Jan. 24, 2013
LINCOLN, Neb. - The Michigan State women's basketball team dropped a 59-54 decision on Thursday night to Nebraska at Bob Devaney Sports Center. The No. 25 Spartans fell to 16-3 on the season and 4-2 in Big Ten play, while Nebraska, who is getting votes in both national polls, improved to 14-6, 4-3. Sophomore Kiana Johnson led MSU with a career-high 22 points in 32 minutes off the bench.
The first 15 minutes featured seven ties and four lead changes with neither team going ahead by more than two. Nebraska took a 19-18 lead with 4:55 to go in the first and would not trail again. A Johnson 3-pointer would cut the deficit back to one point (22-21) with 3:21 to go until break, but the Cornhuskers closed on an 8-2 run to go into halftime up 30-23.
Nebraska's lead would grow to as much as nine in the early moments of the second half, but an Akyah Taylor offensive putback would cut the lead back to four (43-39) with 12:38 to go. MSU would miss its next 11 field goals, as the Huskers went on a 9-2 run over a 9:12 span to open up their largest lead of the night at 52-41. The Spartans would close strong but ran out of time, falling 59-54.
Johnson went 7-for-18 from the field, including a career-high 4-for-9 from the 3-point arc, and also added a season- and team-high six rebounds. Senior Courtney Schiffauer added 11 points, while classmate Jasmine Thomas chipped in 10. Taylor tied Johnson for the team lead with six rebounds, tying her career high.
The Spartans return home to face No. 15 Purdue on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
- MSU was outrebounded (39-38) for the first time in the last 10 games, and for just the third time this season.
- Tonight was the first time an opponent's leading scorer surpassed their season average against the Spartans. Nebraska's Jordan Hooper posted 25 points, after averaging 17.8 on the year coming into the game.
- It was just the 10th time in Coach Merchant's tenure that MSU held a team to 60 points or less and lost. MSU is now 103-10 all-time when doing so.
- Tonight was MSU's first-ever game at Nebraska.