Feb. 7, 1998
MINNEAPOLIS, MN-The Michigan State women's basketball team held off a late run by Minnesota to pull out a 68-60 road win over the Gophers on Feb. 6. The victory, MSU's second straight, improved the Spartans' record to 10-11 overall and 4-7 in the Big Ten, while the Gophers fall to 4-18 overall and 1-11 in the conference.
"It was ugly, but it is a win for us," Spartan coach Karen Langeland said. "At this point n the season any win is huge, so we'll take it."
The Spartans, who held a slim 30-26 lead at halftime, quickly went up by nine on a three pointer by Jaime Wesley at the 18:27 mark of the second half. Minnesota chipped away at the lead and eventually took a one point lead at 47-46 on a basket by Angie Iverson with 11:33 to play. Bella Engen's three-point play with 4:03 left in the second half capped a 16-2 Spartan run, giving MSU its biggest lead of the game at 62-49. The Gophers wouldn't go away, as Kiauna Burns scored six points during an 11-1 run, cutting MSU's lead to 63-60 with 2:24 remaining.
Senior Bella Engen paced MSU with 21 points in the process of becoming just the eighth player in Spartan history to score 1,000 points in a career. Engen, who played all 40 minutes, was 10-of-14 from the field. She moved into 8th place on the scoring chart with 1,006 points.
"Bella had a great game for us, both at the defensive end and scoring," Langeland said. "She reached a significant milestone tonight and that is a tribute to the excellent career she had." Wesley added 16 poits and came up with four steals, while sophomore Kristen Rasmussen added 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
Senior Angie Iverson paced Minnesota with 16 points and 10 rebounds. MSU will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to face Ohio State on Sunday, Feb. 8 for a 2 p.m. contest.