Jan. 30, 1998
Big Ten Leading Spartan Cagers Battle Northwestern
GAME No. 19-- vs. Northwestern Sat. Jan. 31 8:05 p.m. (EST) Evanston, Ill
MICHIGAN STATE PROBABLE STARTERS (14-4 overall; 7-1 Big Ten) (subject to change) F -- #13 ANTONIO SMITH (Jr., 6-8, 7.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg) F -- #44 JASON KLEIN (Jr., 6-7, 10.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg) F -- #34 ANDRE HUTSON (Fr., 6-8, 8.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg) G -- #14 CHARLIE BELL (Fr., 6-3, 8.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg) G -- #12 MATEEN CLEAVES (So., 6-2, 16.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 7.77 apg) NORTHWESTERN PROBABLE STARTERS (8-9 overall; 1-6 Big Ten) F -- # 5 JOE HARMSEN (Jr., 6-10, 3.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg) C -- #42 EVAN ESCHMEYER (Sr., 6-11, 21.4 ppg, 11.3 rpg) G -- #31 NATE POMEDAY (Jr., 6-3, 3.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg) G -- # 4 JULIAN BONNER (Jr., 6-1, 10.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.1 apg) G -- #22 SEAN WINK (Fr., 6-4, 12.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg)
GAME INFORMATION -- The Michigan State men's basketball team, sole owners of first place in the Big Ten Conference, close out this week's action on Saturday evening when it plays at Northwestern. Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117) on the NU campus serves as the site of the 94th meeting between the Spartans and Wildcats and tipoff is slated for 8:05 p.m. (EST).
COVERAGE -- The MSU-Northwestern clash will be televised locally on WLAJ-TV (Ch. 53). Handling the play-by-play will be Tim Staudt while former Spartan cager Gary Ganakas contributes analysis. Other stations throught the state airing the game include WDWB-TV (Ch. 20) in Detroit and WXMI-TV (ch. 17) in Grand Rapids. All MSU basketball games can be heard on WJIM Radio (1240 AM/97.5 FM). Describing the play-by-play is Mark Champion while former Spartan head coach Gus Ganakas serves as analyst.
THE RECORDS -- MSU, ranked No. 22 in this week's Associated Press rankings and No. 25 by USA Today/ESPN, is riding a five-game winning streak that has upped its overall mark to 14-4, 7-1 in the Big Ten which is good for first place. MSU is coming off an 84-66 win at home against No. 25 Indiana on Wednesday, the Spartans sixth straight win over IU at the Breslin Center. In that game, MSU displayed a balanced scoring attack with five players reaching double figures led by freshman Charlie Bell who notched a game-high 17 points, tying his career high. Freshman forward Andre Hutson also tied his career high with 13 points (chipped in eight boards) while sophomore Morris Peterson came off the bench to add 11 points. Rounding out the double-figure scorers for the Spartans, who shot 51.3 percent from the field, were sophomore Mateen Cleaves and junior Antonio Smith, both with 10 points, with Smith also contributing a game-high 10 rebounds which helped the Spartans to a 48-30 advantage on the glass.
Northwestern entertains MSU with an overall record of 8-9, 1-6 in the Big Ten. NU ended a five-game losing streak on Tuesday with a 71-40 win at home against Chicago State. NU is 8-3 in home contests this year.
THE COACHES -- Michigan State is guided by head coach Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan '77), who is in his third season at the helm of the program. Izzo has a school and career record of 47-32. In games at the Breslin Center, Izzo has posted a record of 32-11, 15-21 on the road. Izzo has directed the Green and White to appearances in the NIT in each of his first two years. He is 3-1 vs. NU.
Northwestern is directed by Kevin O'Neill (McGill '79), who is in his first season as the head man of the Wildcats. In nine seasons of head coaching, O'Neill has a career mark of 148-129.THE SERIES -- -- In a series that originated in 1918, MSU holds a 58-35 lead over Northwestern. In games played at Evanston, the Wildcats own a 28-22 advantage and recorded a 70-58 win over MSU last season (Feb. 19, 1997) at Welsh-Ryan Arena which ended a 20-game losing streak to the Spartans. The Green and White posted a 75-62 win at East Lansing in the first game of the series in 1996-97.
