Walton, Jankoska come up short in 3-point contest
The state of Michigan was well represented in college basketball’s State Farm 3-Point Championship Thursday night at Grand Canyon University.
In their final acts, Michigan senior Derrick Walton Jr. and Michigan State senior Tori Jankoska took center stage in the Final Four festivities in Arizona but couldn’t take home the top prize.
Walton, who wore socks that featured his face, reached the semifinals before falling short of the championship round and finishing in third place in the men’s competition.
Walton finished with 18 points in the opening round, which was good enough for fourth-highest total to advance to the semifinals along with Iowa’s Peter Jok, Grand Canyon’s DeWayne Russell and Duke’s Matt Jones.
Walton’s run ended there as he went first in the semis and posted a score of 15 points. It didn’t hold up as Russell and Jok each scored 22 to meet in the championship round, which Jok would go on to win by a score of 20-16.
Also competing in the men’s portion was Arizona State’s Torian Graham, Villanova’s Kris Jenkins, Iowa State’s Nazareth Mitrou-Long and UCLA’s Bryce Alford.
Jankoska didn’t fare as well as Walton. She couldn’t make it out of the first round, mustering eight points and finishing in seventh in the women’s contest.
Kansas State’s Kindred Wesemann beat Oregon State’s Sydney Wiese, 18-17, in the final to claim the women’s title. The field also included Washington’s Heather Corral, DePaul’s Jessica January, Baylor’s Alexis Jones, Syracuse’s Alexis Peterson and Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.
Walton shot 42.2 percent from 3-point range this season and made a career-high 98 3-pointers, which was tied for 32nd in the nation, to help lead the Wolverines to a 26-12 record, a Big Ten tournament title and a Sweet 16 appearance. Jankoska, a 38.4-percent shooter from beyond the arc, led the nation with 122 made 3-pointers and the Spartans to a 21-12 mark and an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Walton didn’t go away empty-handed, though. He was part of the three-player squad that bested Jankoska’s in the team shootout challenge in the night’s first event.