Newcomers Lead Spartans over Saginaw Valley State, 97-32
Redshirt freshman Lykendra Johnson leads MSU with 23 points in their exhibition opener.
Nov. 6, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's basketball team began its two-game exhibition slate tonight at the Breslin Center, as the Spartans beat Saginaw Valley State, 97-32. This year's four newcomers - redshirt freshman Lykendra Johnson, and true freshmen Taylor Alton, Porsche Poole and Courtney Schiffauer - led the way, combining for 50 points, 23 rebounds and eight steals.
Johnson paced the squad with a game-high 23 points - going 9-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line - while also adding seven rebounds and three steals in only 20 minutes. Schiffauer was second on the team with 14 points and grabbed a game-high nine boards. Poole had nine points and Alton posted four points and seven rebounds.
Redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson, returning to the court for the first time since last preseason, chipped in 11 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Kalisha Keane had a game-high eight assists, while junior Allyssaa DeHaan had six blocks.
The Spartans controlled every statistical category. MSU shot 53.5% (38-of-71) from the field, while holding the Cardinals to a 23.2% clip. In addition, defensively, the green and white forced 29 turnovers, 18 of which came via steals, and blocked 11 shots. They also held a 54-27 edge on the glass.
MSU jumped out to an early 8-0 lead in the first three minutes and never let SVSU back into the game. With the score 11-6 five minutes in, Johnson and Poole took over, combining to score the next 17 Spartan points, opening a 28-11 lead. The duo's output began a run of 16 unanswered points over a span of 4:16 for MSU that brought the margin to 37-11 with just over six minutes to go in the half. The defensive pressure and solid shooting from the outside continued throughout the last couple minutes of the half, as the Spartans went to the break up 50-17.
The second half began similar to the first with Michigan State running off the first 12 points over the first four minutes. The working margin continued to grow and with the score 69-25 with 12:35 remaining, MSU put together another long run, this time 17 straight over a period of 4:43. The Spartans closed the door on the Cardinals as time wound down for the 97-32 final.
The Spartans wrap up the exhibition schedule on Sunday, as they host Grand Valley State at 2 p.m.
NOTES: Michigan State played tonight without its starting back court of last season. Sophomore Brittney Thomas broke the third metacarpal bone (middle finger) in her right hand and is expected to miss up to six weeks. Meanwhile, redshirt senior Mia Johnson had a successful right knee arthroscope on Tuesday to repair her medial meniscus and will be out approximately two weeks.