November 28, 1998
Site: Moody Coliseum - Dallas, TX
Game Result: Michigan State 74, Texas A&M 59
Records: Michigan State 3-2; TAMU 2-3
MSU's Next Action: vs. Detroit - Dec. 1, 1998 (7:30 p.m.) - Breslin Center
DALLAS, Texas - The Michigan State womens basketball team held off a stubborn Texas A&M squad to claim a 74-59 victory in the championship game of the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Womens Basketball Classic today in Dallas, Texas. With the win, the Spartans improve to 3-2 overall, while the Aggies fall to 2-3 on the season.
"This is a very young team and for us to come down here and win this tournament is a significant accomplishment," MSU coach Karen Langeland said. "Even though it is still early in the season, Im hoping that this can be a turning point for us."
The Aggies, who trailed 32-26 at the half, cut MSUs lead to two points at the 16:58 mark of the second half when Kerrie Patterson scored on a driving layup to make it 36-34. Junior Kristen Rasmussen increased MSUs lead to 40-35 with a bucket at the 14:49 mark, but Texas A&M tied it up at 43-43 on a layup by Kim Tarkington with 12:29 left in the game.
Sophomores Becky Cummings and Donita Johnson gave the Spartans a 47-43 advantage with back-to-back baskets with less than 11 minutes left, but the Aggies fought back again and cut the deficit to 51-50 when Tarkington sank a pair of free throws with 8:48 left in the game.
MSU didnt fold and when on an 18-7 run over the next six minutes and 42 seconds to take a commanding 69-57 lead with just 2:06 left in the game.
"This is a young team and its early in the season and I thought we did a good job of maintaining our composure and not letting the momentum that they got get to us," Langeland said.
Rasmussen led the Spartans in scoring with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor. She added a season high 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Junior Maxann Reese contributed a season-high 17 points and dished out five assists, while Cummings totaled 13 points and six boards.
Reese and Rasmussen earned a spot on the all-tournament team, while Cummings was named the tournament MVP.
Junior forward Prissy Sharpe paced the Aggies with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while soophomore Brandy Jones came off the bench to add 13 points.
The Spartans return home to face Detroit on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., at the Breslin Center.