Jan. 8, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Junior Allyssa DeHaan scored a game-high 19 points and collected eight rebounds as the Michigan State women's basketball team defeated Northwestern, 64-52, Thursday night at the Breslin Center, its 13th consecutive home victory over the Wildcats. With the win, Michigan State improves to 10-6 on the season and 3-2 in the Big Ten, while Northwestern falls to 5-11, 1-4.
The Spartans never trailed and led by as many as 22 points in the second half. Using its size advantage down low, MSU outrebounded Northwestern, 39-29, and scored 14 more points in the paint (30-16).
DeHaan, who made her first six shots of the game, tied her season high with eight field goals, and also notched four blocked shots.
"Allyssa was great," said MSU head coach Suzy Merchant. "She really wanted that ball in there, and you could see she had a different presence about her. I think she's feeling good about what she can accomplish on the inside. She just had that same presence inside that she did against Purdue."
Redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson reached double-figures for the 10th time this season with 10 points and went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line. MSU is now 6-0 this season when DeHaan and Jefferson both score in double-figures.
Mia Johnson hit two 3-pointers and added eight points for MSU.
Michigan State did not allow a single Northwestern player to score in double figures, a first since the season opener vs. Niagara. Kristin Cartwright led the Wildcats with nine points but had six turnovers. The Spartan defense forced a total of 24 turnovers, tying the second most this season, and posted a 26-13 advantage in points off turnovers.
In the first half, the Spartans held the Wildcats without a field goal the first 7:54 of the game and raced out to a 9-2 lead. Northwestern only shot 22 percent in the half overall as MSU went into the break with a 27-20 halftime advantage. DeHaan made all five of her field-goal attempts in the half and scored 11 points with three blocks and five rebounds.
After Northwestern cut the Spartan lead to eight at 36-28 with 15:51 left in the second half, MSU went on a 21-7 run over the next nine and a half minutes to open a 57-35 advantage, putting the game out of reach for the Wildcats. Northwestern did close the game on an 11-2 run and shot 50 percent from the field in the second half.
The Spartans return to action Thursday, Jan. 15 to face Michigan in Ann Arbor at 7 p.m.
NOTES: MSU has won 10-straight over Northwestern, and 20 of its last 22 ... The Spartans are 8-0 this season and 44-14 in her career when DeHaan scores in double figures ... Also, MSU is 5-0 this season when she leads the team in scoring (28-4 in her career) ... DeHaan crossed the 1,100-point plateau for her career and moved into 14th place in MSU history with 1,111 points ... Redshirt freshman Lykendra Johnson and freshman Courtney Schiffauer made their first career starts ... MSU is now 10-0 when holding opponents under 60 points ... The Spartans have won all seven games when they go to the foul line more than 20 times ... MSU is 9-0 when leading at the half ... 11 Spartans scored in the win ... The Spartan post players held sophomore Amy Jaeschke to seven points and three rebounds; she entered the night averaging 16.9 points and 9.6 rebounds.