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Spartans Regain Winning Form, Top Purdue, 72-54

Jan. 21, 2010

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Head Coach Suzy Merchant Press Conference
Aisha Jefferson | Porsche Poole | Brittney Thomas
Purdue Press Conference

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's basketball team used a balanced offensive effort to snap a three-game losing skid on Thursday night, topping Purdue, 72-54 at the Breslin Center. Junior Brittney Thomas led four Spartans in double-figures with a season-high 16 points, also adding six rebounds, a team-high five assists, two blocks and two steals.

The Spartans improve to 12-7 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten.

Purdue cut a then-14 point MSU lead to two with 14:02 remaining in the second half, as Brittany Rayburn, who led the Boilermakers with 11 points, knocked down a 3-pointer to cap a 15-3 Purdue run.

Coming out of a 30-second timeout, the Spartans ran off the next 17 points to open up a 58-39 lead with 8:15 on the clock. Redshirt senior Lauren Aitch paced the run with six points, while Brittney Thomas added five and Porsche Poole chipped in four during the more than six minute run.

Michigan State's lead would grow to as much as 26 points (70-44) late in the second half.

Purdue held two one-point leads in the opening minutes of the game, including a 5-4 edge 3:20 in, but MSU responded with an 11-0 spurt, including six fast break points, to run out to a 15-5 lead with 12:30 to go in the opening half. The Spartan lead would get up to 13 with 8:49 on the clock, but Purdue closed the half on a 13-6 run to go to the break down just six, 30-24.

Redshirt senior Aisha Jefferson, who scored 11-straight points for the Spartans during one stretch of the first half, scored 14 points, going 6-of-8 from the field, including a perfect 2-of-2 from behind the arc, setting a new career mark. Jefferson also added eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Senior Allyssa DeHaan added 11 points and six rebounds, while sophomore Porsche Poole chipped in 10 points and tied a career high with four assists.

MSU shot 50.0% (27-of-54) from the floor, its best performance in Big Ten play, while holding Purdue to 29.7% (19-of-64), its lowest percentage of the season.

The Spartans return to action on Sunday, when they travel to Minneapolis for a 3 p.m. ET tip against the Golden Gophers (11-7, 4-3) on ESPN2.

- Brittney Thomas was the eighth different Spartan to lead the team in scoring this season.
- MSU held a 40-14 edge in the paint and had a 14-0 advantage in fast break points.
- MSU is now 20-3 all-time when both Allyssa DeHaan and Aisha Jefferson score in double figures.
- Jasmine Thomas grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds.
- Aisha Jefferson moved into 17th all-time on the MSU scoring list with 1,083 and moved into a tie for 16th all-time with 606 rebounds. She also is now 13th all-time with 432 field goals.
- Allyssa DeHaan is now sixth all-time in MSU history with 847 rebounds and tied for third with 324 free throws made.
- Four Spartans - Aisha Jefferson (14), Porsche Poole (10), Lauren Aitch (8) and Jasmine Thomas (6) - combined for 38 points off the bench, also adding 21 rebounds, nine assists and six steals. MSU had a 38-25 edge in bench scoring.
- Brittney Thomas tied a career-high with six made free throws, hitting all of her attempts.
- MSU has now won three-in-a-row against Purdue and has won the last three games at Breslin vs. the Boilermakers.
- The Spartans are now 18-9 all-time on the Big Ten Network, including a 5-2 mark this season.
- MSU tied a season-high with 27 turnovers.



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