January 20, 1999
Site: Crisler Arena - Ann Arbor, MI
Game Result: Michigan 76, Michigan State 75 OT
Records: Michigan State 9-8 overall, 3-4 Big Ten; Michigan 10-6 overall, 2-4 Big Ten
MSU's Next Action: vs. Minnesota - Jan. 22, 1999 (7:30 p.m., EST) - East Lansing, MI
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Junior Kristen Rasmussen scored 25 of her career high 29 points in the second half, but it wasnt enough as Michigan State lost a heartbreaking 76-75 overtime decision to rival Michigan in Ann Arbor tonight. With the loss, the Spartans fall to 9-8 overall and 3-4 in the Big Ten, while the Wolverines improve to 10-6 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
"Welcome to Big Ten basketball," coach Karen Langeland said following the loss that cost her an opportunity to claim her 350th career victory. "That's a tough game to lose as you can imagine. There was some pretty good basketball being played on the court. It was one of those games that you hope nobody has to lose."
Michigan came out strong, jumping out to a 15-5 lead in the opening five minutes of the game. The Spartans settled down and went on a 12-0 run to take a 17-15 lead at the 10:14 mark on a layup by junior Maxann Reese. The game stayed close for the remainder of the first half and the Spartans went into the intermission with a slim 35-31 advantage.
The Wolverines took their biggest lead of the second half on a layup by Stacey Thomas to make it 62-53 with 4:48 remaining. Rasmussen then went to work for the Spartans, scoring eight points during an 11-2 run, culminated by a three-pointer to tie the contest at 64-64 with 1:47 left to play.
Sophomore Donita Johnson's driving layup tied the contest at 66-66 with 1:18 to go and Michigan couldn't convert in the final seconds, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra session, neither team led by more than two points, but rookie Alayne Ingram hit several key baskets to give the Wolverines the edge.
With the Wolverines leading 73-71, sophomore Becky Cummings got an offensive rebound and put it in to tie the game at 73-73 with 49 seconds left. Ingram scored with 23 second remaining to give Michigan a two-point advantage, but Rasmussen countered with a bucket underneath to knot the score at 75-75 with 14 seconds to go.
Thomas drove the lane and dished to Alison Miller, who was fouled with six seconds left. Miller made the second of two free throws to put the Wolverines up, 76-75. A last-second shot by Donita Johnson fell short and Michigan walked off with the win.
"You have to give Michigan credit," Langeland said. "Alayne Ingram hit some huge baskets down the stretch and that was probably the story, at least at the end.
Rasmussen added 11 rebounds to her 29-point effort for her second consecutive double-double and her fourth of the season. The Spartan forward also contributed two blocks and a career-high four steals. Reese finished the contest with 18 points, while Cummings scored 10 points and had a game-high 12 rebounds for her second-straight double-double and her fifth of the year.
"Kristen and Max have both carried us all year," Langeland said. "Kristen seemed to be a little bit tentative in the first half, so we talked about being a little more aggressive offensively in the second half and taking the shot when she has it. As you saw, sometimes they are four footers and sometimes they are three pointers. She kind of has the green light to shoot whenever she is open and I thought she did a great job of taking the open shot and putting them in."
The Spartans return to the Breslin Center for a pair of games this weekend. MSU will host Minnesota on Friday, Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m., and will take on Illinois on Sunday, Jan. 24 in a 2 p.m., tipoff.