Spartans Outlast Huskers in East Lansing
East Lansing, Mich. – Jasmine Cincore scored a career-high 17 points and Hannah Whitish tied her career high with 14 points, but Michigan State pulled away from Nebraska down the stretch to record a 93-73 women's basketball win over the Huskers on Saturday night at the Breslin Center.
Sophomore forward Jessica Shepard added her eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds to go along with four assists, but Nebraska still slipped to 4-12 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten. Michigan State improved to 12-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
Maddie Simon added 10 points off the bench, including eight points to open the fourth quarter to help the Huskers trim what was a 20-point deficit to just 10 points with three minutes left in the game.
Spartan senior Tori Jankoska led all scorers with 27 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists, while senior Taya Reimer added 13 points and 10 boards. Jenna Allen contributed 12 points off the bench, while Lexi Gussert gave the Spartans four players in double figures with 11 points.
As a team, Nebraska hit 24-of-61 shots (.393) from the field, including 7-of-26 threes (.269). The Huskers also set season highs by going 18-of-29 at the free throw line, but were outrebounded 48-35 on the night. Both teams committed just 12 turnovers.
Michigan State hit 46.6 percent (34-73) of its shots from the floor, including 8-of-27 threes with five of them from Jankoska. MSU was also 17-of-21 at the line.
After trailing 46-29 at the half, the Huskers won the third quarter 23-22, thanks to seven points in the quarter from Whitish and six points and four boards in the quarter from Shepard. Nebraska was able to trim the lead to 12 points in the third quarter, before the Spartans pushed the lead back to 16 to end the quarter.
The Spartans used a 7-0 run early in the first quarter to take a 12-4 lead, before closing the quarter with a 6-0 run to take a 24-12 lead to the second quarter. Nebraska struggled from long range against Michigan State’s zone in the first quarter, going 0-for-7 from beyond the arc on its way to a 5-for-16 shooting effort in the opening quarter.
Michigan State started hot, hitting 11-of-18 shots including 2-for-5 from three-point range.
The Spartans continued their hot shooting in the second quarter, pushing the lead to 20 points before settling for a 46-29 halftime lead. Cincore scored 10 of her 12 first-half points in the second quarter, despite having her first-half buzzer-beater waved off with an offensive foul.
Cincore hit all four of her second-quarter shots to finish the half 5-for-8 after opening the game by missing her first three three-point attempts.
While Cincore provided the Huskers with a spark, the rest of the Huskers went just 6-for-23 from the floor and 1-of-9 from three-point range in the first half. Shepard finished with seven first-half points and five rebounds despite going 2-for-7 from the floor. No other Husker hit more than one first-half field goal.
Nebraska finished the first half hitting just 11-of-31 shots (.353), including just 2-of-13 threes (.154). NU was 5-of-9 at the free throw line. The Huskers were outrebounded 23-18 and lost the first-half turnover battle, 9-5.
Michigan State finished the first half 20-of-40 from the floor, including 4-of-15 from long range. Jankoska led the Spartans with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists. Fellow senior Branndais Agee added eight points, while Reimer and Allen each pitched in six points inside.
Nebraska returns home Tuesday to take on Rutgers. Tip-off between the Huskers and the Scarlet Knights at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are available now at Huskers.com.