Spartans play Maryland on Monday at 7:20 p.m. in College Park.
Kiana Johnson led Spartans with 16 points and six assists on Saturday.
The Spartans met with the media and held a practice at Comcast Center today.
The No. 5 seed Spartans will play Saturday, March 23 in College Park, Md.
Bell named third team by the coaches; all three were honorable mention by the media.
Michigan State vs. Marist - AP Photos
Michigan State at No. 8 Penn State
Spartans take on No. 8 Lady Lions.
On Monday, Oct. 8, head coach Suzy Merchant and the Michigan State women's basketball program held its media day at the Breslin Center. Coach Merchant, the assistant coaches and the student-athletes met with the media for over an hour to discuss the upcoming 2012-13 season.
AP Photos: Michigan State vs. No. 19 Louisville
Suzy Merchant is ready to start her sixth season as head coach of the Michigan State women's basketball program. Through her first five seasons, Merchant has brought the Spartan program to a level of consistency at the Big Ten and national level. The Spartans have finished second or better in the Big Ten in each of the last four season, and her conference record of 59-27 (68.6%) is the 10th-best career winning percentage in the 31-year history of the Big Ten, and is the second highest percentage among active coaches. Nationally, the Spartans have won at least 20 games in each of her five seasons and are one of 22 teams nationally to have advanced to the last four NCAA Tournaments.
She was hired at MSU on April 30, 2007, after spending time as a head coach at Eastern Michigan (1998-07) and Saginaw Valley State (1995-98). In her 17 years as a head coach, she has won more than 60 percent of her games, collecting a 316-173 (.646) career record, including 115-53 (.685) in her five seasons in East Lansing. Last season, Merchant became the fastest Spartan coach to 100 wins. She is also the winningest coach in Eastern Michigan history, compiling a 147-91 record in her nine seasons.
Through her first five seasons at MSU, 17 Spartans have earned All-Big Ten recognition (the most in the conference) and 23 have been named Academic All-Big Ten. A pair of Spartans earned major Big Ten awards in two of the last three seasons - Kalisha Keane was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2010-11, following up the Sixth Player of the Year award as a junior, while Lykendra Johnson (2010-11) and Allyssa DeHaan (2009-10) were the last two Big Ten Defensive Players of the Year. DeHaan, who finished her career second all-time in NCAA history in blocked shots, and Keane were also named All-Americans following their senior seasons.
Last season, the Spartans continued a string of nine-straight 20-win seasons, going 20-12 and advancing to their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament. MSU went 11-5 in conference play to tie for second in the Big Ten. Seniors Lykendra Johnson and Porsche Poole earned second team All-Big Ten accolades. With the win over Oakland (Nov. 27) last season, Merchant became the fastest head coach to 100 wins as a Spartan, needing only 143 games.
Merchant put her stamp on the Spartan program during the 2010-11 season, leading the Spartans to their first outright Big Ten title in school history. MSU went 13-3, winning the conference by two games. The Spartans went 27-6, recording the second most wins in program history, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Merchant was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the conference's coaches and media, becoming the third Spartan coach to earn that honor.
In 2009-10, Merchant topped the 20-win plateau for sixth-straight season and for the seventh time in her career. The Spartans advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round and finished the regular season second in the Big Ten for the second-straight season. In addition to the two major award winners, four Spartans were named All-Big Ten and Lauren Aitch was the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner, the first MSU women's basketball player to earn the award.
During the 2008-09 season, the Spartans earned a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 with wins over No. 1-seed Duke and No. 8-seed Middle Tennessee; Merchant's first career NCAA Tournament win. She led the Spartans to a 13-5 record in the Big Ten, tying them for second in the conference. The wins tie for the second most in program history, while the finish is the best since the 2004-05 Big Ten Champions. Six Spartans earned postseason Big Ten accolades, led by Allyssa DeHaan taking home second team All-Big Ten honors. After the season, Merchant was named the Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) Women's College Coach of the Year for the second time in her career.
In the summer of 2009, Merchant spent time with USA Basketball as an assistant coach for the Women's World University Games team in Belgrade, Serbia. Team USA went undefeated and took home the Gold medal, topping Russia, 83-64 in the championship game.
In her first season at Michigan State, Merchant took the youngest team in the Big Ten to its seventh-straight postseason trip, advancing to the championship game of the WNIT, and tied for the most wins (23) by a first-year Spartan basketball coach in MSU history. The 23 wins tied for the fourth-winningest season in program history and also tied a career-high for Merchant. In addition, the Spartans won 10 conference games for the sixth consecutive season and advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for the fifth-straight year. Individually, Allyssa DeHaan earned first team All-Big Ten honors, while a pair of freshmen - Kalisha Keane and Brittney Thomas - were honorable mention all-conference and on the All-Freshman Team.
