Nov. 11, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The 2012-13 season began on a high note for the Michigan State women's basketball team, as the Spartans beat UT Arlington, 83-39 Sunday afternoon at Breslin Center. Five Spartans posted double digit scoring efforts, led by career high totals from juniors Klarissa Bell (19 points) and Annalise Pickrel (18).
Michigan State jumped on the Mavericks early on, opening a 17-2 lead in the first nine minutes, and held a double digit margin the rest of the way. The Spartans' defense was on from the start, forcing seven of the 25 UTA turnovers in that opening run. MSU held the Mavericks to 31.4% shooting for the game, including a 2-for-11 (18.2%) effort from the 3-point line.
After taking a 36-18 lead into halftime, the Spartans opened the second half on 19-5 run in the first six and a half minutes and added another long run - 19-4 over six minutes - midway through the half to put the game away. The second run was highlighted by 3-pointers from Pickrel on three consecutive possessions. Michigan State shot 71.4% (20-for-28) in the second half, totaling 47 points in the final stanza.
Bell had an impressive stat line in the opener, leading the Spartans in points, rebounds, assists and steals. She tied her career high with 19 points, while adding eight rebounds, a career high six assists and three steals.
Making her first career start, Pickrel scored in double figures for just the third time in her career, surpassing her previous career high of 13 points set her freshman year vs. Detroit. She was 7-of-14 from the field, including a 4-for-7 effort from behind the arc, in just 27 minutes. Pickrel also added a career high four assists, without committing a turnover.
The Spartans hit the road for the first time this season on Thursday, visiting Eastern Michigan for a 7 p.m. tip.
- Michigan State improves to 27-14 all-time in season openers, including a 19-2 mark when that game was in East Lansing.
- Coach Merchant has won 10 of her last 12 openers, dating back to her time at Eastern Michigan.
- The Spartans also improve to 33-8 in home openers, having won 13 of their last 14.
- MSU has won 35 straight games when scoring 70 points, and are 52-4 under Merchant when reaching that plateau.
- The Spartans are also 89-8 under Merchant when allowing 60 points or less.
- All-time, MSU is now 144-4 when holding its opponent below 50 points.
- Michigan State improves to 2-0 all-time against UT Arlington.
- MSU converted the 25 UT Arlington turnovers into a 29-6 edge in points off turnovers.
- Today was the first time a Spartan led the team in points, rebounds and assists, since Lykendra Johnson vs. Ohio State on Feb. 23, 2011.
- It was just the third time in her career that Bell led MSU in scoring.
- Pickrel set career highs in points, field goals, 3-point field goals, assists and minutes.
- Hines had a career high seven rebounds, all in the first half.
- Courtney Schiffauer set a career high with three steals.
- Cara Miller's seven rebounds in 16 minutes, tied for the 11th most by a Spartan freshman in her debut.
- Anna Morrissey scored her second career field goal, knocking down her first career 3-point field goal attempt in the final minutes.