MSU QUICK HITTERS -- MSU's 84 points against Indiana represented the most points scored by a Tom Izzo-coached squad in a Big Ten game ... The Spartans have held four of their last five opponents to 40 percent or less from the floor ... MSU is 11-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points ... The Spartans have scored 70 or more points in five league contests already this year compared to 1996-97's entire total of three ... Since the 1996-97 season, MSU has an 11-1 record when it has shot 70 percent or better from the charity stripe (3-0 in 1997-98) ... The Spartans' have five wins on the road this year, bettering last year's season total of four ... Through 18 games last season, MSU was allowing 65.7 points per game (vs. this year's effort of 60.7) and allowing the opposition to connect on 42.9 percent of its field goal attempts (vs. 1997-98's 38.4 percent).MSU APPROACHING BEST BIG TEN START -- MSU's 7-1 start after eight Big Ten contests is within striking distance of equalling the school's best-ever start of 8-1 set during the 1994-95 season. The 1994-95 team went on to post a 14-4 conference mark, good for second place. MSU's current 10-1 record over its last 11 outings is the best for a Spartan team since 12/12/94-2/4/95 when that team won 14 of 15 games.
SPARTAN FRESHMAN BELL AND HUTSON SHINE IN IU GAME -- The freshman combination of Charlie Bell and Andre Hutson played a key role in helping the Spartans to the 84-66 win over Indiana. The first-year duo combined for 30 points, 13 rebounds and four steals in aiding in the Spartans' 18-point win over the Hoosiers, tying the second-largest margin of victory by an MSU team over IU. They teamed to shoot 14-of-23 (.608) from the floor and their point productions (Bell, 17 pts., Hutson, 13 pts.) represented the third time this year that they had scored in double figures in the same contest.
SPARTANS CONTINUE STRONG SECOND-HALF PLAY -- Michigan State chalked up a 42-31 second-half scoring advantage in the second half against Indiana, the 14th straight contest that it had enjoyed a scoring advantage over the final 20 minutes of action. On seven of those 14 occasions, the Spartans have enjoyed a scoring advantage of 10 or more points including against Iowa (40-23), Minnesota (50-34), Illinois (41-29) and Penn State (42-32). In eight Big Ten games, MSU posts a 41.8-29.5 second half scoring advantage (41.3 vs. 28.6 in the last three affairs).
MSU AND THE BOARDS -- -- MSU's 48-30 margin over Indiana in rebounding boosted the Spartans' record this year to 13-1 in games where they have enjoyed an advantage on the glass. Heading into the Northwestern game, the Spartans are No. 1 in the Big Ten in rebound margin (+10.4) in overall play (No. 2 in league action, +6.6). The Green and White have outrebounded their opponents by 10 or more boards 10 times this season (eight of 15 or more). Since Tom Izzo has been head coach, the Spartans have outrebounded 62 of 79 opponents and hold a 42-20 record when enjoying an edge on the boards.
MSU AND THE BRESLIN CENTER -- MSU's win over Indiana upped its all-time record at the Breslin Center to 106-26 (.803) since the facility opened in 1989 (49-7 vs. non-conference opponents, 57-19 in Big Ten contests). MSU has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in 72 games at the Breslin Center while allowing opponents to reach that mark on just 18 occasions.
QUICK FACTS --After 18 games, MSU is shooting 41.5 percent (231-of-556) from the floor in the first half and 50 percent (258-of-516) in the second half ... Opponents are shooting 37.3 percent (179-of-479) from the field in the first half and 39.4 percent (195-of-495) over the final 20 minutes of action ... In MSU's last six home games, it posts a 77.0-58.3 per-game scoring advantage (71.5-57.3 in four Big Ten home encounters) ... MSU is averaging 30.8 points in the first half of play (27.2 for opponents) and 42.8 points in the second half (33.4 for opponents) ... In Big Ten games, MSU is shooting 36.9 percent from three-point range (No. 4 in the league) vs. its's opposition's effort of 25.5% (No. 1 in 3 pt. FG% defense) ... MSU has five or more treys in six of eight Big Ten games while the most it has allowed is five (Penn State & Indiana ... In its four losses, MSU has shot 38.8 percent from the floor (87-of-224) vs. 47.4 percent (402-of-848) in the 14 victories ... MSU is 6-0 this year when Morris Peterson has scored in double figures.
