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Spartans Drop Big Ten Home Opener Against Indiana, 62-48

Dec. 29, 2008

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Mia Johnson | Allyssa DeHaan
Coach Merchant Post Game Press Conference

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's basketball team fell behind early and were never able to recover as it fell to Indiana, 62-48, in its Big Ten home opener on Monday night. The Spartans fall to 8-5 overall and 1-1 in the conference, while Indiana moves to 9-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten.

Junior Allyssa DeHaan grabbed a team- and season-high 11 rebounds in the loss, making her just the 10th Spartan to score over 1,000 points and grab more than 600 rebounds. DeHaan also added nine points, as redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson paces MSU with 13 points.

Indiana scored the first six points and would eventually open up a 22-9 lead midway through the first half. MSU would get within 10, but the Hoosiers followed with 10 unanswered to go up 39-19 with 1:28 left in the half. DeHaan would score the next four points, but a pair of free throws by Whitney Thomas with 16 seconds remaining brought the halftime score to 41-23 for the visitors.

The Spartans outplayed the Hoosiers in the second half, but the deficit was too much to overcome. MSU started on a 7-2 run over the first four minutes, but Indiana come back with six straight to again take back the momentum. With the score at 49-30 in favor of IU with 14:07 left, the Spartans used a 8-0 run over a matter of 5:40 to close the gap to 11 at 49-38. However, that would be as close as Michigan State would come as Indiana executed down the stretch for the 62-48 final.

Jori Davis led three Hoosiers in double-figures with 14 points, while Jamie Braun and Amber Jackson each added 12. Whitney Thomas had a game-high 13 rebounds, while Braun also added four assists and five steals.

The Spartans begin a two-game road trip on Thursday, when they travel to Purdue to face the Boilermakers at 1 p.m. The game will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.

NOTES: Today's attendance of 7,352 was a season-high ... The Spartans held a 26-16 edge on the boards in the second half, after being outrebounded 25-14 in the first ... DeHaan reached double-figure rebounds for the fourth time in five games against Indiana ... DeHaan is now tied for 15th all-time in Spartan history with 606 rebounds ... MSU is now 19-9 in its Big Ten home openers ... For the 10th straight game, MSU held the starting post players below their season averages. Amber Jackson and Whitney Thomas combined for 19 points, having entering the game averaging 28.7 ... MSU is now 5-1 at the Breslin Center this season ... The 41 first half points allowed are the most scored against MSU in a first half this season ... Jefferson has scored in double-figures in 10 of the 13 games this season ... Senior Mia Johnson played a season-high 34 minutes and grabbed a season-best three steals.



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