Feb. 9, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's basketball team used a 12-0 run late in the first half to pull away from Northwestern, and cruise to a 72-58 win at Breslin Center on Thursday night. Senior Porsche Poole surpassed 20 points for the fourth-straight game, leading MSU with 20 points and a career high seven assists.
Poole is the first Spartan since Liz Shimek at the end of the 2005-06 season to score at least 20 points in four straight games.
The Spartans (15-9, 7-4), who have now won three straight games, had four players in double-figures. Senior Lykendra Johnson added 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds, while classmate Taylor Alton had 11 points and freshman Kiana Johnson posted 10. Alton also added a career high tying seven rebounds and three steals.
Northwestern was in control for much of the first half, holding a 26-21 lead with 5:52 on the clock. However, the Spartans would score the next 12 points over a span of 5:39 to take the lead for good. Northwestern stopped a run with a layup with 13 seconds to go in the half, bringing the halftime score to 33-28 MSU.
The Spartans jumped out quickly in the second half, scoring the first seven points to open a 12-point lead (40-28). MSU's lead grew to as many as 18 (59-41), and remained in double-digits the rest of the way, as the Spartans closed out the 72-58 win.
It was Michigan State's 16th straight win over Northwestern, and its 26th in its last 28 games in the series.
For the second straight game, the Spartans committed only 10 turnovers.
Michigan State hits the road for its next two games, beginning with a trip to Iowa on Sunday. The game is set for 3 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.
-The Spartans have not lost to the Wildcats in the Breslin Center since 1993, a span of 16 games.
- Michigan State has won 31 straight games when scoring at least 70 points, and is 48-4 under Coach Merchant when reaching that point plateau.
- Under Merchant, MSU is now 84-8 when holding its opponent to 60 points or less.
- MSU is now 13-0 all-time when Alton scores in double figures.
- L. Johnson moved into 16th place on the school's career points list with 1,147.
- With her two blocks, L. Johnson moved into a tie for third in MSU history with 134 in her career.
- It was L. Johnson's 108th start at MSU, tying her for seventh in Spartan history.
- L. Johnson also moved into 17th in Big Ten history with 957 career rebounds.
- Alton moved into ninth place on the career 3-point field goal with 103.
- Freshman Becca Mills was a spark off the bench with nine points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.