MORSELS FOR MUSING -- MSU has won 20 of its last 21 games when holding the opposition to 60 or fewer points (9-1 in 1997-98) ... During Izzo's stint as head coach, the Spartans post a 31-4 mark in such games ... Since last season, the Spartans are 12-1 when scoring 80-plus points (6-0 in 1997-98) ... Under Izzo, MSU is 41-6 when leading at halftime (12-0 this year) ... MSU has averaged 18.8 turnovers in its four losses ... Through 18 games last season, MSU had recorded 86 three-point field goals compared to this year's effort of 107 ... After 18 contests in '96-97, the Spartans had a rebound margin of +5.2 vs. this season's +10.4 ... MSU has allowed just eight halves of 40 percent or better from the floor in its last 26 halves ... The Spartans have outscored the opposition in 28 out of 36 halves of basketball ... MSU has given up 50 percent or better from the floor in six halves of action while reaching that mark on 15 occasions ... Since Izzo has taken over as head coach, MSU is 37-4 in games when it has outshot the opposition from the field ... The Spartans have held their opponents to less than 10 field goals in a half on 10 occasions this year. .. After 18 outings, MSU is averaging 15.5 offensive rebounds vs. the opposition's average of 10.6.
MSU PLAYER NOTES
# 11-- Sophomore David Thomas returned to the lineup in the Purdue (12/30) game after missing the previous three contests with a knee sprain ... Totaled five points (most since a 12-point night against Cleveland State on 1/26) and six boards in 13 minutes vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Six rebounds vs. in 17 minutes vs. Penn State (1/24) ... Came off the bench to ... Tallied a career-high 12 points vs. Cleveland State (12/6) and his five field goals tied his career high ... Has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in eight games ... Played a career-high 33 minutes in the Temple contest ... Coca-Cola Classic All-Tournament after totaling 18 points and 20 boards ... First career double-double came against Gonzaga with 10 points and 10 boards (board total tying career high) ... Came up with 10 boards against Central Michigan (11/28), tying him with Antonio Smith for game honors ... 10 points vs. Illinois-Chicago, hitting a then career-best five-of-six field goal attempts ... No. 3 on the team in rebounding (5.1 rpg).
#12 -- Sophomore Mateen Cleaves leads the team in minutes (33.1 mpg), scoring (16.5 ppg), assists (7.66 apg) and steals (2.22 spg) ... Leads the Big Ten in assists in overall and league (8.00 apg) action ... No. 7 among Big Ten scorers in overall action and holds down the No. 2 spot in league outings (18.5 ppg) ... Has 17 straight contests of double-figure scoring ... Totaled 10 points along with a career-high 13 assists (tying the second-highest total in MSU history) vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Has four games of 10-plus assists this season and five during his career ... Averaging 9.7 assists over his last three contests ... Game-high 25 points, tying his second-best career effort, vs. Penn State (1/24) ... Has three games of 20-plus points this year ... 14 points and 10 assists at Iowa (1/21) ... Named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week after helping MSU to wins vs. Minnesota (1/14) and Illinois (1/17) ... Totaled a career-high 27 point (24 in the second half) against Illinois (1/17) ... Hit nine (tying career best)-of-16 field goal attempts vs. the Illini including a career-best five treys ... Game-high 19-point performance, along with seven assists, at Minnesota (1/14) ... Dished out a game-high nine assists, vs. Wisconsin (1/8) ... Averaging 19.0 points in the last four contests ... Totaled a then career-high 25 points and and doled out a game-high eight assists against Purdue (12/30) ... Hit a then career-best nine FGs against the Boilermakers ... Game-high 15 points vs. South Florida (12/20) and doled out 10 assists ... Team-high 21 points vs. Detroit (12/13) ... Six-of-nine from the field and posted a team-high 16 points vs. Wright State (12/17) ... Has led or shared for the team's scoring lead in nine of the last 14 and in a total of 11 contests ... No. 2 on squad in treys with 29 ... Coca-Cola Classic MVP after scoring 29 points and doling out 19 assists against Central Michigan and Gonzaga ... Career-high 11 assists against Gonzaga was the first time a Spartan had more than 10 assists in a game since Eric Snow's 11 vs. Wisconsin (3/11/95) ... Notched game-high 19 points and doled out eight assists vs. CMU .. Has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in seven contests ... Has 284 assists in 47 career contests (6.04 apg) ... Has led or shared for MSU's lead in assists in 42 of 47 career outings (all 18 this season) ... Scored in double figures in 33 outings during his career (16 in '96-97).
