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Spartans, Penn State Face Off Before Nationally Televised Audience

Jan. 4, 2008

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MICHIGAN STATE (9-6, 1-2) vs. PENN STATE (10-4, 1-1)

Game Information
When: Saturday, Jan. 5 • 12 p.m. ET
Where: Breslin Center • East Lansing, Mich.

Media Coverage
TV: CBS (Carter Blackburn: Play-by-Play; Nancy Lieberman: Analysis)
Radio: WVFN 730 AM and (Rick Berkey: Play-by-Play)
Internet: Gametracker at

Series History
Overall: PSU leads, 22-6
Last meeting: @ MSU 76, Penn State 49 (2/1/07)

MSU: Suzy Merchant (Central Michigan, 1991)
Overall: 210-126 (13th year)
At MSU: 9-6 (first year)

PSU: Coquese Washington (Notre Dame, 1992)
Overall: 10-4 (first year)
At Penn State: same

The Michigan State women's basketball team will take on Penn State Saturday, Jan. 5 at noon before a national audience on CBS. The Spartans have claimed three of the past four games against the Nittany Lions, including a 76-49 win in their last meeting on Feb. 1, 2007, MSU's largest margin of victory in the series. Michigan State and Penn State split the season series last year, with each team winning on its home floor. Although the Nittany Lions lead the overall series, 22-6, MSU is 5-7 at the Breslin Center, including two straight wins.

In its last home game on Dec. 30, MSU upset then-No. 17 Ohio State, 60-53, before a season-high crowd of 8,705. The Spartans (9-6, 1-2 Big Ten), who fell in their Big Ten opener to Minnesota at home on Dec. 28, lost on the road at Wisconsin (7-5, 1-2) Wednesday night, 84-71. Sophomore 6-9 center Allyssa DeHaan scored a season-high 27 points, collected 13 rebounds and went 11-for-11 from the free-throw line against the Badgers, but it wasn't enough to propel the Spartans to victory. Freshman forward Kalisha Keane recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Penn State arrives in East Lansing with a 10-4 record and an even 1-1 mark in Big Ten play. Led by first-year head coach Coquese Washington, the Nittany Lions fell at Iowa in their Big Ten opener, 67-58, but turned around and beat Illinois at home, 49-48, on Wednesday. Penn State, who defeated Duke and Pittsburgh and played Old Dominion and Syracuse in the non-conference season, has played the eighth-toughest schedule in the nation to date. Sophomore guard Tyra Grant leads PSU with 14.5 ppg, while junior guard Brianne O'Rourke is averaging 12.4 ppg.

Michigan State is the only team in the Big Ten to feature two players ranked among the top 10 in scoring and top 15 in rebounding. Allyssa DeHaan is fifth in the conference in scoring (16.2 ppg) and rebounding (8.1 rpg), while Kalisha Keane is ninth in scoring (14.3 ppg) and 12th in rebounding (6.9 rpg).

DeHaan and Keane account for 47 percent of the team's points and 39 percent of the team's rebounds.

• In conference games, Allyssa DeHaan leads the Big Ten with 9.7 rebounds a game. She is third in scoring with 17.0 points a game.
• DeHaan is one of five players with a perfect free-throw percentage in conference play (DeHaan is 13-for-13).
• DeHaan has 70 blocked shots in 15 games, 33 more than Purdue's Danielle Campbell, who ranks second in the Big Ten with 37 blocks.
Kalisha Keane is the second-leading scorer in the Big Ten in conference games with 17.3 ppg.
Brittney Thomas leads the Big Ten with a 71.4 field-goal percentage in three league games.
• Overall, Lauren Aitch is eighth in the league with a 50.5 field-goal percentage.

MSU's win over No. 17/18 Ohio State on Dec. 30 was the first win over a ranked team this year for the Spartans. Michigan State has 28 wins over nationally ranked opponents since the 2001-02 season. It also marked Coach Suzy Merchant's first-ever win over a ranked team in her coaching career.

Coach Merchant had her hair spray-painted green at center court by her players after the upset. It was part of a "Hair-Dare" promotion by the MSU Athletics Department.

Allyssa DeHaan became MSU's all-time leader in blocked shots after recording five against Oklahoma on Dec. 16. She reached the mark in just 43 career games. Kristen Rasmussen previously held the record with 194 blocks in 118 career games.

DeHaan, who set the Big Ten single-season record with 145 blocked shots her freshman year, leads the nation with 70 blocks through 15 games (4.7 avg.). The NCAA single-season record for blocked shots is held by Amie Williams of Jackson State, who had 152 in 2003.

The NCAA career record is 480, set by TCU's Sandora Irvin from 2002-05. Jessica Davenport of Ohio State owns the Big Ten career record with 384.

With three blocks at Providence on Dec. 20, DeHaan became the fastest player in NCAA Division I history to reach the 200-block milestone while playing in her freshman and sophomore seasons (44 games). DeHaan, currently with 215 career blocks, is one of just eight players in Big Ten history to collect more than 200 blocks.

Allyssa DeHaan is one of just 24 players in the nation to be named to the three most prestigious national player of the year watch lists (Naismith Trophy; Wade Trophy; Wooden Award). In addition, she is one of only three Big Ten players (Jolene Anderson-Wisconsin; Marscilla Packer-Ohio State) and one of three sophomores (Jayne Appel-Stanford; Tina Charles-Connecticut) to be named on all three lists.

While Allyssa DeHaan has gained national attention for her shot-blocking ability, she is just as skilled from the free-throw line. DeHaan, who is second in the Big Ten at 91.8 percent from the charity stripe, went a perfect 11-for-11 at the line at Wisconsin, becoming just the third player in Spartan history to make at least all 11 free throws in a single game. Brenda Jezowski went 12-for-12 from the line on Feb. 12, 1982, against Purdue, while Becky Cummings also made all 11 against Michigan on Dec. 30, 1999.

Earlier this season, DeHaan made 30 consecutive free throws, the fourth longest streak in MSU history. Lindsay Bowen holds the MSU record with 37 straight free throws, which she set during the 2002-03 season.

• The win snapped MSU's eight-game winning streak in the series. It was Wisconsin's first win in the series since Jan. 10, 2002 in East Lansing. It was the first win for UW in Madison since Feb. 4, 2001.
Allyssa DeHaan collected season highs in points (27) and rebounds (13)...she also went 11-for-11 from the free-throw line, becoming just the third Spartan to make at least all 11 free throws in a single game...she was 8-for-12 from the was DeHaan's third double-double of the season and 10th of her career.
Kalisha Keane scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds against the Badgers...she has scored in double-figures 12 times this season in 15 marked her team-high fourth double-double of the season. • Courtney Davidson, who leads the team in 3-pointers, hit her first 3 since the Oklahoma game on Dec. 16.
Mia Johnson played a season-high 29 minutes at Wisconsin...she is averaging 7.0 rebounds the past two games.
• Wisconsin was just the fourth team this season to outscore MSU's bench...the Badgers had 30 bench points to MSU's 17.
• Wisconsin scored 27 points off 21 Spartan turnovers.
• MSU did not score a fast-break point, while Wisconsin had 14.



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