Women's Basketball Extends Winning Streak To Three Games
Last second heroics give Spartans 74-72 win over Ohio State.
Feb. 8, 1998
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Freshman Becky Cummings sank two free throws with four seconds remaining to give Michigan State a thrilling 74-72 victory over Ohio State at St. John Arena. The victory improved MSU's overall record to 11-11, the first time the Spartans have been .500 since Dec. 30. The win also improved MSU's winning streak to a season-high three games and its Big Ten record to 5-7. The Buckeyes fell to 13-9 overall and 6-7 in the conference.
Senior Bella Engen's two free throws with 4:41 left in the game gave MSU its biggest lead of the game at 68-58. Ohio State's Larecha Jones and Marrita Porter sparked a comeback, leading the Buckeyes to a 13-2 run and a 71-70 lead with 2:27 left in the game.
MSU intentionally fouled Jamie Lewis with 17 seconds remaining and the Buckeye guard made one of two free throws to increase Ohio State's lead to 72-70. Engen then inbounded the ball to Jamie Wesley, who went coast-to-coast for a layup and the foul to knot the score at 72-72 with 11 seconds remaining.
Wesley missed the free throw, but sophomore Maxann Reese kept the ball alive, setting up Cummings' winning free throws.
Engen, Wesley and sophomore Kristen Rasmussen combined for 60 of MSU's 74 points with 20 points each.
Despite Ohio State's full-court pressure, MSU committed just 13 turnovers and shot 53 percent from the field.
"Their pressure kept us from executing our half court offense," Langeland said. "At the other end, they were going to Jones and Porter and we couldn't stop them."
Jones ended the contest with a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Porter had 22 points and seven rebounds.
With her 20 points, Wesley became just the ninth player in Spartan history to score 1,000 points. She ranks eighth all-time with 1,017 points.
MSU will host Purdue on Friday, Feb. 13 (7:30 p.m.), before facing league-leader Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 15 in Champaign, Ill., at 5 p.m., EST.