#13 -- Junior Antonio Smith paces the team and is No. 3 among Big Ten players in rebounding (9.2 rpg) in overall play ... No. 1 in the Big Ten in rebounds in league contests (9.8 rpg) ... Came up with his fourth double-double of the season (11th of his career) with a 10-point, game-high 10 rebound effort vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Game-high 10 rebounds, eight points and a career-best four steals vs. Penn State (1/24) ... Has double-figure rebounding in seven of last 10 and in a total of nine games this year ... Eight points and a game-high 11 boards at Minnesota (1/14) ... Paced MSU with a game-high 12 rebounds at Michigan (1/10) ... Finished Purdue game (12/30) with his second straight effort of 15 boards while chipping in nine points ... Totaled his third double double of the year vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) with a season high 14 points and 15 rebounds ... Picked off 10 boards, tying for team high, against South Florida (12/20) ... Second double-double of the year was a 13-point, 10 board (team high) effort vs. Detroit (12/13) ... Shot 50 percent or better from the floor on seven occasions ... Has five games of double-figure scoring this season ... Hit six field goals and totaled 12 points at Cleveland State (12/6) ... Has led or shared for MSU rebounding honors in last nine and in a total of 14 games ... Notched first double-double of the year vs. ETSU (11/17) with 11 points and 10 boards ... 29 career contests of 10 or more boards and seven of 15-plus caroms.
#14 -- Freshman Charlie Bell is No. 3 on the team in scoring (8.7 ppg) ... Exploded for a game-high 17 points (tying career high), hitting eight-of-15 field goal attempts vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Has seven outings of double-figure scoring to his credit ... Eight points in 17 minutes at Michigan (1/14) ... Totaled 11 points and five rebounds, in 32 minutes, his second longest stint, against Purdue (12/30) ... Finished the Eastern Illinois game (12/27) with eight points in 29 minutes ... 12 points, tying for second highest on the team, vs. South Florida, and also grabbed nine rebounds vs. USF, tying his personal best ... Totaled 14 points vs. Wright State ... Registered a season-long 33 minutes vs. Detroit (12/13) and finished with nine points ... Has at least one trey in 10 contest this year ... 29 minutes and registered 13 points vs. Cleveland State (12/6) ... Also paced the squad in rebounding vs. CSU with nine caroms, the first time a Spartan guard had led MSU in boards since Eric Snow grabbed six vs. Weber State in the 1995 NCAA Tournament ... No. 2 on the squad in scoring against CMU (11/28) with a then career-best 17 points ... Paced the team in scoring vs. ETSU (11/17) with 15 points while chipping in seven boards and two assists ... His point total marked the first time that a true frosh had led MSU in scoring in a season opener since Jay Vincent's 25 points vs. Central Michigan (11/28/77).
#30 -- Freshman Doug Davis has seen action off the bench in the last 13 games ... Nine-minute stint vs. Penn State (1/24) tied his longest in a league contest ... Hit a trey with 8:35 left, giving MSU its first double-digit lead, and finished with three points in seven minutes at Iowa (1/21) ... 13 minutes vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) ... Played a season-long 17 minutes vs. Wright State (12/17) and posted his first double-figure scoring effort of the year with 11 points ... Sank three treys against Wright State ... Averaging 8.0 minutes per game ... 13 minutes off the bench vs. ETSU (11/17) and scored eight points while dishing out three assists.
#34 -- Freshman Andre Hutson is averaging 21.5 minutes per game ... Is the team's No. 2 shooter from the floor, hitting 63.6% (56 of 88) of his attempts ... Has shot 50 percent or better from the field in seven of last eight games -- 69.2% (18-of-26) in his last six appearances ... Hit six (tying career best)-of-eight from the floor and finished with 13 points, tying his career high, and also pulled down eight (second on the team) rebounds vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Started the last 16 MSU contests ... 11 points and seven boards at Michigan (1/10) ... Seven games of double-figure scoring effort this season ... 12 points vs. Wisconsin (1/8) and hit eight-of-nine charity tosses against the Badgers ... Shooting 86.9 percent (20 of 23) from the foul line in the last seven games ... Shooting a team-high 80.8 percent (21-of-26) from the foul line in league affairs ... Fine effort vs. Purdue (12/30), hitting six-of nine field goals and tying his personal best with 13 points, good for No. 2 on the team, while chipping in eight rebounds ... Grabbed eight boards and scored eight points in 22 minutes vs. South Florida (12/20) ... Hit six-of-nine from the field and finished with 13 points at Cleveland State (12/6) ... Has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 14 contests ... Five-of-seven from the floor, finishing with 11 points, and snared a game-high nine boards in a season-long 30 minutes vs. Temple (12/4) ... No. 2 on the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg) ... Strong effort in the Coca-Cola Classic, starting both games and shooting 69.2 percent from the floor -- averaging 11 points ... Tallied a team-high 13 points in the championship game vs. Gonzaga in 28 minutes ... Blocked three ETSU (11/17) shot attempts.
