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Spartans Fall to Minnesota, 81-69

Jan. 27, 2008

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Michigan State women's basketball team fell to Minnesota, 81-69, before a crowd of 9,849 Sunday afternoon at Williams Arena. Mandy Piechowski scored a career-high 14 points and hit four 3-pointers to lead the Spartans (12-10, 4-6 Big Ten).

The Gophers (15-6, 6-3) were led by Emily Fox, who scored a game-high 29 points and shot 9-for-14 from the field. Katie Ohm chipped in 17 points, hitting five 3-pointers.

Minnesota limited the Spartans to 23 percent shooting in the first half and took a 38-24 lead into the break. MSU played better in the second half, shooting 44 percent and outscoring the Gophers, 45-43. Trailing by as many as 20 at the 15:30 mark, the Spartans cut the lead to just six points at 75-69 with a little over a minute remaining, but that's as close as they would get.

"We got off to a poor start offensively. To win on the road against a good team in a tough environment, you have to put the ball in the basket. I thought we had good looks, but we just didn't finish them," said MSU head coach Suzy Merchant. "You certainly have to give Minnesota credit. I thought they came out of the gates strong. I thought their physical play bothered us in the first half.

"I thought there were some loose balls and some defensive rebounds that had we gotten them in the second half, it was close enough that we were within a couple of possessions to turning things around, that things could have gone our way."

Including Piechowski, the Spartans featured five players in double-figures. Lauren Aitch (12), Courtney Davidson (11), Kalisha Keane (11) and Allyssa DeHaan (10) all scored in double-figures for the Spartans.

"Mandy had a great game, she really shot the ball well," continued Merchant. "The last couple of weeks she's been taking some good shots, they all haven't fallen, but I felt like she was close. She's fairly quick and is a decent defender, so we thought she was worthy of some more playing time."

MSU returns to action Thursday, Jan. 31 to take on Michigan in East Lansing at 7 p.m. ET. The game will not be televised.



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