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Spartans run past Northwestern, 84-52

Feb. 3, 2000

East Lansing, Mich. - Four players scored in double figures and the running game was in high gear for the Michigan State women's basketball team in an 84-52 win over Northwestern tonight at the Breslin Center. With the victory the Spartans tie the school record for consecutive home wins at 13. MSU is now 15-6 overall and 6-4 in the Big Ten, while the Wildcats fall to 6-14 overall and 3-7 in the league.

"It was a great team effort tonight," MSU coach Karen Langeland said. "We talked all week about how important defense was for us to win ball games and I thought our defense was superb. We did a great job defending things we had trouble with the last time we played them."

Senior Maxann Reese scored 12 of her 19 points in the first half as the Spartans jumped out to a 39-22 halftime lead and never looked back. MSU shot 57 percent in the first half, mostly because of transition baskets.

"Michigan State played extremely well and we got crushed in transition tonight," Northwestern coach June Olkowski said. "I would love to know how many transition buckets they got. We couldn't stop that and we couldn't stop their half court offense and that's how you get down so quickly."

Northwestern never got closer than 16 points in the second half as the Spartans were able to empty the bench. MSU reserves contributed 22 points to the effort, led by freshman Maria Recker's nine points. Junior Christie Pung had another solid effort off the bench, contributing seven points, four assists and two steals.

Junior Becky Cummings led the Spartans with 20 points and 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Senior Kristen Rasmussen had 12 points and eight rebounds, while redshirt freshman Vnemina Reese contributed a season-high 11 points, five assists and four steals.

Junior Erin Skelly came off the bench and scored two points, had three rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes of action. She provided more excitement after the game when she accepted a surprise marriage proposal from Josh Smith during a live post-game interview on AT&T Cable. Smith is a junior backup center on the Spartan football team.

Dana Leonard came off the bench to lead Northwestern with 14 points.

The Spartans return to the Breslin Center on Sunday, Feb. 6 when they host Iowa at 2 p.m.



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