#42 -- Sophomore Morris Peterson is averaging 22.4 minutes over the last five contests ... Has scored in double figures in four of last five games and is shooting 56.4 percent (22-of-39) from the floor in that stretch ... Nailed five-of-seven from the floor and finished with 11 points against Indiana (1/28) ... Tallied a career-high 20 points, hitting a career-best eight-of-11 field goal attempts at No. 10 Iowa (1/21) ... Connected on a season-high three treys vs. the Hawkeyes ... Has scored in double figure in six games this year ... Missed three games (Temple, Cleveland State and Detroit) with a fractured bone in his right wrist ... Connected on four-of-eight from the field en route to 12 points vs. Illinois (1/17) ... Has three-point goals in six of last seven performances and is shooting 55 percent (11-of-20) from beyond the arc in that stretch ... Scored 11 points vs. Minnesota (1/14) and finished with a season-high six caroms ... 11 points against Wright State, hitting five-of-seven from the floor, while also five boards ... Hit five-of-seven field goal attempts en route to a 10 points against Gonzaga (11/29) ... Has scored in double figures on 11 occasions in his career, five of which came last year ... Eight of his double-figure scoring efforts have come at home.
#43 -- Sophomore A.J. Granger has come off the bench in all 18 games and is averaging 11.8 minutes ... Went two-for-two and finished with five points (two rebounds) vs. Indiana in 12 minutes ... Hit a pair of field goals, including one trey, and finished with five points (four rebounds) against Illinois (1/17) ... Five points in 13 minutes vs. Michigan (1/10) ... Established career highs in field goals (4) and points (8) in the Wright State (12/17) contest while playing a season-high 19 minutes... Played 16 minutes vs. Cleveland State (12/6) and grabbed a career-high six boards ... Has scored in 12 and has rebounds in 13 contests ...18 minutes at UIC (11/21) and snatched five boards, tops among the subs, and tying his then personal best ... 13 minutes of action vs. ETSU (11/17) and and finished with five points and three rebounds.
#44 -- Junior Jason Klein is No. 2 on the team in scoring (10.9 ppg) ... No. 6 in the Big Ten in three-point shooting percentage (.414) in overall action ... Five points in games vs. Penn State and Indiana (1/28) ... Shooting 23.5 percent (4-of-17) from the floor in his last two games ... Totaled 14 points at Iowa (1/21) ... Career-high 17 point effort vs. Michigan (1/10) where he tied his career best in three-point goals with four ... Has led or shared for team's scoring lead in four contests ... Hit a career-best six field goals (three treys) and finished with a team-high 15 points against Wisconsin (1/8) ... No. 2 in the league in treys made (2.56 pg) in overall action and holds down the No. 4 spot for league contests (2.38 pg) ... Posted a then career-high 16 points vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) which included four treys ... Has 11 double-figure scoring efforts this season ... Career-long 34 minutes vs. South Florida (12/20) and finished with nine points and a career-high 10 rebounds ... Totaled 11 points vs. Temple (12/4), tying him for team honors ... Shooting 43.5 percent (27 of 62) from three-point range in home contests ... No. 1 on the squad in treys with 46, good for ninth place on MSU's seasonal list ... Coca-Cola Classic All-Tournament Team pick after scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 boards in the two games ... 11 points in 17 minutes against Central Michigan ... Has three or more treys in 10 outings ... Has two or more treys in 16 contests this year ... Twenty-four career games of two or more treys (five coming last year, three in '95-96) ... No. 6 on MSU's all-time list in treys with 82.
