Jan. 19, 2011
The Hoosiers have lost four straight, and enter the game with a 8-10 overall record and a 2-4 mark in Big Ten play. Indiana is 4-5 at home. IU is second to last in the Big Ten in both points scored (63.3) and points allowed (66.6). However, the Hoosiers are third in steals (10.2) and turnovers forced (19.6). Individually, Jori Davis leads Indiana with 17.9 points, which is third in the league, and 6.3 rebounds. Whitney Lindsay is tied for fourth in the Big Ten with 4.1 assists a game. Both Davis and Lindsay average 2.3 steals per game, which ranks them third in the conference.
AGAINST THE HOOSIERS
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Indiana, 37-23, and are 17-11 all-time in Bloomington. The Spartans have won seven in a row in Assembly Hall, with Indiana's last win coming on Feb. 3, 2002. Overall, MSU has won 11 of the last 14 meetings, but the teams have split the last six games.
ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Tonight's game will mark the fifth of at least eight games for the Spartans on the Big Ten Network this season. MSU is 24-12 all-time on BTN, including a 3-1 record this season.
Michigan State's 16-2 record is the best start in program history. The 2004-05 team also started 16-2 over its first 18 games. MSU is tied for 13th in the nation with a 88.9% winning percentage.
Since the inception of the Big Ten Conference for women's basketball prior to the 1981-82 season, the 12 non-conference wins are also a program record, breaking the mark of 11 set by the 2004-05 squad.
The Spartans had their 14-game winning streak snapped on Sunday at No. 24 Ohio State. It was the second longest in program history. MSU won 17 straight from Jan. 26, 2005 to March 2, 2005 to set the school record.
MSU also had its 10-game Big Ten regular season winng streak ended on Sunday. The streak was the second longest conference win streak for the Spartans, as they put together 11 consecutive wins over the end of the 2004-05 season and the beginning of 2005-06 Big Ten campaign. In the 30th season of Big Ten women's basketball, it was just the third time in program history that MSU started 4-0, and the first since 1990-91.
16 AND COUNTING
Michigan State has won 16 consecutive games at Breslin Center dating back to last season. The streak is the second longest home winning streak all-time. The program record of 23 was set from Nov. 20, 2004 to Jan. 19, 2006. The 16-game home winning streak is currently the 11th longest active streak in the country and the longest in the Big Ten.
BEATING THE BEST
Michigan State is one of seven teams in the country to have at least three wins over top-25 opponents so far this season. MSU is joined by Baylor, Connecticut, Duke, Louisville, Michigan and Stanford. The Spartans won at No. 15 Florida State on Dec. 1 and followed that up with a home win over No. 17 Texas on Dec. 5. On Jan. 13, MSU took out No. 16 Iowa at the Breslin Center.
In head coach Suzy Merchant's tenure, when two numbers on the scoreboard were achieved it typically has been a sign of a MSU win. When the Spartans have scored at least 70 points, their record is 38-4 (90.5%), including winning their last 21 games, while when they hold opponents to 60 points or less, their record is 64-7 (90.1%).
STEPPING UP THEIR SCORING
Each of Michigan State's five starters are all averaging career highs in scoring so far this season. Both seniors Kalisha Keane and Brittney Thomas had set their previous highs as freshmen. Keane is averaging a team-best 15.6 points this season, topping her freshman total of 12.4, while Thomas is third on the team with 8.3 points, almost a point better than her initial season average of 7.4. Fellow senior Cetera Washington averaged 3.0 points as a freshman and sophomore, and is putting up 5.6 a game this season. Junior Lykendra Johnson (10.2 a game) is almost a point and a half better than her 8.8 point per game average from last year. Junior Porsche Poole has shown improvement in each of her three seasons, going from 3.8 to 4.6 to this season's 7.2.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Michigan State leads the Big Ten in rebound margin and both rebound percentage categories. MSU is +8.1 in rebound margin, which is also 24th in the nation. The Spartans lead in both percentage categories, grabbing 71.4% of defensive rebound opportunities and 40.3% of all offensive rebound chances. In all, MSU is tops with 15.1 offensive rebounds a game.
Over the last four games, MSU is +12.8 a game on the boards, are averaging 16.0 offensive rebounds, and have improved its percentages to 41.3% of offensive rebounding opportunities and 79.5% of defensive board chances.
Junior Lykendra Johnson has had at least nine rebounds in all five Big Ten games, ranking third in conference games with 11.4 a game. On. Jan. 9, Johnson grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end. Her 17 rebounds were the most by a Spartan since Allyssa DeHaan grabbed 18 vs. Cal State Northridge on Dec. 22, 2006. The 10 offensive boards were the second most in program history (the stat began being recorded in 1986-87) and the most since March 16, 2002. Cherie Swarthout holds the record with 11 on Jan. 11, 1991 vs. Wisconsin. Overall, Johnson is fifth in the Big Ten with 8.1 rebounds a game, despite playing only 24.9 minutes a game.
