Women's Basketball Falls to No. 7 Notre Dame
Spartans can't overcome first half deficit.
December 21, 1998
Site: Breslin Center - East Lansing, MI
Game Result: No. 7 Notre Dame 75, Michigan State 64
Records: Notre Dame 9-1; Michigan State 6-4
MSUs Next Action: vs. Ohio State - Dec. 30, 1998 (6:30 p.m., EST) - Breslin Center
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Seventh-ranked Notre Dame used a balanced scoring attack and dominated the offensive glass to hold off Michigan State, 75-64, tonight at the Breslin Center. With the victory, the Irish improved to 9-1 overall, while the Spartans fall to 6-4 on the season.
Six-five sophomore center Ruth Riley scored 18 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Irish, who outrebounded MSU, 52-27 and scored 34 second chance points. Senior Danielle Green added 16 points and 10 boards, while junior Niele Ivey contributed 16 points and five assists.
"I was really pleased with how we got off to a big lead early in the game," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "Then we didnt play with as much intensity as we did in the beginning.
"Michigan State played a lot better in the second half than they did in the first half, McGraw said of the Spartans who shot 57 percent from the field in the second half. "I think the most impressive player on the floor was Maxann Reese in the second half, she played an outstanding game. She was very very difficult for us to guard."
MSU shot just 26 percent from the field in the first half and went 11 minutes and 32 seconds without a field goal as the Irish built a 19-point lead (30-11) with 4:02 remaining. Junior Maxann Reeses bucket at the buzzer capped a 13-2 Spartan run to cut the deficit to 32-24 at the half.
The Irish quickly extended their halftime lead to 15 points with several fastbreak baskets in the opening minutes of the second half and held a 43-28 advantage with 16:04 left in the game.
Junior Kristen Rasmussen hit a bucket from the top of the key and later added a pair of free throws to pull MSU within eight at 55-47 with 6:15 left to play, but Ivey countered with a three-pointer to put the Irish back up by 11.
After the Irish went up by 12 on a layup by Riley, Pernille Dalgaard hit a shot from the baseline and Christie Pung canned a three-pointer to pull the Spartans within seven at 67-60 with 2:15 to go.
A layup by Ivey and a pair of free throws by Sheila McMillen sealed the victory for the Irish.
"I guess you have to be pleased when you stay with the seventh-ranked team in the country - but Im not," MSU coach Karen Langeland said. "Im not totally disappointed. I thought we played well in stretches, but you certainly cant win games like this when you give up 27 offensive rebounds."
Reese led the Spartans with 15 points, while Cummings added 14 points and five rebounds and Rasmussen chipped in 13 points and seven boards.
The Spartans are now idle until Dec. 30 when the host Ohio State. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m., at the Breslin Center.
For more information, contact Lori Schulze - (517) 355-2271