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Spartans Run Past Saginaw Valley, 90-40, in Exhibition Opener

Nov. 4, 2010

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Kalisha Keane | Brittney Thomas | Klarissa Bell

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The 2010-11 Michigan State women's basketball season opened on Thursday night at the Breslin Center with a 90-40 exhibition win over Saginaw Valley State. The Spartans were led by a game-high 20 points from senior Kalisha Keane.

A string of 14 unanswered points gave MSU an 18-3 lead less than seven minutes into the game. SVSU would climb back within 11 with 11 minutes to go, but a 9-0 spurt over the next three minutes by the Spartans extended the margin to 30-10. MSU's lead would grow to as much as 25 in the first half before going to the break with a 42-20 cushion.

After having only a +5 margin on the boards on forcing only nine turnovers in the first 20 minutes, the Spartans' intensity picked up after the intermission. MSU forced the Cardinals into 23.1% shooting, forced 17 turnovers and had a +11 margin in the final frame.

Like the first half, a Spartan run began the half, this time 18-4, extending the MSU lead to 59-24 with 16 minutes remaining. The Green & White had one more long spurt in them, as they put together 13 unanswered over a 6:25 span midway through the half to go up 82-33. The margin would get to 53, before the final horn sounded with a 90-40 final.

Joining Keane in double-figures offensively was junior Lykendra Johnson and freshman Klarissa Bell with 11 apiece, while senior Cetera Washington added 10. Redshirt sophomore Courtney Schiffauer grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds, while Bell chipped in nine boards and Johnson corralled seven. Senior Brittney Thomas had seven assists with no turnovers, while also adding seven points, four rebounds and three steals.

The Spartans shot 47.3% from the field, including 53.3% (8-of-15) from 3-point range, while holding SVSU to 25.5% for the game. MSU had a 52-36 edge on the boards with 24 of them coming on the offensive end. Defensively, the Spartans forced 26 turnovers, picked up 15 steals and blocked six shots. The more up-tempo style resulted in a 21-0 advantage in fast break points and a 32-0 edge in points off turnovers.

Aysha Boston paced the Cardinals with 11 points.

The Spartans play their final exhibition game on Sunday when they welcome Grand Valley State for a 2 p.m. tip.



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