MICHIGAN ST SPARTANS
Sunday, Feb. 26, 1 p.m.
Pinnacle Bank Arena
Special Event: Senior Day (Postgame Ceremony)
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HUSKERS CELEBRATE SENIOR DAY SUNDAY WITH SPARTANS
The Nebraska women’s basketball team wraps up regular-season play by taking on Michigan State on Senior Day in Lincoln on Sunday. Tip-off between the Huskers (6-21, 2-13 Big Ten) and the Spartans (19-9, 9-6 Big Ten) at Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 1 p.m.
The Huskers will honor seniors Allie Havers (Mattawan, Mich.) and Esther Ramacieri (Repentigny, Quebec, Canada) in postgame ceremonies. The Huskers also will recognize manager Dylan Burcham.
Nebraska is coming off an 88-60 loss at No. 25 Michigan. In their last home game, the Huskers got their second Big Ten win of the season, a 67-64 victory over Indiana.
Michigan State is going for a season sweep with Nebraska, seeking first-ever win in Lincoln.
Michigan State concludes the regular season with its second game of the season with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. 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.
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.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 5-3.
32 Jessica Shepard 6-4 So. F
22 Allie Havers 6-5 Sr. C
3 Hannah Whitish 5-9 Fr. G
5 Nicea Eliely 6-1 Fr. G
34 Jasmine Cincore 5-10 Jr. G
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
15 Victoria Gaines 6-1 RFr. F
32 Taya Reimer 6-4 Sr. F
1 Tori Jankoska 5-8 Sr. G
4 Taryn McCutcheon 5-5 Fr. G
10 Branndais Agee 5-11 RSr. G
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State enters Sunday’s game with Nebraska carrying a 19-9 overall record and a 9-6 Big Ten mark after Wednesday’s win over Penn State.
Coach Suzy Merchant’s Spartans have been led on the court this season by senior Tori Jankoska. The 5-8 guard is averaging 22.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 35.9 minutes per game. All of those numbers are up slightly in Big Ten play, where she is averaging 22.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 36.9 minutes per game. Jankoska had 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in Michigan State’s 93-73 win over Nebraska in East Lansing on Jan. 7. She hit 5-of-13 threes against the Huskers.
Jankoska recently became the 21st Big Ten women’s basketball player in history to reach 2,000 points. She comes to Lincoln with 2,090 points, including 624 this season. Her 22.3 points per game is the highest single-season scoring average in Michigan State history.
Michigan State is averaging 73.3 points while shooting 44.1 percent from the field, including 35.6 percent from three-point range on the season, but the Spartans’ numbers are all on the rise in Big Ten play. MSU is averaging 76.2 points in league play while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor and 35.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Spartans have hit 73.7 percent of their free throws on the season. They own a plus-6.2 rebound margin on the year, but a minus-2.0 turnover margin. In the first meeting with Nebraska, MSU outrebounded the Huskers, 48-35, and both teams committed just 12 turnovers.
• Jessica Shepard notched her 13th double-double of the season and 23rd of her career with 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists at Michigan Thursday. She has seven double-doubles in Big Ten play this season.
• Shepard leads the Huskers in scoring and rebounds with 18.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. She has scored 1,064 in her first two seasons at Nebraska and needs 14 points to match All-American Jordan Hooper for the most points scored by the end of a sophomore season in school history.
• Nebraska is facing the toughest overall schedule in school history in 2016-17. The Huskers will play 10 games against NCAA Tournament teams and 11 more regular-season games against Postseason WNIT teams in 2016-17.
• Nebraska’s strength of schedule has ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation throughout the season, coming in at No. 14 through games Feb. 23. Each of Nebraska’s final four regular-season games will come against current top-50 RPI teams, including No. 24 Ohio State, No. 45 Indiana, No. 40 Michigan and No. 39 Michigan State.
• Nebraska’s game Sunday against Michigan State will be the Huskers’ 21st game this season against a top 100 RPI opponent and its 14th against a Top 50-RPI foe.
• Nebraska freshmen Nicea Eliely and Hannah Whitish have helped solidify the Huskers’ starting five, while providing hope for the future for a young Husker roster.
• Eliely, a 6-1 guard from Colorado Springs, Colo., has started all 27 games and ranks third on the team in scoring with 7.7 points per game. She also leads the Huskers in steals (42), blocked shots (18) and field.
• Whitish, the 2016 Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year at Barneveld High School, ranks second on the team in scoring (8.1 ppg), including 10.2 points per game in Big Ten play. Whitish leads the Huskers with 48 threes, which ranks as the third-best total by a freshman in school history. Whitish also leads the Huskers in assists (71) and ranks third in steals (26).
• In Big Ten play, Whitish leads the Huskers in assists (54) and three-pointers (33), while ranking second on the team in scoring (10.2 ppg), steals (20) and three-point percentage (.398). She has produced double figures nine times in Big Ten play and 11 times overall this season. She had career highs of 18 points and four three-pointers while adding six rebounds, four assists and two steals in Nebraska’s win over Indiana.
BEAT THE SPARTANS!