November 28, 1998
Site: Moody Coliseum - Dallas, TX
Game Result: Michigan State 80, Southern Methodist University 71
Records: Michigan State 2-2; SMU 1-3
MSU's Next Action: vs. Texas A&M - Nov. 28, 1998 (5 p.m., EST) - Dallas, TX
DALLAS, Texas - Sophomore Becky Cummings scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Michigan State womens basketball team to an 80-71 victory over SMU tonight in the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Womens Basketball Classic in Dallas, Texas. The Spartans improve to 2-2 overall with the victory and advance to play Texas A&M in the tournament championship game tomorrow at 5 p.m., EST. The Aggies advanced to the title contest with a 77-60 victory over Arkansas State.
"This was a very big win for this team," MSU coach Karen Langeland said. "For the first time all season, we put together a solid effort for 40 minutes. We shot well from the floor, made key free throws down the stretch and got production from a lot of people."
Cummings scored 14 of her 18 points in the first half to help the Spartans go into the intermission trailing by just two points at 38-36. Karen Blair scored on a driving layup to help the Mustangs increase their lead to eight at the 16:36 mark of the second half.
MSU fought back and took a 52-51 advantage at the 12:29 mark on a bucket by senior Pernille Dalgaard. Cummings basket underneath extended MSUs lead to 58-51 with 10:08 left in the game, but SMU fought back and pulled within one at 60-59 with 7:34 remaining on a three-pointer by Megan Woods.
The Spartans responded by going on an 8-2 run over the next couple of minutes to go on top by a score of 68-61 with 5:41 left. Karlin Kennedy scored for SMU with 1:16 left to cut the deficit to three, but Maxann Reese iced the victory by going 6-for-6 from the free throw line down the stretch.
Cummings had 13 rebounds to go along with her 18 points for the third double double of her career. Maxann Reese, who played just four minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half. Junior Kristen Rasmussen added 15 points and eight rebounds, while rookie Vnemina Reese scored a season high 14 points for the Spartans, who shot a season-high 55 percent from the field.
Senior Claudia Brassard paced SMU with 24 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Kennedy ended the contest with 16 points.