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No. 12 Spartans Top Gophers, 66-54

Jan. 23, 2011

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Suzy Merchant Press Conference
Lykendra Johnson | Kalisha Keane | Cetera Washington
Minnesota Press Conference

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Lykendra Johnson had 20 points and 17 rebounds to help No. 12 Michigan State beat Minnesota 66-54 Sunday and continue the best start in school history.

Johnson had a double-double by halftime with 10 points and 10 rebounds, then doubled her point total and matched her season-bests in both for the first-place Spartans (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten).

Kalisha Keane had 14 points, and Cetera Washington added 10 points and eight rebounds in Michigan State's 17th straight win in Breslin Center.

Kiara Buford scored 24 points for the last-place Golden Gophers (8-12, 0-7), who twice cut a 12-point halftime deficit to five before the Spartans got going in the final minutes.


With the win...
- MSU improves to 18-2 on the season and are 6-1 in Big Ten play, sitting alone in first place.
- The record is the best 20-game start in program history.
- It is tied for the best seven-game Big Ten start all-time at MSU. The 1989-90, 1990-91 and 1996-97 teams also began 6-1.
- MSU has won 16 of its last 18 Big Ten regular season games.
- Michigan State won its 17th straight game at the Breslin Center. It is the second longest streak in program history and the 11th longest active streak in NCAA Division I. MSU is 224-78 all-time at Breslin.
- The Spartans have won the last three games against Minnesota and are 35-19 all-time in the series.
- MSU is now 66-7 under Coach Merchant when holding its opponent to 60 or less points. The Spartans have done so in 15 of their last 17 games.

Player Notes:
- Junior Lykendra Johnson had her sixth double-double of the season (fourth in seven Big Ten games) and 13th of her career. It was also the eighth time this season that Johnson has had double-figure rebounds.
- Johnson's team-high 20 points tied a season high, while her 17 rebounds tied a career high and her five blocks set a new mark. She also had eight offensive boards and four steals.
- It was the fifth time this season that Johnson has led MSU in scoring and 13th time she has led in rebounds. She has led the Spartans in rebounding in all seven Big Ten games.
- With her career-high tying 17 rebounds, Johnson jumped into 16th all-time at MSU with 621 rebounds.
- With her career-high five blocks, Johnson moved into sixth all-time at MSU with 93 blocks.
- With her game-high five steals, Keane is now third all-time at MSU with 227 steals.
- Keane has grabbed five steals in each of the last two games.
- Senior Brittney Thomas started her 109th career game, tying her for fifth all-time at MSU.
- Senior Cetera Washington, celebrating her birthday, had 10 points and eight rebounds (five offensive). Over her last three games, she is averaging 8.7 rebounds a game, including 4.7 on the offensive end.
- Freshman Klarissa Bell had five rebounds, her second most of the season and most in Big Ten play.

Team Notes:
- MSU held a 45-31 edge in rebounding. Over the last six games, the Spartans are +13.5 a game in rebound margin.
- MSU is 12-0 this season and 26-1 over the last two seasons when attempting more free throws than its opponent.
- Even though the turnover numbers were equal, MSU held a 29-13 edge in points off turnovers.
- MSU had 21 offensive rebounds, the second most this season, which led to 21 second chance points.



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