Spartans Ready To Battle Archrival Michigan

Jan. 12, 2008

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MICHIGAN STATE (10-7, 2-3) at MICHIGAN (9-5, 2-2)

Game Information
When: Sunday, Jan. 13 • 12 p.m. ET
Where: Crisler Arena • Ann Arbor, Mich.

Media Coverage
TV: Big Ten Network (DirecTV Ch. 220)
Announcers: Dan Gutowsky (Play-by-Play); Vera Jones (Analysis)
Radio: WVFN 730 AM and (Rick Berkey: Play-by-Play)
Internet: Gametracker at

Series History
Overall: MSU leads, 50-14
Last meeting: MSU 66, @ Michigan 48 (1/18/07)

MSU: Suzy Merchant (Central Michigan, 1991)
Overall: 211-127 (13th year)
At MSU: 10-7 (first year)

MICH: Kevin Borseth (Lake Superior State, 1976)
Overall: 515-215 (26th year)
At Michigan: 9-5 (first year)

The Michigan State women's basketball team (10-7, 2-3 Big Ten), fresh off a 16-point comeback victory over Iowa, heads to Ann Arbor on Sunday to face archrival Michigan at noon. The Spartans will be looking for their 10th consecutive victory over the Wolverines, which would match their longest winning streak in the series. MSU won 10 straight from 1982-87. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Michigan enters the game with a 9-5 mark, 2-2 in the Big Ten after falling at Purdue on Thursday, 56-51. The Wolverines, under the leadership of first-year head coach Kevin Borseth, are a much-improved team this season. Although Borseth is in his first year in Ann Arbor, the veteran head coach is in his 26th season as a head coach and entered the season as the 15th-winningest active coach in the NCAA. Most recently, he compiled a 216-62 mark (.777) in nine seasons at Wisconsin-Green Bay. The past three years, Michigan had won only a combined 21 games, but this season, the Wolverines have already won nine games under Borseth.

MSU has dominated the series against Michigan, claiming 50 of the series' 64 games. The Spartans have won nine in a row over the Wolverines with an average margin of victory of 21.4 points during those games. Michigan's last win in the series came in Ann Arbor on Jan. 2, 2002.

With the win over Iowa under its belt, Michigan State is looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since November. The Spartans are currently tied for eighth in the Big Ten standings with Iowa, but the conference race is still wide open as every team in the conference has a loss in league play. However, after playing four of its first five Big Ten games at home, MSU heads to the road for seven of its next 10.

Michigan State overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat Iowa, 73-65, Thursday night at the Breslin Center. It marked the largest halftime comeback since Feb. 12, 2004, when the Spartans also came back from a 13-point halftime hole (33-20) to beat Michigan, 59-54.

At one point late in the first half, Iowa went up by 16 points. The 16-point comeback is one of the biggest comeback victories in school history, just shy of the 17-point rally at Purdue last season. The Spartans recorded an 18-point comeback on Jan. 29, 1999, at Iowa. Down 46-28 at the break, MSU - led by Maxann Reese's school-record 41 points - came back to win 81-69.

• The Spartans won their fifth straight over Iowa with a 73-65 win before a crowd of 4,759 Thursday night at the Breslin Center.

• MSU outscored the Hawkeyes in the second half, 51-30. The 51 second-half points were a season high.

• Down 52-39 with 12:13 remaining, the Spartans went on a 20-4 run to go up 59-56 with 5:15 left.

• In the last 12 minutes of the game, MSU outscored Iowa, 34-11.

• Freshman point guard Brittney Thomas scored a career-high 18 points - 16 arriving in the second half. She also had a season-high six steals.

• Reserve guard Takeya Forter, who had only played five minutes all season entering the game, made a difference in the second half. She played 16 minutes and scored five points, both marks representing career highs, while helping MSU's defensive pressure force 17 second-half Iowa turnovers.

Courtney Davidson tied a career high with 18 points and hit three 3-pointers.

• Michigan State turned up the pressure in the second half, causing 17 Hawkeye turnovers and nine steals. For the game, MSU forced 25 turnovers, a season high for a Spartan opponent, and tied a season high with 12 steals. The Spartans scored 36 points off Iowa turnovers, the most for MSU this season.

Kalisha Keane scored 12 points, marking the 13th time this season she has scored in double figures.

Lauren Aitch scored in double-figures for the fifth time this season with 10 points.

• For just the fourth time this season, Allyssa DeHaan did not score in double-figures. DeHaan finished with eight points and six rebounds. She did record four blocks to up her career total to 225.