Nov. 19, 1999
East Lansing, Mich. - The Michigan State women's basketball team opened its season with a dominating 100-63 victory over Appalachian State in the first round of the Felpausch/MSU Classic at the Breslin Center Friday night. The Spartans advance to face Alabama, a 77-50 win over St. John's, in the championship game of the tourney on Saturday night at 8 p.m.
Freshman Jennifer Callier (Indianapolis, Ind.) got her career started on a high note, scoring 11 points during a four minute stretch early in the game to help the Spartans take a 23-3 lead with 13:07 left to play in the opening half. MSU shot 55 percent in the first half and went into the intermission with a commanding 51-19 advantage.
?That was fun,? MSU coach Karen Langeland said. ?It's always fun when you can play a lot of people and play well. ?I was much happier tonight with our defense than I was following our exhibition game. I think you can tell we worked on that in practice and that our players made a commitment to playing good defense.
?We got good play from a lot of people,? Langeland added. ?I thought our transition game was right on and it would be nice if we could keep it there all season.?
Redshirt freshman Vnemina Reese (Fort Wayne, Ind.) keyed the Spartan fast break dishing out a career-high nine assists and not committing a turnover in 22 minutes of action.
All 14 players on the roster scored, while each of the starters played 22 minutes or less in the contest.
Callier paced all scorers with 15 points, while senior Maxann Reese (Highland Park) added 13 points and five rebounds. Junior Donita Johnson (Clinton Township) scored 11 points and canned a career-high three triples, while sophomore Abby Salscheider (Bluffton, Ind.) came off the bench to add a career-high 11 points. Sophomore Kelly Czubak (Lansing) also got in the scoring column for the first time in her career, tallying a career-high nine points and three rebounds in nine minutes of action.
The Spartans, who reached the 100-point mark for just the seventh time in school history, dominated the boards as well, outrebounding the Mountaineers, 56-33.
Noel Dolan paced Appalachian State with 11 points, while Natasha Lettsome added 10. The Mountaineers will play St. John's in the consolation game tomorrow at 6 p.m.