January 6, 1999
Site: Welsh-Ryan Arena - Evanston, IL
Game Result: Michigan State 73, Northwestern 64
Records: Michigan State 7-5 overall, 1-1 Big Ten; Northwestern 7-5 overall, 1-1 Big Ten
MSU's Next Action: vs. Wisconsin - Jan. 8, 1999 (7:30 p.m., EST) - Breslin Center
EVANSTON, Ill. - Junior Maxann Reese (Highland Park, MI) scored 18 of her team-high 20 points in the second half to lead MSU to a 73-64 victory over Northwestern on Tuesday night in Evanston, Ill. The victory snapped the Spartans' two-game losing streak and improved their overall record to 7-5 and their Big Ten mark to 1-1.
Sophomore Erin Skelly (Maple Grove, MN) scored all of her season-high 10 points in the first half to give MSU a 36-29 advantage at the half.
Reese tallied 14 of MSUs first 21 points in the second half to give the Spartans their biggest lead of the contest at 57-44 with 10:16 left to play. After a pair of free throws by Reese made it 65-52 with 6:29 to go, Megan Chawansky scored eight points to spark a 12-0 run and pull the Wildcats within one at 65-64 with 2:04 left in the contest.
Senior Pernille Dalgaard (Horsholm, Denmark) hit a pair of free throws to end MSU's five minute scoring drought and give the Spartans a 67-64 advantage at the 1:29 mark.
After Northwestern failed to convert at the other end, Dalgaard came up big with a baseline jumper to put MSU up 69-64 with a minute to go. The Wildcats were forced to foul and sophomore Christie Pung (Pewamo, MI) and Reese each sank a pair of free throws in the final minute to secure the Spartan victory.
"We had five or six possessions where we didnt score and they were gaining momentum every time they got a stop on defense," MSU coach Karen Langeland said of MSU's dry spell. "Pernille's basket with a minute to go put Northwestern in a much different situation because they needed more than one possession to beat us. They had to start fouling and fortunately we converted."
In addition to her 20 points, Reese contributed five rebounds and five assists. Junior Kristen Rasmussen (East Lansing, MI) scored 16 points, pulled down eight rebounds and had five assists. Dalgaard tied her season high with 14 points and contributed five boards, while Skelly had three rebounds and two blocks to go along with her 10 points.
"Erin played with a lot more confidence tonight," Langeland said. "She had a great game and it certainly helped us in the first half because she was doing a lot of our scoring."
As a team, the Spartans shot 50 percent from the field, including 55 percent in the second half.
Chawansky paced the Wildcats with 24 points, 18 coming in the second half.
MSU returns to action on Friday, Jan. 8 when it hosts Wisconsin at 7:30 p.m., at the Breslin Center.