Feb. 13, 2000
Madison, Wis. - The Michigan State women's basketball overcame a slow start to take a one point lead late in the game, but fell short in a 77-69 loss to Wisconsin today at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. With the loss, the Spartans fall to 16-7 overall and 7-5 in the Big Ten while Wisconsin improves to 14-9 overall and 7-6 in the league. The road setback left the Spartans with a 1-5 record away from the Breslin Center in Big Ten play.
"We were hoping we could come in here and steal one, but obviously Wisconsin had other ideas," MSU coach Karen Langeland said. "Our defense was very disappointing today. Anytime you allow a team to shoot 57 percent from the floor for the game, you have some problems defensively.
"We are a very frustrated group right now," Langeland said of the team's ineffectiveness on the road. "At this point in the season every game is a must win and this certainly was for us and Wisconsin. We are both fighting for seeding in the Big Ten Tournament and the opportunity to get in the NCAA Tournament. We have four games left in the regular season to try and figure something out."
Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead taking a 10-2 advantage in the opening minutes of the game. The Spartans trailed by as many as 13 points in the opening half before climbing back to within three at the half, 40-37.
MSU tied the game three times in the second half and took its first and only lead of the game when senior Maxann Reese made a driving layup to make it 58-57 with 8:42 remaining. Wisconsin responded with a 7-0 run to go up 64-58 with 7:02 left in the contest.
The Spartans twice cut the deficit to four points, but couldn't get any closer as the Badgers came up with several key steals down the stretch to secure the victory.
Wisconsin shot 57 percent from the field and got balanced scoring with Jessie Stomski leading the way with 18 points and nine rebounds. LaTonya Sims added 17 points, while Kyle Black came off the bench to contribute 11 points, including 3-of-3 from three-point range.
The Spartans, who shot 50 percent from the field, were paced by Reese's 20 points. Sophomore Abby Salscheider came off the bench to score a career-high 15 points. Salscheider, who was 7-of-9 from the field, scored eight points in the first half to help the Spartans come back from their double-digit deficit. Senior Kristen Rasmussen was the only other player in double figures with 13 points and eight rebounds. Redshirt freshman Vnemina Reese chipped in four points, nine assists and a career-high six steals.
MSU will close out the regular-season home schedule with a pair of games at the Breslin Center next week. The Spartans will host Purdue on Feb. 17 before taking on in-state rival Michigan on Feb. 20.