January 29, 1999
Site: Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, IA
Game Result: Michigan State 81, Iowa 69
Records: Michigan State 11-9 overall, 5-5 Big Ten; Iowa 8-11 overall; 3-6 Big Ten
MSU's Next Action: vs. No. 2 Purdue - Jan. 31, 1999 (2:00 p.m., EST) - East Lansing, MI
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Junior guard Maxann Reese (Highland Park, MI) scored 29 of her school-record 41 points in the second half to help the Michigan State women's basketball team overcome an 18-point halftime deficit and beat Iowa, 81-69, tonight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The victory lifted MSU's overall record to 11-9 and evened its Big Ten mark at 5-5, while the Hawkeyes fall to 8-11 overall and 3-6 in the conference.
"That was a big-time performance," Spartan coach Karen Langeland said. "I have never seen anything like it in my 23 years of coaching; it certainly was unbelievable. We all can't believe that we were the ones who witnessed that kind of performance."
After MSU scored the opening basket of the game, Iowa took control forcing 12 Spartan turnovers in the half and shooting 67 percent from the field to go into the intermission with what seemed like a commanding 46-28 advantage.
"We were too passive in the first half," Langeland said. "At halftime, we talked about being a lot more aggressive, getting hands on loose balls, looking for easy baskets in transition and going to the offensive boards."
The Spartans stepped up their defense in the second half, holding the Hawkeyes to just four points in the opening eight minutes of the half, while Reese chiseled away at the Iowa lead.
The Spartan tri-captain scored 17 of team's first 23 points, including back-to-back three-pointers to give MSU a 53-50 lead with 12:04 left to play, its first advantage since the opening 2-0 advantage.
Amy Herrig's basket brought the Hawkeyes within one at 54-53, but Reese answered with another three-pointer to put the Spartans up 57-53 with 10:47 to go. After the Spartans went up by 11 on a layup by Kristen Rasmussen, Randi Peterson scored and Lindsey Meder hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to six points at 64-58 at the 7:31 mark.
Back-to-back scores by Reese and Becky Cummings gave MSU a 10-point cushion with 6:05 to play and the Spartans took their biggest lead of the game at 72-60 on a layup by Christie Pung at the 5:03 mark.
"We played totally different in the second half than we did in the first half and as a result, with Max's help, we were not only able to eliminate the deficit, but take the lead," Langeland said.
"If they don't believe in themselves now they never will," the Spartan mentor added. "It was an incredible performance by everyone. I know Max did a lot of things, but Becky Cummings did a great job defensively on Amy Herrig, Abby Salscheider comes off the bench and has her best game and Erin Skelly gave us some good minutes. It really was everyone."
Reese was 14-of-21 from the field and 10-of-16 from three-point range, tying the Big Ten mark for triples in a game. She also contributed a career-high six rebounds, three assists, one block and three steals in 36 minutes of action.
Cummings ended the contest with 14 points, on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor for the Spartans, who shot 72 percent from the field in the second half and 60 percent for the game. Rasmussen was the other player in double figures for MSU with 10 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five blocked shots. Salscheider contributed 14 minutes of solid defense and scored six points off the bench.
Herrig paced the Hawkeyes with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Meder contributed 15 points.
The Spartans return to action on Sunday, Jan. 31, when they host second-ranked Purdue at 2 p.m., at the Breslin Center.