In her first five years in the Greater Lansing area, Suzy Merchant has gone to great lengths to become an integral part of the community. In her time off the court and out of the office, Merchant can be seen at many community service events in the Great Lansing area. She has been an Honorary Chair for numerous events, including the Ele's Place, Sparrow Foundation's Hike for Hospice, Women Working Wonders, MSU Children's Health Initiative, Women's Center of Lansing, Haven House, Ronald McDonald House, Advent House Ministries, Old Newsboys' Shoe and Coat Drive, and Muscular Dystrophy Association.
During her tenure with the Eagles, Merchant guided Eastern Michigan to a record of 147-91 (.618), including three 20-win seasons, three postseason appearances and two Mid-American Conference West Division titles. Merchant's 2003-04 Eastern Michigan team claimed the MAC West Division and MAC Tournament championships for the first time in school history, earning the program's first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament en route to a 22-8 record. That season, she was named the BCAM Women's College Coach of the Year. She followed that impressive season by winning 23 games in 2004-05, the most in school history, and sent EMU to the postseason for the second straight year with a WNIT appearance. Ryan Coleman became the second Eagle in program history to earn honorable mention All-America accolades.
In 2005-06, the Eagles reached the 20-win plateau for the third consecutive season and won their second MAC West title with a 15-1 conference record, notching the most league wins in school history. Their 22-8 overall record put them into the postseason for the third-straight year as the Eagles earned a bid to the WNIT. Individually, Ryan Coleman earned honorable mention All-America honors for the second straight season and closed out her career as the second all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,793 points. While on maternity leave for most of her last season, Merchant's Eagles finished second in the MAC West Division with a 10-6 league record and finished 16-13 overall.
EMU players received postseason MAC honors over 20 times during her nine seasons in Ypsilanti, including the only two All-Americans in program history (Stephanie Smiley, Ryan Coleman). Along with her coaching duties, Merchant assumed the interim role of Assistant Athletics Director/Senior Women's Administrator in April 2005 through June 2006.
Before coaching at Eastern Michigan, Merchant spent three seasons at Saginaw Valley State, posting a 54-29 (.651) record. After inheriting a team with a losing record, Merchant quickly built the SVSU program into a winner, going 15-11 in her first season before going 19-11 in year two while earning a berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament for just the second time in school history. In her final season, Saginaw Valley State collected a 20-7 record and was ranked as high as 15th in the nation.
Prior to becoming a head coach, Merchant was the top assistant for three years at Oakland University (1992-95).
A four-year starter and three-year captain at Central Michigan (1987-91), Merchant holds Chippewa records for assists with 463 and single-season assists with 156, and is tied for first in single-game assists with 11. She also finished her career third-best in made 3-point field goals with 75.
A native of Traverse City, Mich., Merchant was a three-sport standout at Traverse City Central High School, lettering in basketball, volleyball and softball. She earned honorable mention All-America honors by USA Today and was a two-time Class A all-state selection in basketball. She also earned all-state honors in volleyball. During the summer of 2010, she was inducted into the Traverse City Central High School Hall of Fame.
THE MERCHANT FILE
PREVIOUS COACHING EXPERIENCE: Assistant Coach at Oakland University (1992-95); Head Coach at Saginaw Valley State University (1995-98); Head Coach at Eastern Michigan University (1998-2007).
FAMILY: Husband, Gary Rakan and sons, Tyler and Brady Rakan.
COACHING RECORD: 316-173 (.646) in 17 years as a head coach [54-29 in three years at Saginaw Valley State University (1995-98); 147-91 in nine years at Eastern Michigan University (1998-2007); 115-53 in four seasons at Michigan State]; 64-23 record as assistant coach at Oakland.
EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree in health/fitness from Central Michigan in 1991; master's degree in educational leadership from Saginaw Valley State in 2000.
PLAYING EXPERIENCE: Four-year starter and three-year captain at Central Michigan (1987-91).
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE: 1997 NCAA Division II Tournament, 2004 NCAA Tournament, 2005 WNIT, 2006 WNIT, 2008 WNIT, 2009 NCAA Sweet 16, 2010 NCAA Second Round, 2011 NCAA Second Round, 2012 NCAA Tournament.
INTERNATIONAL COACHING EXPERIENCE: Won Gold as an assistant coach with USA Basketball at the 2009 World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia.
MERCHANT'S YEAR-BY-YEAR HEAD COACHING RECORD
* Missed all but four games of 2006-07 while on maternity leave.
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