Nov. 5, 1997

Michigan State Women's Basketball Drops Exhibition Contest

Athletes in Action Down Spartans, 71-67

Wesley Image
Senior Jamie Wesley
(file photo)

The Michigan State women's basketball team dropped a 71-67 exhibition contest to Athletes in Action on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at the Breslin Center.

The Spartans, who were plagued by 17 first half turnovers, held a slim 37-36 halftime lead. Sophomore guard Maxann Reese was the offensive star in the opening half, hitting 5-of-6 shots from three-point range en route to 17 points.

A three-pointer by senior Jamie Wesley gave MSU a 65-63 lead with 3:15 left to play in the game, but former Wisconsin standout Barb Franked answered with three-straight baskets to give AIA a 69-54 edge with 1:39 left in the game.

Reese, who was held scoreless in the second half, was the leading scorer in the game with 17 points. Sophomore Kristen Rasmussen had 16 points and eight rebounds, while junior Pernille Dalgaard added 12 points.

POST-GAME COMMENTS - MSU Head Coach Karen Langeland

"A couple of thoughts - we didn't do a very good job of taking care of the basketball. But being the first game maybe you expect a little bit of sloppy play.

"It appeared as if we were in and out of focus during the course of the game. There were times when we were focused and other times when we appeared to fall asleep a little bit. And again, that may be because this is the first game we've had.

"Our shot selection needs to be a little bit better and we have to get a little better leadership on the court from our older players particularly at the point guard position. Although Max (Reese) isn't real old, only a sophomore. We need to be patient as well.

"It was a great game for us to warm up with and I think our challenge next Thursday night (vs. Slovakia) is going to be much greater. I think that team will be much better and we are going to have to be prepared for that challenge.

(On play of Pernille Dalgaard)
"She is our most improved player without a doubt. She struggled for a couple of years, mostly with confidence. The way she shot tonight is the way she was when she was back home and when she played in international competition. She knew going into this season that she was the person for that three spot, that there were no upperclassmen to challenge her. She also spent a lot of time on her game this summer which is different from what she has done in the past. She's playing very well, she's shooting well. We put her on their point guard which is a little unusual, but she has some size which allows Jamie and Max to play on the wing and that worked pretty well for us tonight.

"I was real pleased with how the freshmen played. That first game is tough. I thought they all did a pretty decent job.

"One of the things that was the most disappointing is that we spent a lot of time in our practices working on our transition offense. We did not score well in transition. We ran, but didn't score well. We turned the ball over more than anything else, just making bad decisions on who to pass the ball to and when. But we will get better at it, that's a promise.