January 17, 1999
Site: Breslin Center - East Lansing, MI
Game Result: Michigan State 70, Iowa 64
Records: Michigan State 9-7 overall, 3-3 Big Ten; Iowa 8-9 overall, 3-4 Big Ten
MSU's Next Action: at Michigan - Jan. 20, 1999 (7:00 p.m., EST) - Ann Arbor, MI
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Six free throws in the last 44 seconds of the game secured a 70-64 victory over Iowa for the Michigan State women's basketball team today at the Breslin Center. With the win, the Spartans snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 9-7 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten, while the Hawkeyes fall to 8-9 overall and 3-4 in the conference.
Michigan State hit back-to-back three-pointers in the opening seconds of the second half to go up by nine at 32-23. The Hawkeyes kept the game close and cut the deficit to three points on a layup by Leah Magner at the 11:52 mark to make it 45-42 Spartans.
MSU then went on a 10-2 run culminated by a pair of free throws by Maxann Reese to give the Spartans a 55-44 lead with 8:09 left in the contest. Amy Herrig then went to work for the Hawkeyes, scoring eight points during a 14-4 run to bring the Hawkeyes within one at 59-58 with 3:46 to go.
After the Spartans went back up by five on a put back by Kristen Rasmussen, Cara Consuegra hit a jumper and Herrig connected on a pair of free throws to make it 64-62 MSU with 1:05 remaining.
Sophomore Christie Pung missed the front end of a one-and-one with 44 seconds to go and MSU leading by just two, but a lane violation by Iowa gave her another opportunity. Pung connected on two free throws to give the Spartans a 66-62 lead.
Magner pulled Iowa back within two with a bucket with 25 seconds to go, but the Hawkeyes fouled Pung again and she hit both free throws to give the Spartans a 68-64 cushion with 21 seconds left. Iowa couldn't convert on its next trip down the floor and Reese hit a pair of free throws with two seconds left to give MSU the 70-64 victory.
Rasmussen, Reese and sophomore Becky Cummings each scored 18 points to lead the Spartans. Rasmussen and Cummings led the rebounding effort with 11 and 10 boards, respectively.
Herrig scored 27 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in the losing effort, while Meder added 11 points.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 20 when they travel to Ann Arbor to face Michigan in a 7 p.m. contest at Crisler Arena. The game is a makeup of the Jan. 3 contest that was postponed because of the weather.
NOTES AND QUOTES
Kristen Rasmussen and Maxann Reese each topped the 800-point marks in their careers. Rasmussen has 806 points, while Reese has 813.
Rasmussen garnered the 500th rebound of her career and now has 509.
Reese moved into third place on the MSU all-time chart for three-point field goals with 124.
Rasmussen recorded the third double-double of the season and the 14th of her career.
Becky Cummings recorded her 4th double-double of the season and the 5th of her career.
Sophomore Donita Johnson tied her career high with six assists.
MSU COACH KAREN LANGELAND
"I was very pleased with our performance and effort today. I feel like this was one of the first times all year that we played solid basketball for forty minutes. We had good balanced scoring. Amy Herrig is an outstanding player and shes really tough to stop. I thought Becky Cummings did as good a job as she could do considering the size difference and the physical strength. Becky also got some help from Kristen inside and that was a major factor.
"But probably bigger than that was that we did a good job defensively on the other four players who were on the court. We really contained them well and we obviously had some key free throws down the stretch.
"This is a huge win for us. I dont think we will realize how big it is until the end of the season. Were in the middle of the pack (in the Big Ten) with a lot of teams and how we do against those teams is going to make a big difference. In this conference, you have to win your home games there is no question about it.
Christie was an outstanding free throw shooter in high school, but for some reason she was struggling this season. Iowa gave her a second opportunity on that first one-and-one and she made the most of it and made the next four."
IOWA COACH ANGIE LEE
"Id like to congratulate Michigan State. I think they did a good job. They needed to go inside and thats exactly what they did. When you look at Becky Cummings and Kristen Rasmussen both having double-doubles, they attacked us where we have the least amount of depth so they did the smart thing."