Spartans Fight Off Northwestern on the Road, 67-62
Jan. 31, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Michigan State women's basketball team overcame a double-digit deficit to top Northwestern, 67-62 on Thursday at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Spartans, who improve to 17-4 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten, were led by a career-high 21 points from junior Annalise Pickrel, who went 5-of-7 from the 3-point arc.
Michigan State has now won 18-straight games over Northwestern, and won its eighth consecutive game at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Pickrel also tied for the team lead with six rebounds and grabbed a career-high four steals off the bench tonight. Senior Jasmine Thomas added 14 points, 12 of which were in the second half, on 6-for-8 shooting, and tied Pickrel with six rebounds. Sophomore Kiana Johnson dished out a season- and game-high nine assists and picked up three steals.
Northwestern scored the first 10 points of the night over the initial 3:52, and held MSU to five points over the first 8:34. The Spartans would claw back and take their first lead at 16-15 with 8:46 until half. The first half would feature four ties before the Wildcats ended the half on a 7-0 run over the final 2:47 to take a 32-26 halftime lead.
Northwestern scored 11 seconds into the second half to go up eight. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Courtney Schiffauer and Pickrel gave MSU back the lead at 42-41 with under 14 minutes to go. A scoreless stretch of nearly five minutes by the Spartans followed as the Wildcats scored seven unanswered. Michigan State immediately responded with a 19-2 run, including eight points from Thomas, over the next six and a half minutes to open an 11-point lead (61-50) with 3:24 left. Northwestern would not go away, getting back within three, but two free throws by Klarissa Bell in the final seconds iced the win.
After shooting only 30% in the first half and allowing NU to shoot 50%, the Spartans flipped the numbers in the second half, shooting 56%, including 6-for-8 from 3-point, while holding the Wildcats to 36.7%. MSU forced 21 Northwestern turnovers, which led to a 25-14 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Spartans return to action on Monday, hosting Michigan at 7:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network. The game is MSU's annual Play4Kay Pink Game.
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