Dec. 5, 2012
ROCHESTER, Mich. - The Michigan State women's basketball team won its eighth-straight game to begin the season on Wednesday night, beating Oakland 75-43 at the O'rena. It is the first time in program history that the Spartans have begun the season 8-0. Junior Klarissa Bell led the way with 16 points and a career-high nine rebounds, while classmate Annalise Pickrel poured in 14 points.
The Spartans opened with a 7-2 lead in the first four minutes, behind five quick points from Pickrel, and never trailed in the game. MSU has not trailed in a game since Nov. 21, a span of 197:38 minutes. Oakland stayed close, trailing 19-14 with 7:23 to go in the half, before Michigan State went on a 11-0 run over the next four minutes to build a 16-point lead at 30-14. The Grizzlies countered with the next six points, but Pickrel gave MSU back the momentum with a jumper as the time expired.
Michigan State maintained a double-digit lead for the entire second half, but put the game away in the final 10 minutes. With 10:20 left, MSU ran off 10-unanswered points to go up 60-36, and extended that run to 18-2 over an eight minute span. The advantage grew to as much as 33 in the final minutes, as the Spartans closed the game with a 75-43 victory.
The Spartans shot a season-high 56.9% from the field, including a 72.0% mark in the second half. Michigan State continued its efficient offense with 18 assists and only 12 turnovers. MSU also controlled the glass with a +23 edge in rebounding (43-20), and was +24 (38-14) in points in the paint.
Bell was 7-for-9 from the field for her 16 points, also adding four assists and a career-high tying two blocks to her game-high nine rebounds. Senior Jasmine Thomas and sophomore Becca Mills each chipped in 10 points, combining to go 10-for-13 from the field. Thomas also added four assists, five rebounds and two steals, while Mills grabbed seven rebounds, including four offensive. Senior Courtney Schiffauer filled the box score again with nine points, seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks and two steals.
The Spartans remain on the road Saturday, traveling to No. 19/18 Dayton for a 1 p.m. tip.
POST GAME NOTES:
- Michigan State has won 36 of its last 37 games against in-state schools, including a 21-1 mark under Coach Merchant. All-time, MSU is 169-56 against other Michigan schools.
- The Spartans have won 37 straight games when scoring at least 70 points.
- MSU is now 149-4 all-time when holding its opponent under 50 points.
- Klarissa Bell has led MSU in scoring in five of the first seven games, after leading the team just twice in her first two seasons.
- Courtney Schiffauer tied her career high in assists which she set last game vs. Milwaukee. Over the last three games, she is averaging 5.7 assists, after averaging 0.9 assists through her first 96 games as a Spartan.
- Becca Mills is shooting 14-for-20 (70.0%) over the last three games, after starting the year 11-for-42 (26.2%) over the first five games.
- Michigan State improves to 9-4 all-time against Oakland, winning the last five meetings.
- The 32 point margin of victory was the largest in the series between the two schools.
- MSU held Oakland's leading scorer Annemarie Hamlet (13.3 points) to only two points on 1-for-9 shooting. Hamlet entered the game ranking fifth in the nation with a 59.4% 3-point percentage, but was 0-for-5 tonight.
- Oakland set a single-game home attendance record with 2,635 fans tonight.