Nov. 9, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's basketball team wrapped up its two-game exhibition slate Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center, as they topped Grand Valley State, 84-44. Three returners led the way for the Spartans as sophomore Cetera Washington, redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson and classmate Lauren Aitch all scored in doubled figures, combining for 46 points.
Jefferson led the team with 16 points, including going 4-of-4 from the free throw line in her second game back since redshirting last season. She was also 6-of-9 from the floor and recorded eight rebounds. Washington was 7-of-8 from inside the arc and posted a third-best six rebounds, while Aitch recorded 15 points in 15 minutes.
MSU shot 60.8% (31-of-51) from the field, including a 85.0% (17-of-20) mark in the second half, while holding the Lakers to 25.4% for the game. The green and white also had a strong defensive effort, forcing 28 turnovers and posting 11 steals, while also holding a 30-14 edge in defensive rebounds.
The game began with the two teams going back and forth until 10:31 when the Spartans went ahead by nine points, 16-7. Grand Valley State came back, cutting the lead to four at 6:24, but Michigan State controlled the rest of the first half, taking a 16 point lead into halftime. The Spartans recorded 22 of their 35 first-half points in the paint, posted 10 points from the bench and 14 points off turnovers. Jefferson led the team with 13 points.
The Spartans started the second-half strong, holding the Lakers without a point until the 10:45 mark. The green and white held a 34 point advantage nine minutes in, and increased the lead to 42 points with just under five minutes remaining. Washington and Aitch both tallied 11 points, leading MSU to 45 points. Johnson led with two blocks and recorded three defensive rebounds. The Spartans continued to dominate in the paint, posting 32 points and tallied 13 points off turnovers.
Michigan State opens the regular-season on Friday, Nov. 14 when it hosts Niagara at 6:30 p.m.
NOTES: Michigan State had great balance during the exhibition schedule ... Five Spartans averaged double-figure points and eight had over 6.5 per game ... Eight Spartans averaged over 4.5 rebounds ... MSU shot 56.6% (69-of-122), while holding their two opponents to 24.3% (28-of -115) ... The Spartans were also 41.7% (5-of-12) from 3-point range and 74.5% (38-of-51) from the foul line ... MSU outrebounded SVSU and GVSU by a 96-57 margin ... Defensively, they forced 57 turnovers, blocked 17 shots and posted 29 steals.