Spartans Fall To Wisconsin In Overtime, 73-68
February 7, 1999
Site: Kohl Center - Madison, WI
Game Result: Wisconsin 73, Michigan State 68 OT
Records: Michigan State 12-11 overall, 6-7 Big Ten; Wisconsin 11-12 overall, 6-7 Big Ten
MSU's Next Action: vs. Northwestern - Feb. 12, 1999 (7:30 p.m., EST) - Breslin Center
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin sophomore LaTonya Sims scored 28 points and had 11 rebounds to lead the Badgers to a 73-68 overtime victory over Michigan State in front of 9,070 fans at the Kohl Center tonight in Madison, Wis.
The loss, MSU's third overtime setback of the season, was a devastating blow for the Spartans, who could have moved into fifth place in the Big Ten with a victory. Instead, MSU falls to 12-11 overall and remains tied with the Badgers (11-12) for sixth place in the league at 6-7.
"This is such a disappointing loss because we had an opportunity to make a move in the Big Ten standings and we didn't take advantage of it," MSU coach Karen Langeland said.
Junior Maxann Reese scored seven of MSU's first 11 points in the opening minutes of the second half as the Spartans overcame a 31-25 halftime deficit to take a 36-35 advantage at the 15:56 mark.
A three-pointer by junior Kristen Rasmussen and a bucket by sophomore Christie Pung extended MSU's lead to six points at 57-51 with 5:54 to go.
Rookie Tamara Moore's baseline jumper capped a 10-2 Wisconsin run and gave the Badgers a 61-59 edge with just 1:24 to play.
MSU turned the ball over on its next possession, but the Badgers couldn't capitalize, losing the ball out of bounds on their trip down the floor.
Reese hit a jumper from the left elbow to tie the score at 61 all with 31 seconds left. The Badgers then called timeout to set up a final play, but a shot clock violation returned the ball to the Spartans with four seconds to go.
MSU took a timeout, but had the length of the court to go and a last second shot by Rasmussen missed wide left and the game went into overtime.
Sims took over in the extra stanza, scoring six of Wisconsin's first 10 points to give the Badgers a 71-66 lead with 44 seconds left. Sophomore Becky Cummings sank a pair of free throws with 36 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to three.
The Spartans fouled Sims on the in bounds pass and she missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving MSU another opportunity. A three-point attempt by Reese from the top of the key with 25 seconds left was no good and Sims hit two free throws with 23 seconds remaining to secure the Badger victory.
"Sims really hurt us, especially at the end of regulation and in the overtime," Langeland said. "We were disorganized in our offense at the end of regulation and in the overtime. That resulted in either poor shot selection or some steals on Wisconsins part and to me, that was kind of the ball game there."
Rasmussen and Reese led the Spartans with 15 points each, while Cummings had 13 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Donita Johnson contributed 10 points and seven assists.
Moore ended the contest with 16 points and nine boards for the Badgers, who shot 52 percent from the field.
MSU has just three games remaining in the regular season. The Spartans host Northwestern (Feb. 12) and Michigan (Feb. 14) next weekend at the Breslin Center before closing out the conference schedule at Ohio State on Feb. 18.
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