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Spartans Fall to Villanova, 75-64 to Open Regular Season

Freshman Becca Mills recorded 12 points and nine rebounds in her Spartan debut on Friday.

Nov. 11, 2011

Box Score

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - In its first game of the 2011-12 regular season, the Michigan State women's basketball team fell to Villanova, 75-64. The contest was the Spartans' first at the Iona College Tip-Off Tournament in New Rochelle, N.Y. Freshman Becca Mills led the Green and White with a near double-double in her MSU debut. Mills finished the game with a team-best 12 points and nine rebounds.

MSU got out to the narrow 12-7 lead over the Wildcats at the first media timeout of the game, but Nova continued to remain close, getting within one at 27-26, with seven minutes left in the opening half of the game. The Spartans closed out the opening half with a narrow lead at 37-36. Mills tallied a majority of her points in the first half, as she tallied 10 points.

Mills' 12 points rank her tied for 10th in MSU history with Kalisha Keane for a Spartan Debut. Mills' nine rebounds list her fifth for a freshman debut.

To open the second half, the Spartans allowed Villanova to tie the contest at 39 for the first time since the 18:14 mark in the first half. MSU regained the lead the following possession and pushed it to six at 46-40 following a layup from freshman Kiana Johnson.

Villanova responded to MSU's largest second-half lead with a 10-point run with the score 56-46. The Wildcats held onto the lead for the remainder of the game, with the Spartans managed to get within four before Villanova ended the game on an 11-4 run to increase its lead to 11, the largest of the game.

Michigan State's largest lead of the game occurred with 12:31 left in the opening half, as senior Taylor Alton knocked down a deep three to put the lead at 10 with the score 21-11.



Off the bench, junior Jasmine Thomas chipped in nine points, while leading the team in both assists and steals with four each. Senior Lykendra Johnson was second on the team in points with 10, her sixth double-digit mark in the last seven contests.

The Spartans close out the opening weekend of action when they face North Carolina A&T at 12 p.m. inside the Hynes Center on Saturday.


Team Notes:
- The Spartans drops to 26-14 all-time in season openers, going a 3-2 under Coach Merchant. Michigan State is now 1-8 all-time in season openers when played on a neutral court.
- With the loss, MSU snapped its eight-straight win streak in regular season tournaments streak, now falling to 18-5 over the last nine seasons and 73-41 all-time.
- Dating back to the 2010-11 season, the Spartans have out-rebounded the opposition in 24 of its last 27 contests.
- MSU now is tied with Villanova in the all-time series history with a 1-1 record.
- Michigan State's contest against Villanova marked the second earliest calendar start in program history.
- In the state of New York, MSU is now 2-6 all-time since 1979.

Player Notes:
- Senior Lykendra Johnson is now tied with Vnemina Reese for 17th all-time in program history with 48 3-point field goals. Johnson is now 93 points away from becoming the 22nd Spartan to score 1,000 points (907 points).
- Three Spartans made their MSU debuts today - Kiana Johnson, Becca Mills and Madison Williams.
- Freshman Becca Mills led the Spartans against the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding. Her 12 points ranked her tied for 10th in MSU history with Kalisha Keane for a Spartan Debut. Mills' nine rebounds list her fifth for a freshman debut.

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