Jan. 19, 2000
East Lansing, Mich. -
Michigan State (12-4/3-2) at Iowa (5-10/2-4) * Thursday, Jan. 20 * 8 p.m., EST * Iowa City, IA
No. 4 Penn State (15-2/6-0) at Michigan State * Sunday, Jan. 23 * 2 p.m., EST * East Lansing, MI
Michigan State begins an important stretch in the Big Ten schedule, playing three of its next four games on the road.
The Spartans open the week by traveling to Iowa City, Iowa to face the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday, Jan. 20. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m., EST in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500).
MSU then returns to the Breslin Center (15,138) to host Big Ten leader and fourth-ranked Penn State on Sunday, Jan. 23. That game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. The game is the only regular season meeting between MSU and Penn State this season.
Following this week's games, the Spartans will be on the road for contests against Ohio State (Jan. 27) and Illinois (Jan. 30).
Both games this week will be carried on WVFN (730 AM), with Mike Vander Woude calling the action. Tracy Renken provides the analysis.
Broadcasts of all MSU games can be accessed on the internet at www.msuspartans.com.
Sunday's contest against Penn State will be televised live on AT&T Cable (channel 17). Ben Stark calls the aciton with Paula Sanders and Sue Carter providing the analysis.
Michigan State is 12-4 overall and in fourth place in the Big Ten with a 3-2 mark. The Spartans had just one game last week, defeating Indiana, 78-56, at the Breslin Center on Jan. 13.
After winning its first seven games of the year, the Spartans have gone 3-1 in their last four contests.
Iowa is 5-10 overall and tied with Indiana for ninth place in the league with a 2-4 record. The Hawkeyes defeated Minnesota (80-51) before falling to Penn State (78-64) last week.
Iowa is 2-7 in its last nine games.
Penn State is 15-2 overall and leads the Big Ten with a 6-0 mark. The Lady Lions extended their winning streak to 11 games with wins over Illinois (76-66) and Iowa (78-64) last weekend. PSU hosts Ohio State on Jan. 20 before meeting MSU on Sunday.
IN THE POLLS
Michigan State received 10 votes in this week?s USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll.
Penn State is ranked fourth in both the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 and the Associated Press polls last week.
Michigan State coach Karen Langeland is in her 24th season at the helm of the Spartan program. A native of Grand Rapids, Langeland has a career coaching mark of 369-282.
Langeland, who is the dean of Big Ten Conference women?s basketball coaches, has guided the Spartans to three postseason appearances in the last four years, including a quarterfinal appearance in the WNIT last season.
Angie Lee is in her fifth season at Iowa where she owns an 80-52 school and career coaching record.
Rene Portland is in her 20th year at Penn State and in her 24th collegiate campaign overall. Portland begins the week with a record of 451-153 with the Lions and a career coaching mark of 538-182.
Iowa has a 23-11 advantage in the all-time series with MSU, but the Spartans have won three-straight against the Hawkeyes.
The two teams met twice last year with the Spartans pulling out a 70-64 win in East Lansing and overcoming an 18-point halftime deficit in an 81-69 victory in Iowa City.
MSU is just 4-12 all-time in games played in Iowa City.
Penn State has a 12-1 all-time record against the Spartans in a series that first began in 1991.
MSU has lost five straight against the Lady Lions since beating PSU, 99-75, in East Lansing on Dec. 30, 1996.
A GAME TO REMEMBER
MSU's win over Iowa last year in Carver-Hawkeye Arena featured the best performance ever by a Spartan player.
MSU trailed 46-28 at halftime, but guard Maxann Reese scored 17 of her team's first 23 points, including back-to-back three pointers to give her team a 53-50 lead with 12:04 left to play, the first lead for MSU since the opening 2-0 advantage.
Reese finished the game with an MSU record 41 points, connecting on 10-of-16 three-pointers.
ABOUT THE HAWKEYES
Iowa is a young team with four juniors, seven sophomores and two freshmen.
The Hawkeyes are a perimeter oriented team led by backcourt mates Lindsey Meder and Cara Consuegra.
Meder leads the team with a 19.2 points per game average, while Consuegra contributes 12.2 per contest.
Up front, the Hawkeyes look to junior Randi Peterson, who adds 6.8 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game.
As a team, Iowa averages 66.3 points and allows 70.6 per contest.
ABOUT THE LADY LIONS
Penn State features a high powered offense that leads the Big Ten and ranks among the top 15 in the country, averaging 80.4 points per game.
Three players average in double figures led by senior center Andrea Garner's 14.8 points per game. Garner also paces the rebounding effort with a 9.0 boards per game average.
Junior forward Maren Walseth contributes 13.1 points per game, while junior guard Lisa Shepherd adds 12.6.
Senior guard Helen Darling is the trigger person for the Lady Lions, dishing out a Big Ten-best 8.1 assists per game.