#55 -- Senior DuJuan Wiley is shooting 77.7 percent (14-of-18) from the floor and averaging 11.0 points in his last three games ... Hit four-of-six from the floor and finished with eight points and five rebounds vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Big game vs. Penn State (1/24) with a career-best 15 points, hitting five (tying career best)-of-seven from the floor and all five from the foul line, along with six boards in a career-long 23 minutes ... Sank five-of-five from the floor at Iowa (1/21) and finished with 10 points ... Five double-figure scoring efforts this season ... Notched 10 points vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) ... Totaled a then career-high 12 points vs. South Florida (12/20) ... Played 22 minutes against Wright State (12/17) and scored 10 points while establishing a career best in rebounds with a team-leading eight ... Also blocked three shots against the Raiders ... Has scored in every game ... No. 1 on the team in field goal shooting, hitting 66.2 percent (49 of 74) of his attempts ... MSU leader in blocked shots with 26 ... No. 7 in the Big Ten in blocked shots (1.44 bpg) ... Tied career high in blocked shots with four vs. Cleveland State (12/6) ... First career start came vs. ETSU (11/17) game where he played 20 minutes while finishing with a six caroms and four blocked shots, tying career high ... Has blocked shots in 12 contests.
BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT -- MSU is 6-0 this year when Morris Peterson scores in double figures ... MSU has allowed just 27 of its last 167 opponents to shoot 50 percent or better from the field ... Through games played Jan. 28, the Spartans' four losses have come to teams with a combined record of 61-17 (.782) (Illinois-Chicago 17-3, Temple 12-5, Detroit 17-3) and Michigan 15-6) ... Through Jan. 29, MSU's non-conference opponents had a combined record of 111-80 (.581) ... Mateen Cleaves has started the last 42 Spartan contests while Antonio Smith has drawn the starting nod in the last 45 ... Smith has 601 career boards in 79 contests (7.6 rpg) ... That DuJuan Wiley has already tripled his scoring output from a year ago with 117 points this season (34 pts. last year) ... That MSU ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring defense in overall (60.7 ppg) play and is No. 3 in conference action (60.3 ppg) ... The Spartans are No. 2 in field goal percentage defense (.384) in overall action and No. 1 in league (.392) tussles ... MSU has allowed just three opponents to shoot 50 percent or better from the field this season while 13 have been held to 40 or less percent ... The Spartans are No. 2 in the Big in three-point field goal percentage defense (.295) in overall play ... That after eight Big Ten games a year ago, MSU was averaging 63.0 points per outing vs. this year's effort of 72.6 ... MSU has scored 40 or more points in the second half in seven of its eight Big Ten contests.
TOM IZZO RADIO SHOW INFO -- The Tom Izzo Radio Show can be heard throughout the state of Michigan on MSU basketball affiliates. The show is held at Tripper's Sports Lounge on Monday evenings on Mondays from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
CLEAVES AN ALL-AROUND THREAT -- Through games played Jan. 28, Mateen Cleaves is the only player in the Big Ten to rank in the top 10 in scoring (7th, 16.5 ppg), assists (1st, 7.67 apg) and steals (3rd, 2.22 spg) in overall action. Cleaves' 40 steals tops the MSU squad, and he has registered 10 games of two or more thefts this season.
MSU AND THE RATINGS -- Through games played Jan. 29, Michigan State held down the No. 12 spot in the Sagarin Ratings. The Spartans had a rating of 87.88, second among Big Ten squads -- Purdue (8th, 90.63). Of the three non-conference teams that defeated MSU, Detroit had the highest ranking (28th, 84.64) and was followed by Temple (34th, 84.71) and Illinois-Chicago (39th, 83.87).SPARTAN RESERVES PRODUCING -- Michigan State's bench has played a key role in the team's five-game winning streak, outscoring the opposition reserves by a 121-48 margin (24.2-vs. 9.6). The Spartan reserves have enjoyed a scoring advantage in the last seven contests and has recorded a scoring margin of +10 in the last five ... In the last 11 contests, MSU's bench enjoys a scoring edge on nine occasions with the team showing an 8-1 mark in those outings.
MSU AP RANKING FIRST SINCE 1995 -- Michigan State's No. 22 showing in this week's Associated Press Poll represents the first time since the final 1995 rankings which had MSU No. 11. MSU was ranked among the Top 25 teams throughout the 1994-95 campaign with the Green and White being ranked as high as No. 7.
MSU IN NATIONAL STAT CATEGORIES -- In this week's NCAA stats (released Jan. 26) Michigan State ranked No. 12 in the nation in scoring defense (No. 1 was Princeton, 49.9). No. 22 in scoring margin (+12.8) and No. 13 in field goal percentage defense.
MSU TICKET INFO -- The Michigan State-Michigan game on Tuesday, Feb. 17 (7:30 p.m.) is sold out. There are balcony bleacher seats priced at $11 remaining for the Iowa (Feb. 7), Minnesota (Feb. 14) and Purdue (Mar. 1) games. For ticket information, please call 517/355-1610.
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