December 1, 1998
Site: Breslin Center - East Lansing, MI
Game Result: Michigan State 78, Detroit 70
Records: Michigan State 4-2; Detroit 0-5
MSU's Next Action: at Illinois State - Dec. 5, 1998 (3 p.m., EST)
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State overcame a poor first half performance to defeat Detroit, 78-70, tonight at the Breslin Center and extend its winning streak to three games. Junior Kristen Rasmussen scored a career-high 26 points to help the Spartans improve to 4-2 on the season.
"That was ugly," a disappointed MSU coach Karen Langeland said following the victory. "We are the only team in America that plays worse at home than on the road. We didnt come ready to play. I saw no resemblance of the team that I saw play last weekend.
"We were very, very fortunate to win," Langeland added. "Thank goodness for free throws or we would have been in deep trouble.
The Spartans, who went 1-for-13 from the field in the first 10 minutes of the game, shot just 26 percent in the opening half. Detroit took advantage of MSUs poor shooting to take a 30-21 lead with 2:59 remaining in the first half, but the Spartans went on a 10-1 run to go into the intermission tied at 31-31.
MSU got the running game going in the opening minutes of the second half and quickly went up by eight to make it 44-36 at the 16:36 mark. Detroit fought back to tie the game at 52-52 before senior Pernille Dalgaard sank a pair of free throws to cap a 15-6 run to give MSU a 67-58 lead with 5:32 left in the contest.
Kizzie Courtneys bucket with 3:22 left cut MSUs lead to 67-65, but junior Maxann Reese responded with a three-pointer and the Spartans put the game out of reach at the end with free throws in the closing minutes. Overall, MSU made 32-of-43 free throws in the game.
Rasmussen tied the MSU single-game record with a 10-for-10 performance from the free throw line en route to her 26 points. She also added nine rebounds and tied her career-high with five blocked shots. In addition, Rasmussen became the Spartans all-time leader in blocks pushing her career total to 95.
"Kristen Rasmussen has been outstanding this season," Langeland said. "She has been our most consistent player all year, but she needs some support. She did a great job on the boards tonight and made it happen at the free throw line."
Maxann Reese and sophomore Becky Cummings each scored 13 points for the Spartans, while Dalgaard tallied a season high 12 points.
Freshman Molly Peterman paced Detroit with 18 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday, Dec. 5 when they travel to Normal, Ill., to face Illinois State. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m., EST.