Jan. 29, 2012
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Head Coach Suzy Merchant Press Conference
Porsche Poole | Klarissa Bell
PSU Head Coach Coquese Washington Press Conference
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Senior Porsche Poole rose to the occasion, scoring a career high 32 points on Sunday, leading the Michigan State women's basketball team to a 83-77 upset over No. 18/19 Penn State at Breslin Center. The Spartans (13-9, 5-4) snap their four-game losing streak and complete the season sweep over the Nittany Lions.
Unlike the last couple games, the Spartans came out with a fast start, jumping to a 10-5 lead in the first three minutes. PSU scored the next six to take its first lead of the game at 11-10. The lead would not last long, as MSU would later go on a 7-0 run to open a 23-15 lead with 10:32 to go. The margin remained at eight (30-22) with 6:28 on the clock, but the Nittany Lions closed the half on an 11-4 run to go, cutting the Spartans' halftime lead to 34-33.
The second half went back-and-forth early, seeing the game tied at 46 with 13:33 remaining. The Spartans would run off six straight points to open up a six-point margin, eventually growing to as much as nine (60-51) with 9:32 to go. Penn State would chip away and take a lead of its own at 72-69 with just under four minutes left. The two teams would match baskets, until a Poole pull up jumper with 1:37 left gave MSU a 76-75 lead which it would relinquish. A Klarissa Bell layup and free throws by Lykendra Johnson and Poole sealed the much-needed victory for the Spartans.
In addition to her career offensive night, Poole tied her career highs with six assists and six rebounds. L. Johnson posted her seventh double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Kiana Johnson added 13 points and six assists.
The Spartans have a week off from competition, before returning to the court next Sunday at Michigan. Tip is set for 3 p.m. in Crisler Center.
- MSU has won four straight over Penn state, including sweeping the season series this year. The Spartans have also won 10 of the last 13 games in the series.
- The Spartans have won 30 straight games when scoring at least 70 points, and are 47-4 all-time under Coach Merchant when reaching that plateau.
- The Spartans' 83 points were the most since the second game of the season (113 vs. North Carolina A&T). It was their most points in a Big Ten game since scoring 86 vs. Michigan on Dec. 31, 2009.
- MSU shot 50.8% from the floor, its highest in Big Ten play, including making 64.0% in the second half.
- The Spartans were +6 (40-34) on the boards. PSU was leading the conference in Big Ten games with a +11.1 rebound margin.
- Poole's 32 points were tied for the most by a Spartan in a single-game and were the most since Aisha Jefferson scored 34 on Nov. 29, 2008 at Notre Dame.
- Poole's 60 points over the last two games are the most by a Spartan in a two-game span.
- Poole also tied her career highs with six rebounds and six assists. She added a game-high three steals.
- Poole went 9-for-15 from the free throw line, setting a new career high for free throws made.
- Poole also went 3-of-4 from behind the arc, setting a new season high for 3-pointer made.
- L. Johnson had her seventh double-double of the season, and her second against PSU this season. It was also her 24th double-double in her career.
- With her 16 points, L. Johnson moved into 17th place on the Spartan scoring list with 1,119 points.
- With her game-high 12 rebounds, L. Johnson also moved into third on the MSU career rebound list with 938, passing Kris Emerson (933). She is now 26 rebounds shy of tying Kristen Rasmussen for second place.
- L. Johnson also jumped up into 15th place in career minutes with 3,100.
- Klarissa Bell started her first career game. Bell played a career high 30 minutes.
- Bell tied her season high with seven points.
- K. Johnson played all 40 minutes, tying her career high in minutes played, set last time out vs. Illinois.
- K. Johnson has scored in double figures in three-straight games, averaging 12.7 points during that span.
- Taylor Alton became the 10th Spartan to make 100 career 3-point field goals today.