December 30, 1998
Site: Breslin Center - East Lansing, MI
Game Result: Ohio State 62, Michigan State 60
Records: Ohio State 9-3 overall; 2-0 Big Ten; Michigan State 6-5 overall; 0-1 Big Ten
MSU's Next Action: at Michigan - Jan. 3, 1999 (2:00 p.m., EST) - Crisler Arena
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half and went up by as many as eight points late in the game, but couldn't hold on as the Ohio State Buckeyes pulled out a 62-60 victory tonight at the Breslin Center.
The loss was the second-straight for the Spartans and left them with an overall record of 6-5 and an 0-1 mark in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes won their third consecutive game and improved to 2-0 in the conference.
"I thought we had a great effort in the second half," MSU coach Karen Langeland said. "But somehow we have to figure out how to stop digging a hole for ourselves in the first half. We came back, played well and had an opportunity to win the game and kind of let it slip away.
"I was pleased with our defense for the most part," Langeland added. "And yet, for whatever reason we seem to struggle trying to execute our offense and get the shots that we have gotten all year long."
Ohio State jumped out to an 18-8 lead midway through the first half as the Spartans struggled from the field. A baseline jumper by Pernille Dalgaard cut the deficit to four points, but Larecha Jones hit back-to-back three-pointers to put the Buckeyes up 28-18 with 5:25 to go in the half.
The Spartans scored the final nine points of the half to go into the intermission down by just one at 28-27. Junior Maxann Reese's driving layup at the 13:53 mark of the second half gave MSU its biggest lead of the game at 39-31.
After Reese hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Spartans a 49-43 lead with 7:02 left, senior Marrita Porter scored eight of OSU's next 11 points to give the Buckeyes a 54-51 lead with 3:17 left to play.
Sophomore Becky Cummings hit a pair of free throws with 55 seconds left to tie the game at 60-60, but sophomore guard Jamie Lewis drove the lane for a layup to put OSU back up by two with 34 seconds remaining.
Michigan State called timeout, but Reese's three-point attempt from the top of the key with seven seconds left was no good. The Spartans fouled and senior Roslyn Barker went to the line for a pair of free throws. She missed the first attempt and the Buckeyes were called for a lane violation giving MSU the ball with 6.5 seconds remaining.
The Spartans had to drive the length of the court and a last-second shot was no good, giving the Buckeyes a 62-60 victory.
Reese paced the Spartans with 18 points, while Cummings added 13. Junior Kristen Rasmussen contributed nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Porter led the Buckeyes with 19 points, while junior Michaela Moua came off the bench to add 13 points. Jones contributed 12 points and six rebounds.
"It's very exciting as a program to open up with a sweep on the road in the Big Ten," Ohio State coach Beth Burns said. "To be 2-0 in the Big Ten is the good news, the bad news is Purdue is right around the corner."
Michigan State returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 3 when it travels to Ann Arbor to face Michigan in a 2 p.m., contest at Crisler Arena.