Jan. 22, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Michigan State women's basketball team continued its impressive play against Big Ten competition, especially on the road, topping Northwestern, 74-54 tonight in Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Spartans, who are 13-6 overall and 6-2 in the conference, grabbed their fourth league road win in only five games and have now won 11 straight over the Wildcats (5-14, 1-7).
The Spartans controlled the boards on both ends, outrebounding the Wildcats 53-37, including a season-high 25 offensive rebounds. Redshirt freshmen Lykendra Johnson led the way with her first career double-double, posting 13 points and 15 rebounds, both career highs. The 15 rebounds and seven offensive rebounds were also the most by a Spartan this season.
Johnson was one of four Spartans in double-figures. Sophomore Kalisha Keane poured in a season- and game-high 22 points off the bench, also adding six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Junior Allyssa DeHaan (16 minutes played) and redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson (18 minutes) both battled foul trouble throughout the game, but ended the night with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Michigan State is now 7-0 this season, and 17-1 in their collegiate careers, when both DeHaan and Jefferson reach double-digits. DeHaan added a team-high three blocks.
Michigan State held the Wildcats scoreless for the first 4:11, jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the process. The Spartan lead expanded out to nine at 12-3 with 13:59 in the first half, but Northwestern scored the next eight points to get within one at 12-11 with under 11 minutes on the clock. The Wildcats could not take the lead, as MSU slowly built a bigger lead. The advantage got as large as 12 on two occasions, but the Spartans went into the break up nine at 38-29. In the first 20 minutes, Michigan State had as many offensive rebounds (17) as Northwestern rebounds (16).
The second half started similarly to the first, as the Spartans took the first six points to jump up 44-29 a minute and a half in. Northwestern responded with a 9-0 run themselves over the next 2:26 to get within six (44-38). That would be the closest that NU would get, as MSU counter punched with 10 unanswered over the next four minutes to put the game away for good. The lead would remain comfortable for the Spartans, getting as high as 23 with 2:36 left. For the final 9:15, Northwestern was held to only one field goal made.
The Wildcats were led by 22 points by Amy Jaeschke, who was held to 2-of-7 shooting over the final 27 minutes, after tallying the first 15 points of the game for NU. The loss was the worst home loss for Northwestern this season, as they combined to lose their other five home games, two of which were to ranked teams, by only 24 points.
The Spartans return to action on Sunday at 2 p.m. when they host Wisconson at the Breslin Center. The game can be seen live on the Big Ten Network.
NOTES: Michigan State has now won 21 of the last 23 against Northwestern and have grabbed five in a row at Welsh-Ryan Arena ... The four Big Ten road wins, ties for the sixth most in program history ... MSU is 12-0 when holding its opponent under 60 points and 10-0 when keeping them below 31% from the field ... The Spartans are 10-1 when grabbing more than 40 rebounds ... MSU is 10-1 when scoring first and 11-0 when leading at the half ... MSU is 9-0 when taking more than 20 free throws (23-of-37 tonight) and 10-1 when shooting more than the opposition ... They are 7-1 when scoring more than 70 points ... MSU is 11-1 when creating more points off turnovers ...With DeHaan in double-figures, MSU is 11-0 this season and 47-14 in her career ... DeHaan is now 13th on the MSU scoring list with 1,151 and 11th on the career rebounding list with 649 ... DeHaan moved into a tie for 17th on the NCAA career blocks list ... In the last six game, the opponents are only shooting 19.8% (22-of-111) from behind the arc (2-of-13 tonight) ... Lykendra Johnson has hit 12-straight free throws ... The Spartans tied a season high with 23 made 3-pointers and broke the season best with 37 attempts ... MSU is 5-0 on Thursday and 7-1 at night ... Keane's eight free throws made were a career high ... MSU had a 32-14 edge on points in the paint.