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Spartans Trounce Indiana, 88-69, In First Round Of Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament

February 26, 1999

Site: RCA Dome - Indianapolis, IN (BIG TEN TOURNAMENT)

Game Result: Michigan State 88, Indiana 69

Records: Michigan State 15-12; Indiana 13-18

MSU's Next Action: vs. No. 15 Penn Staet, Feb. 27, 1999 (4:30 p.m., EST) - Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis, Ind. - Michigan State turned in a dominating performance in an easy 88-69 victory over Indiana tonight in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind. With the victory, the Spartans improve to 15-12 overall and advance to tomorrow's quarterfinal game against 15th-ranked Penn State, the tourney's number two seed. The loss was the 10th straight for the Hoosiers, who ended their season with a 13-18 record.

"I think we came ready to play tonight," MSU coach Karen Langeland said. "One of our goals was to stay focused the entire 40 minutes, play aggressively and play hard because we are a much better team when we do that. I thought we ran the court pretty well, rebounded well and we played defense well and I thought those three things were the keys."

MSU shot 48 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes and held the Hoosiers to just 28 percent shooting as the Spartans raced out to a 44-26 halftime advantage. Junior Kristen Rasmussen had a double-double at the half with 13 points and 10 boards for the Spartans, who had just three turnovers in the first session.

Rasmussen set the tone early in the game with three consecutive blocks on the same Hoosier possession. Her layup at the 14:42 mark gave the Spartans a 10-point advantage at 17-7 and MSU never looked back.

In the second half, Indiana cut the deficit to 14 points twice, but never seriously threatened the Spartan lead. Sophomore Christie Pung scored 14 of her career-high 18 points in the second stanza to lead the MSU effort.

All 11 players saw action for MSU, allowing coach Karen Langeland to rest her starters for tomorrow's game with Penn State. None of MSU's starting five played more than 27 minutes in the contest tonight.

"Initially, we just tried to get fresh legs in because we were running so much," Langeland said. "Maybe with about 10 minutes left in the game we thought about giving our starters a rest. We can't always rest all our starters because we dont have enough bodies."

The Spartans had a balanced scoring attack with five players scoring in double figures, led by Maxann Reese's 20 points. Pung, who was 8-of-8 from the free throw line, turned in the first double-figure scoring effort of her career with the 18 points.

Rasmussen ended the game with 13 points and 12 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season and the 20th of her career. The Spartan tri-captain was also 3-of-3 from the charity stripe, extending her consecutive free throw streak to 21, while she finished the contest with a career-high six blocked shots.

Sophomore Becky Cummings added 12 points and four rebounds, while senior Pernille Dalgaard contributed 10 points and a season-high eight rebounds.

Freshman Jill Chapman paced the Hoosiers with 31 points and six rebounds.

Saturday's contest against Penn State begins at 4:30 p.m., and will be televised live by Fox Sports Chicago. MediaOne Cable will pick up the telecast and show it live in the Lansing area on channel 17.



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