Penn State's only losses this season have been against Duke (63-49) and Connecticut (87-74).
BACK STREET BOYS TICKETS
Women?s basketball fans can enter a drawing to win two tickets to the Back Street Boys concert at the Breslin Center in March.
Fans can enter their name once at each of the remaining home games. A drawing will be held during MSU's final home contest of the year against Michigan on Feb. 20.
Entry boxes will be set up throughout the arena.
HOME WINNING STREAK CONTINUES
Michigan State improved to 8-0 at the Breslin Center this season with a 78-56 win over Indiana on Jan. 13. The win extended the Spartans home winning streak to 11 games, the third longest in program history.
MSU's last home loss came against defending national champion Purdue on Jan. 31, 1999 (80-66). MSU has a record of 94-42 (.691) in 10 years at the Breslin Center.
Consecutive Home Wins
13 11/30/96 - 11/21/97 12 2/7/77 - 2/25/78 11 2/12/99 - current 10 3/4/90 - 1/27/91 9 1/13/81 - 1/2/82
FREE THROW MAGIC
Senior Maxann Reese extended her consecutive free throw streak to 22 with a 2-for-2 performance against Indiana on Jan. 13. Her streak ties for the fourth-longest in MSU history.
Reese has not missed a free throw since missing on her only attempt against Butler on Dec. 5. The Spartan guard is shooting 91 percent (31-of-34) from the line this season.
Junior Becky Cummings tied the MSU single-game record for free throw percentage (1.000) with a perfect 11-for-11 performance against Michigan on Dec. 30.
Cummings is one of eight players to be perfect from the charity stripe on 10 or more attempts. Cummings went on to hit 19 consecutive free throws, the sixth longest streak in Spartan history. She is shooting 69 percent from the charity stripe on the season.
SPARTANS STINGY IN BIG TEN PLAY
Michigan State is giving up just 57.8 points per game in its first five Big Ten games of the year, good for second in the league.
The Spartans have held three of their five conference opponents to less than 60 points.
MSU is averaging 66.2 points per game in conference action and has a 42.6-36.8 edge in rebounding in Big Ten play.
MSU LOOKING FOR THREE-GAME CONFERENCE WINNING STREAK
The Spartans, winners of two straight, are looking for their first three-game Big Ten winning streak since 1997-98.
Last season, MSU's longest winning streak in conference play was two games.
Michigan State is second in the Big Ten in rebounding with a 42.9 boards per game average overall.
The Spartans have outrebounded 12 opponents and are 10-2 in those contests. MSU outrebounded North Carolina, 39-37, but lost to the Tar Heels, 82-65, while the Spartans topped Michigan on the boards, 44-39, but fell 64-61 on the scoreboard.
MSU has garnered 50 or more rebounds three times this season, including a season-best 56 against Appalachian State on Nov. 19.
SPARTANS LEAD BIG TEN IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
MSU leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage in overall games with a .455 mark.
The Spartans have shot 50 percent or better from the floor five times and is undefeated in those contests.
MSU shot 51 percent in its win over Indiana on Jan. 13 and a season-high 55 percent in the win over Butler on Dec. 11.
RASMUSSEN MOVES INTO FOURTH ON REBOUNDING CHART
Senior Kristen Rasmussen had 11 rebounds in MSU's win over Indiana on Jan. 13 to move into fourth place on the all-time rebounding chart with 830.
The Spartan co-captain is 13 rebounds shy of moving past Paula Sanders (1994-97) and into third place on the list.
If Rasmussen averages at least nine rebounds per game for the remainder of the season, she will surpass Kris Emerson (933/1984-87) as MSU?s all-time leader.
RASMUSSEN TOPS IN THE BIG TEN
Senior forward Kristen Rasmussen leads the Big Ten and is 17th nationally with a 10.6 rebounds per game average. She is also tops in the league with nine double-doubles this season. Rasmussen, who has totaled 32 in her career, has posted a double-double in seven of the last eight games.
Junior Becky Cummings ranks among the top six in the league with five double-doubles.
The Spartans are 5-0 this season when Rasmussen and Cummings post a double-double in the same game and 10-2 in the last 12 games when they accomplish that feat.
Junior Becky Cummings has been one of MSU's most consistent players this season. She currently leads the team and is fourth in the Big Ten with a 16.3 points per game average. Cummings is averaging 7.8 rebounds per game and is leading the Big Ten and ranks 12th in the nation in field goal percentage (.603). She has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 12 of 16 games this season.
In the first five games of the Big Ten campaign, Cummings is averaging 16.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per contest.
Cummings has topped the 20-point mark five times this year, including 23 points against Michigan (Dec. 30) and Central Michigan (Dec. 8).
The Walled Lake native ranks 16th on the all-time rebounding chart with 457 boards and is 26th all-time on the scoring chart with 736 points.
