Nov. 21, 1997

Women's Basketball Opens Felpausch Classic with Win

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State opened its 1997-98 campaign with a solid 87-67 win over Fresno State in the first round of the Felpausch/MSU Holiday Classic last night.

The Spartans shot a blistering 70 percent from the field in the first half, running out to a 23-8 lead and never looking back.

Sophomore Kristen Rasmussen scored MSU's first nine points of the game and the Spartans made eight consecutive shots early in the first half to set the tone for the contest.

MSU extended its lead to 21 points with a commanding 54-33 halftime lead. Rasmussen and senior guard Jamie Wesley paced the Spartans with 13 first-half points.

The Spartans led by as many as 25 points in the second half allowing coach Karen Langeland to freely utilize all 11 players on the bench.

The Bulldogs could only get as close as 68-51 with 10:16 left in the game.

Rasmussen ended the game with 19 points, while Wesley chipped in 17 points and five assists. Junior Pernille Dalgaard ended the contest with a career-high 14 points, while Bella Engen added 11 points.

MSU's win set up a championship showdown with intrastate and Big Ten rival Michigan at 4 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 22.

Post-Game Comments From MSU Coach Karen Langeland:

"I was very pleased with our effort tonight. For a first game, we did some very good things. Any time you can shoot 70 percent from the floor in the first half, your doing something right.

"Kristen Rasmussen came out in the beginning of the game and every time she touched the ball, she scored. She had an outstanding game.

"We played well in transition, we only only had nine turnovers in the first half and I thought we did some good things defensively."