCutcheon is third in the league in assists (5.2 apg), while Jankoska is fifth (4.9 apg). Jankoska is first in free throw percentage (.905). Jankoska is also tops in the conference in 3-point field goals made with 3.7. In league games, Jankoska is second in scoring, averaging 22.6 ppg. Jankoska is third in the Big Ten in assists, averaging 5.3 apg, while McCutcheon is fourth (5.2). The Spartans have three players in the top-25 in rebounding averages led by Jankoska who is seventh (8.6 rpg), redshirt senior Branndais Agee is tied for 11th (6.8), while Reimer is 20th grabbing 5.7 rebounds per game.

Michigan State is third in 3-point field goals made averaging 7.7 per game and third in 3-point field goal percentage at .363.

In the rebounding effort, the Spartans are third in the league with a rebounding margin of +5.5. MSU’s specialty is defensive rebounds as they are slated second in the Big Ten with 28.9 defensive rebounds a game to mark them first in defensive rebound percentage (.727).

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. The Spartans are also 4-0 when Taya Reimer nets a double-double. During her career, MSU is 22-2 when Jankoska has a double-double.

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 22.5 points per game. She is seventh in the Big Ten averaging 8.0 boards per game. Jankoska is tied for fourth in the league in assists, averaging 4.9 apg. So far this season, she has scored 720 total points, grabbed 256 rebounds, and added 157 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 2,186 and No. 2 in assists with 486. 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.

Senior guard Tori Jankoska is No. 1 in the nation in 3-point field goals per game with 3.72 and is also No. 1 in three-point field goals made throughout the season with 119. Jankoska is also eighth in the nation in total points scored with 720. Washington’s Kelsey Plum is first with 1,013 points, while Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell leads the Big Ten with 737 points. Jankoska is also ninth in scoring, averaging 22.2 ppg. The senior is also sixth in the nation in free throw percentage (.905).

As a team, Michigan State is 12th in the nation with 18.0 assists per game, which also makes them 11th in the nation with 575 total assists on the season.


  • During the three games of the Big Tournament, Jankoska led the team averaging 22.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Branndais Agee averaged 16.7 points, while Taya Reimer scored 10.0 points to go along with 8.0 rpg.
  • Jankoska tied Aerial Powers and Liz Shimek for the Michigan State record with 31 points in the Big Ten Tournament. Powers scored 31 in MSU’s semifinal win over Ohio State last season. Shimek scored 31 against Iowa in 2006.
  • Jankoska broke the MSU record for 3-pointers in a game in a Big Ten Tournament game. Jankoska ended the game with seven from beyond the arc, while Agee addded five, which tied the previous record. MSU shot 44.6 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from beyond the arc.
  • Agee tallied double-figure points for the 16th time this season with 24 points and the Spartans are 11-5 when Agee scores in double figures. 

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.

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 21 times overall this season. MSU has won 106 of its last 116 games when scoring at least 70 points, and MSU is 123-17 under head coach Suzy Merchant when hanging at least 70 points on the scoreboard. This year, MSU is 17-4 when scoring at least 70 points with its only losses coming against Iowa in overtime on Feb. 9, against Maryland on Feb. 12 and March 4 and Nebraska in overtime on Feb. 26.

The Spartans have been extremely effective closing out games over the last couple years, winning 158 of their last 164 games (.969) when leading with five minutes left, including 109 of their last 116. In Coach Merchant’s tenure, Michigan State is 193-11 (.955) when holding a lead with five minutes left. This season, the Spartans are 18-2.

Michigan State women’s basketball run in the Big Ten Tournament came to an end on Saturday night when the Spartans fell to No. 4 Maryland, 100-89, in the semifinals, March 4. Michigan State’s record dropped to 21-11, while Maryland improved to 29-2.

Tori Jankoska netted 31 points, a Michigan State Big Ten Tournament record, including seven three-pointers, and added five rebounds to lead her squad, which fought to keep pace with the Maryland attack. Branndais Agee shot 4-of-6 from beyond the arc to post 24 points, while Taya Reimer added 14 points and Jenna Allen contributed 10 to give MSU four double-figure scorers in every game of the tournament.
Maryland was led by 32 points and nine rebounds from Brionna Jones, 22 points from Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, and 18 each from Kaila Charles and Destiny Slocum on the night.

The Spartans finished the game shooting 53.1 percent in the game and 41.4 percent from three, but Maryland countered with 59.7 percent from the floor and a sharp 57.1 percent from distance. Maryland out-rebounded MSU by a 34-27 margin.

Tori Jankoska was named unanimous first-team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media on Feb. 27. This is the first time that Jankoska has been named to the first team.

Redshirt senior Branndais Agee, graduate student Taya Reimer and freshman Taryn McCutcheon were all named to the honorable mention team. Agee earned honorable mention honors by both the coaches and the media, while Reimer and McCutcheon were honored by the media.

Junior guard Lexi Gussert was Michigan State’s Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree. Gussert has played in all 29 games this season for the Spartans.

Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell was named Big Ten Player of the Year by both the media and the coaches. Maryland’s Destiny Slocum was named Freshman of the Year by both groups, while Michigan’s Kim Barnes Arico earned Coach of the Year honors by both the media and the coaches.

Jankoska earned her fourth-straight All-Big Ten honor after being named to the second-team the last two seasons and the honorable mention squad as a freshman. Jankoska is just the fifth Michigan State women’s basketball player to earn All-Big Ten accolades all four years as a Spartan.

The Spartans have had six different starting lineups in the 32 games of regular-season. Senior Tori Jankoska, graduate student Taya Reimer along with freshman Taryn McCutcheon have started all 32 games so far this season. Redshirt senior guard Branndais Agee has started 27 games this season. Redshirt freshman Victoria Gaines has started 20 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 18 games.



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