Big Ten basketball power rankings: New team at the top

College basketball graphic-1

Prior to their loss to Ohio State, the team shot well over 50 percent from the field in six-straight contests.

"They came out aggressive, hungry, really prepared, I thought their size and aggressiveness really took us back on our heels in the first half", Maryland Coach Brenda Frese said.

MSU, 16-2 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten, hosts the University of Michigan Saturday.

The sophomore had developed into a dependable shooter for the young Terps, a sidekick to leading-scoring Kaila Charles.

Michigan State had the biggest lead in the game with an advantage of 16 at one point. The Knights are averaging 68.6 points per game while allowing 62.3 per game.

Despite a tough first half, Josh Langford came alive in the second half and overtime, scoring nine of his 12 points in the half, and added a huge go-ahead corner trifecta in the final minute of OT.

Christinaki, who found out she was starting during warmups before the game, had 13.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo talks about team's overtime win against Rutgers on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.

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But the Scarlet Knights were the team to hold the Spartans to their worst shooting output of the season back on December 5, in which MSU shot just 38 percent overall, and they nearly followed it up again on Wednesday, when they held the Spartans to a 41 percent overall shooting percentage. Guard Shay Colley had 17 and Sidney Cooks had 10.

Izzo said they reminded him of all of the close games they played during their time at MSU. They rushed their shots on offense as they tried to find a rhythm with Christinaki, who became the only bright spot in an otherwise torpid first-half offense.

The major stat to watch out for in this game is Michigan's field goal percentage.

They ended up giving up 14 points on 24 turnovers.

Maryland used an 11-0 spurt in the third quarter to pull within one, 43-42.

Maryland never significantly narrowed the gap after that. "We have a hard task at Michigan State, who's a good team, and we will be well prepared and go there and play". "It's not going away". "He told me he wanted me to think about MI at every stop".

"I just felt like I had a better opportunity there", he said.

"I think Nick Ward has more and more to give still", Izzo said. "No matter how the rankings may say the team is or how they stack up against other teams, every game is going to be a fight".

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