East Lansing, Mich. — After a while, Michigan State guard Tori Jankoska had the same thought as everybody watching.
“It felt like it was never going to end,” she said.
In the last minute of the third overtime, Jankoska helped the 20th-ranked Spartans finally outlast No. 5 Ohio State, making three free throws down the stretch to give Michigan State a 107-105 victory. Jasmine Hines scored a career-high 36 points in her final home game, and the Spartans denied the Buckeyes a chance to celebrate a Big Ten title Saturday.
Kelsey Mitchell scored a career-high 48 points for Ohio State (23-6, 15-3), which is on the verge of losing the conference championship in agonizing fashion. The Buckeyes also lost in overtime to Minnesota earlier in the week, and now they need No. 6 Maryland (26-3, 15-2) to lose to Minnesota on Sunday in order to share the title.
“We had a chance to control our destiny today and we didn’t do it, so that’s disappointing,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “But I’m proud of the effort that our kids put forth.”
Mitchell played almost every second of the 55-minute game, one of five players credited with at least 52 minutes. Her three-point play put Ohio State up 105-104 with 41 seconds remaining, but Jankoska was fouled in the backcourt and made two free throws to put the Spartans (22-7, 13-5) back ahead.
Jankoska added another free throw with 2 seconds left.
The 6-foot-3 Hines had never scored more than 24 points in a game for Michigan State, but the Spartans repeatedly found the senior down low against an Ohio State team that defended aggressively with a full-court press.
Hines scored inside with 8 seconds left in the first overtime to tie it at 83, and Mitchell couldn’t convert at the other end. It was Hines who kept Michigan State’s offense afloat on a day star Aerial Powers went 8 of 27 from the field. Powers still ended up with quite a stat line: 23 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists, eight turnovers, four steals and two blocks in 53 minutes.
With the Spartans up 106-105, Powers stole the ball from Mitchell and looked like she was in the clear for a layup, but she was too concerned about being caught from behind and lost the ball out of bounds at the last instant, giving Ohio State another chance to take the lead.
Michigan State kept Mitchell from driving to the basket, and her two attempts from beyond the arc were off target. Jankoska’s free throw made it a two-point game, and she missed her second shot intentionally, giving the Buckeyes little time to get any kind of shot off.
Ohio State has not won the Big Ten regular-season title since 2010. The last time the Buckeyes won the conference tournament was in 2011.
“We weren’t going to let anyone come in here and win a Big Ten championship on our floor,” Hines said.
Detroit 82, (at) Oakland 77, OT: Brianne Cohen made a layup in the final minute of the fourth quarter, then scored four points in the overtime to lift Detroit (14-13, 10-6 Horizon League) to the victory. Cohen finished with 22 points, Rosanna Reynolds scored 20 and Nicole Urbanick scored 15 for Detroit. Taylor Jones scored 24 and Elena Popkey 17 for Oakland (14-13, 6-10).
Central Michigan 73, (at) Western Michigan 61: Presley Hudson scored 17, Reyna Frost scored 12 with 13 rebounds and Tinara Moore had 10 rebounds for Central (19-8, 13-3 Mid-American Conference). Breanna Mobley had 20 points and 16 rebounds and Alex Morton scored 13 for Western (15-13, 7-9).
Ball State 67, (at) Eastern Michigan 63: Moriah Monaco scored 28 and Nathalie Fontaine 14 for Ball State (19-8, 11-5 MAC). Cha Sweeney scored 22 and Janay Morton and Phillis Webb 14 each for Eastern Michigan (18-9, 9-7).
Hope 75, Trine 58: Maura McAfee and Angelique Gaddy each scored 16 and Francesca Buchanan scored 10 as Hope (26-1) won the MIAA championship. Cassidy Williams scored 15 for Trine (19-8).