Feb. 17, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - A balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort led the Michigan State women's basketball team to a 62-46 victory at Wisconsin on Thursday night. The Spartans, who improve to 16-10 overall and move into a tie for fourth in the Big Ten at 8-5, were led by senior Lykendra Johnson who posted 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in only 24 minutes.
Joining her in double-figures was senior Taylor Alton and freshman Kiana Johnson who each chipped in 10 points and six rebounds. K. Johnson also added a team-high five assists and two steals, while Alton dished out three assists. Senior Porsche Poole added nine points and four assists.
Wisconsin scored the first basket of the game, but would not lead again the rest of the way. With MSU leading 9-8 with 15:27 to go in the first, the Spartans ran off seven unanswered points over the next three minutes to open an eight point lead (16-8). A 6-0 run later in the half, opened up MSU's largest lead of the half at 31-18 with just over three minutes on the clock. The Spartans would go into the break up 31-22.
Michigan State put the game away in the early parts of the second half, scoring the first eight points after intermission and holding Wisconsin scoreless for the first 5:46. The Spartans lead grew to as many as 20 in the second half, before a couple late baskets from the Badgers brought the final to 62-46.
The Spartans shot 52.9% from the field, while holding Wisconsin to 38.5%, including a 2-for-10 effort from behind the arc. MSU also held a 38-21 edge in rebounding.
Michigan State returns to action on Sunday, hosting Purdue at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. The game is the Spartans' Play4Kay game, assisting with a national effort to raise awareness for breast cancer.
- Michigan State has won three in a row over Wisconsin, including its last two trips to the Kohl Center.
- MSU shot 52.9% from the field, the team's second best performance this season. It was also its best showing in a Big Ten game since Feb. 12, 2009 at Indiana.
- The Spartans' 20 assists tied for the most this season (Milwaukee - Nov. 22). It was the most by MSU in a conference game since dishing out 23 vs. Michigan on Dec. 31, 2009.
- Michigan State was +17 (38-21) on the glass, its second largest margin this season and its best in a Big Ten game since Jan. 9, 2011 at Michigan.
- MSU held a 40-12 edge in points in the paint.
- Wisconsin entered the game second in the Big Ten in league games in 3-pointers made (7.0 a game) and third in 3-point field goal percentage (.359), but the Spartans held them to 2-for-10 (.200) shooting from behind the arc.
- All-time, MSU is 143-4 (97.3%) when holding its opponent under 50 points.
- Under Coach Merchant, the Spartans are 85-8 (91.4%) when holding the opponent to 60 points or less.
- MSU improves to 38-12 (76.0%) after a loss under Coach Merchant and 26-16 (61.9%) in Big Ten road games.
- The Spartans improve to 14-0 in her career when Taylor Alton scores in double figures.
- L. Johnson moved into 13th place in Big Ten history in career rebounds (972).