February 19, 1999
Site: Value City Arena - Columbus, Ohio
Game Result: Ohio State 85, Michigan State 46
Records: Ohio State 16-9 overall; 9-6 Big Ten; Michigan State 14-12 overall; 8-8 Big Ten
MSU's Next Action: vs. TBA - Big Ten Tournament (Indianapolis, Ind.)
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Michigan State turned in its worst performance of the season and Ohio State took advantage, dominating every facet of the game en route to an easy 85-46 victory tonight at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
The loss was a costly one for the Spartans, who could have moved into fourth place in the Big Ten with a victory. Instead, MSU is 14-12 overall and 8-8 in the Big Ten, while the Buckeyes improve to 16-9 overall and 9-6 in the conference.
"There is not a whole lot to say after a loss like that," a disappointed MSU coach Karen Langeland said. "That was a very, very poor display of defense and rebounding on our part."
The game was decided in the first half as the Spartans could muster just 17 points and were outrebounded, 20-10, in the opening session as the Buckeyes cruised to a 40-17 advantage at the break.
"I thought Ohio State came out and played very aggressively at both ends of the court," Langeland said. "We were very passive and we allowed them to do whatever they wanted on the court and you can't win ball games that way."
MSU came out in a full court press to open the second half, but couldn't get anything going and the Buckeyes quickly turned a 23-point halftime lead into a 30-point blowout.
"Instead of assuring ourselves of an NIT bid and a possible shot at the NCAA Tournament, we may end up with nothing," Langeland said.
Junior Kristen Rasmussen scored 10 points for the Spartans before fouling out, while freshman Abby Salscheider recorded the first double-figure scoring game of her career with 10 points as well.
Junior Maxann Reese was held scoreless in the first half and had just nine points in the ball game. She did become just the 10th player in MSU history to score 1,000 points when she hit a pair of free throws with 5:44 left in the contest.
Senior Larecha Jones came off the bench to lead the Buckeyes with 24 points.
The Spartans, who are finished with the regular season, must sit back and see what happens with the rest of the Big Ten this weekend.
MSU is currently tied with Michigan and Wisconsin for fifth place in the Big Ten. The Spartans cannot finish any higher than fifth in the league, but could fall to seventh depending on what the Wolverines (7-7), Badgers (7-7) and the Iowa Hawkeyes (6-8) do in their final two conference games.