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Women's Basketball Extends Winning Streak To Six, Defeats Iowa, 68-56

Jan. 29, 2009

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Kalisha Keane | Allyssa DeHaan | Cetera Washington | Brittney Thomas
Coach Merchant Post Game Press Conference

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's basketball team matched its season-high winning streak at six games with a 68-56 victory over Iowa Thursday night at the Breslin Center. The Spartans (15-6) kept pace in the Big Ten standings and remain tied for second place with Indiana at 8-2 in league play, just a half-game back from Ohio State for first.

MSU snapped Iowa's (12-8, 5-4) four-game winning streak by dominating inside, outscoring the Hawkeyes in the paint, 46-16, and outrebounding them, 42-33.

The Spartans once again played strong on the defensive end, holding its opponent under 60 points for the sixth straight game, which extends a school-record streak against Big Ten opponents. Iowa entered the contest second in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage, but was limited to 35-percent shooting from the floor, its worst shooting performance in five games. On the opposite end, Michigan State shot 45.3 percent from the field, its best mark in conference play.

Junior Allyssa DeHaan led the way for the Spartans with 14 points on 7-of-15 shooting to go with four rebounds and three blocks. MSU is 8-0 this season and 31-4 in her career when she leads the team in scoring. Sophomore Kalisha Keane continued her hot play off the bench, shooting 6-of-9 from the field and pouring in 13 points. The Spartans outscored Iowa's bench, 27-3, and have now scored a staggering 273 more points off the bench than their opponents this season. Sophomore Brittney Thomas also scored in double-figures with 10 points.

After Iowa scored the first basket of the game, MSU followed with a 10-1 run and never trailed the remainder of the contest. The Hawkeyes did tie the score at 19 with 3:34 left in the first half, but the Spartans went on a 7-0 run to close the half, taking a 26-19 advantage into the break.

Michigan State controlled the second half of play, leading in double digits for a majority of the half. Although Iowa cut the margin to nine at 41-32 at the 11:48 mark, MSU bounced back with an 8-1 run, extending the lead to a game-high 16 on a DeHaan layup with 9:25 left.

The Hawkeyes trimmed the lead to single digits on two other occasions, but both times, MSU responded with impressive scoring runs. Michigan State led 57-42 with 5:19 left, however, Iowa jumped back to within eight after scoring seven straight points. Down the stretch, MSU went on a 7-0 run of its own over the next two minutes, keyed by a 3-pointer from Keane, a layup from DeHaan and another layup from sophomore Cetera Washington, putting the game out of reach at 64-49 with just over 90 seconds remaining.

Washington finished with seven points - her best scoring effort since game three of the season vs. Detroit - and six rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Redshirt freshman Lykendra Johnson had a team-high eight rebounds and three assists.

The Spartans return to action Monday, Feb. 2 as they travel to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

NOTES: The Spartans have won nine of the last 11 meetings against Iowa, including the last five in East Lansing ... Michigan State is 9-1 at the Breslin Center this season ... MSU is 14-0 when holding the opponent under 60 points ... Michigan State is 11-1 with more than 40 rebounds and 13-1 when they outrebound their opponent by five or better ... MSU is 7-1 when shooting over 43% from the field ... The Spartans are 10-1 when they have less turnovers than the opposition and 12-1 when they create more points off turnovers ... MSU is 13-0 when leading at the half ... When DeHaan scores double-figures, MSU is 13-0 this season and 49-14 in her career ... DeHaan moved into 16th on the NCAA career blocks list with 361 ... Michigan State celebrated National Girls and Women in Sports Day with a ceremony at halftime honoring the women's varsity teams.



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