INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — No. 19 Michigan State embraced the notion of playing spoiler Saturday.
Especially given the reward: The Spartans will now play for the school’s first Big Ten tournament title in 11 years.
Aerial Powers scored 31 points to tie a school record and Tori Jankoska added 23 points to help Michigan State stun No. 9 Ohio State 83-62 and ruin the championship game rematch between the league’s two top teams. Instead, it will be the third-seeded Spartans facing defending tourney champ, No. 5 Maryland., on Sunday
“They’re a great team and I think this is a big challenge,” said Powers, who tied Liz Shimek for the school’s single-game scoring record in tourney play. “It would show us, kind of, where we place when it comes to the NCAA tournament because they always get far.”
It was a shocking turnabout.
Just one week earlier, Michigan State (24-7) needed triple overtime to get past the Buckeyes 107-105 in East Lansing. Ohio State won 85-80 in late December.
This time, it was no contest — and the two knockout punches came early.
Powers and Jankoska led an early 3-point barrage and combined for the first 11…