Senior guard Maxann Reese has developed into a stellar all-around player for the Spartans. Reese has always been an offensive threat, but it's her defense this year that is drawing praise from MSU coach Karen Langeland.
Offensively, Reese is averaging 14.9 points per game (8th in the Big Ten). She also contributes 3.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
A First-Team All-Big Ten selection last year, Reese stands fourth on the MSU all-time scoring chart with 1,332 points.
The Highland Park native was held to just five points in the win over Ohio State on Jan. 2, the only time this season she has not scored in double figures.
The Spartan co-captain is MSU's all-time leader in three-point field goals with 187, a number that ranks her among the top eight in Big Ten history.
Reese has topped the 20-point mark three times this season, including a season-high 25 points in the win over Illinois State on Dec. 2.
In the win over Indiana (Jan. 13), Reese broke out of a personal three-point shooting slump, hitting 2-of-4 from behind the arc. Prior to that game, Reese was 0-for-12 from three-point range in Big Ten play.
GETTING BACK ON TRACK
After averaging just 61.3 points per game in its first three Big Ten games, MSU is scoring at a 76.5 points per contest rate in the last two games.
The Spartans are averaging 75.2 points per game overall and 64.9 points per contest in Big Ten action.
Prior to conference play, the Spartans topped the 80-point mark six times, surpassing the number of times (5) it scored more than 80 last year.
MSU has been held to less than 70 points in each of its losses this season (54 vs. Notre Dame, 65 vs. North Carolina, 61 vs. Michigan, 55 vs. Northwestern) and in its victory over Ohio State (62).
RASMUSSEN MOVING UP BIG TEN ALL-TIME CHART FOR BLOCKED SHOTS
Senior forward Kristen Rasmussen had four blocks in the win over Indiana on Jan. 13 to move into seventh place on the Big Ten all-time chart with 174 blocks.
Rasmussen, who is MSU's all-time leader, needs 26 blocks to become one of just six players in conference history to record 200 blocks in a career.
Rasmussen has had four blocks in each of the last two games and is averaging 2.1 blocks per contest overall.
MORE ON RAS
Senior Kristen Rasmussen has stepped up her play since Big Ten action began.
In five Big Ten games, Rasmussen is averaging 15.6 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.8 steals per game. She is also shooting 58 percent from the field.
Overall, the 6-4 forward ranks among the Big Ten leaders (all games) in scoring (14.2 ppg/13th), rebounding (10.6 rpg/1st), blocks (2.1 bpg/3rd) and steals (2.2 spg/7th).
Rasmussen stands fifth on the MSU all-time scoring chart with 1,262 points and fourth on the all-time rebounding chart with 830 boards.
The Spartan co-captain became the fifth player in Spartan history to record 800 boards in a career when she pulled down eight rebounds against Northwestern (Jan. 6).
The East Lansing native is one of just three players in Spartan history to score 1,000 points and pull down 800 rebounds in a career. Rasmussen is in the elite group with Kris Emerson (1,590 pts./933 reb.) and Mary Kay Itnyre (1,189 pts./821 reb.).
SETTLING IN AT THE POINT
Redshirt freshman Vnemina Reese has started to find her groove at point guard. Reese is fourth in the Big Ten with a 4.40 assists per game mark.
Reese, who started the first six games a year ago before being sidelined with a knee injury, is contributing 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
In the first five Big Ten games of the year, she is averaging 4.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.
The Fort Wayne, Ind., native distributed a career-high 10 assists in the win over Dayton on Dec. 17.
TOUGH ?D? LEADS TO WINS (MOST TIMES)
MSU has held 12 opponents to less than 70 points this season and is 10-2 in those contests.
The Spartans won 17-straight games when holding the opposition to less than 70 points before their 64-61 loss to Michigan on Dec. 30.
MSU gave up just 50 points in its win over Ohio State (Jan. 2), 58 in its loss to Northwestern (Jan. 6) and 56 in the win over Indiana (Jan. 13).
The Spartans are second in the league in scoring defense (57.8) for Big Ten games only. MSU has held each of its first five conference opponents to less than 65 points.
RESERVES ANSWER THE CALL
The Spartan bench has outscored its opponent in the last two games after struggling in the first three Big Ten games of the year.
The MSU bench is averaging 19.8 points per game overall, while its opponents average 16.8 per contest.
In the first three Big Ten games of the year, MSU got just 6.7 points per game from its bench. The Spartan reserves were held scoreless in the loss to Michigan and contributed just four points in the loss to Northwestern on Jan. 6.
Freshman Maria Recker has provided MSU with valuable minutes of the bench, averaging 14.8 minutes per contest.
While Recker has started twice this season, she has been more productive off the bench. The rookie from Auburn, Ind., is fourth on the team with a 4.9 points and 1.7 rebounds per game average.
She has scored in double figures three times this season, including a career-high 15-point effort against Ohio on Dec. 21.