Both Johnson and senior Kalisha Keane grabbed at least 10 rebounds vs. Wisconsin (Jan. 6). It was the first time since Feb. 12, 2009 at Indiana that two Spartans had double-figure rebounds in the same game.
FILLING THE STAT SHEET
Junior Lykendra Johnson has been a do-it-all for the Spartans this season, and has increased her production in Big Ten play. In conference games, Johnson and Illinois' Karisma Penn are the only two players to rank among the conference leaders in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. Johnson leads MSU in Big Ten games with 11.4 rebounds (third in Big Ten), 3.4 steals (conference leader), 1.6 blocks (sixth in league), 4.6 offensive rebounds (tied for second) and a 52.4 field goal percentage (second in Big Ten). She is one of four Big Ten players averaging a double-double, also adding 12.2 points, which is second on the team and 17th in the conference.
FAILING TO PUT IT IN THE BUCKET
In MSU's two losses this season (both on the road to ranked opponents), the Spartans have had a collective poor shooting effort compared to their normal output. In those two games, Michigan State is shooting only 31.0% from the field and 13.3% from the 3-point line for 52.5 points per game, compared to 44.0% from the field, 35.2% from behind the arc and 71.2 points per game in its 16 wins.
The Spartans have seen a balance effort from up and down their roster on the offensive end this season. In the non-conference finale against Vermont, freshman Klarissa Bell became the 11th different Spartan to score in double-figures. It is the most players to score at least 10 points in the Big Ten, as Purdue is second with nine.
CONNECTING FROM DOWNTOWN
The Spartans have made 123 3-pointers so far this season, which ranks ninth on the single-season list, despite playing only 18 games. They are more than 60% to the record of 176 set in 2004-05. 12 different Spartans have hit a 3-pointer so far, led by 35 from senior Kalisha Keane, which ranks her fourth in the conference.
Michigan State tied the school record for 3-pointers in a game with 13 against Iona on Dec. 12. The previous record was set last year against Florida Gulf Coast (Dec. 13). Against Iona, 10 different Spartans hit a 3-pointer, the MSU single game record.
MSU already has five games this season where it has made 10 or more 3-pointers, setting a new single-season record. Since the line was put in prior to the 1987-88 season, Spartan teams have only made at least 10 3-pointers in a game nine times before this season. The 2000-01 and 2009-10 teams each accomplished the feat twice in a season, while the 1992-93, 1996-97, 1998-99, 2003-04 and 2006-07 teams did it once.
MSU combined for 24 made 3-pointers in back-to-back games against Iona and Dartmouth. The 24 makes are the most in a two-game span in program history, breaking the record set earlier this season on two occasions.
Junior Taylor Alton leads the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage at 47.5% (19-of-40). She entered the season making only 19.0% (4-of-21) of her 3-pointers as a freshman and sophomore. Her nine 3-pointers over the previous five games matches her career total in the first 26 games in her career.
AMONG SPARTAN GREATS
Senior Kalisha Keane moved into the top-10 on the Spartan career points list on Dec. 10 and is currently 10th all-time with 1,302. Keane is also fourth in steals (217), fifth in 3-point field goals made (149), sixth in free throw percentage (80.7%), 10th in games played (121), 12th in field goals made (468), 14th in minutes played (3,131), 14th in 3-point field goal percentage (32.1%), 16th in assists (267), 18th in free throws made (217) and 20th with 41 blocks.
Classmate Brittney Thomas moved into the top-10 in career assists at MSU and is now ninth all-time with 352 assists. Her 352 career assists are second among active conference student-athletes, trailing Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis. Thomas is also seventh all-time with 107 games started, sixth with 3,528 minutes played and 13th with 182 steals. Thomas played her 100th game as a Spartan on Dec. 8.
Keane and Thomas are the top-two active career steal leaders in the Big Ten with 217 and 182, respectively.
Junior Lykendra Johnson moved into the MSU all-time top-20 rebound list on Sunday, ranking 20th with 594. She is also seventh all-time at MSU with 87 blocks.
Senior Kalisha Keane is the only active Big Ten student-athlete to have surpassed 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 200 steals in their career. She is currently third among active conference players in points, fifth in rebounds, fourth in assists and first in steals. Keane and Kristin Haynie are the only two Spartans to have reached those career numbers.
PROTECTING THE RIM
The Spartans have the fourth most blocks in the nation in the last four-plus seasons with 899 (North Carolina - 1,029, Baylor - 986, Connecticut - 912). St. Mary's (Calif.) is fifth with 889.
The Spartans had been among the NCAA leaders in blocks each of those four years, finishing the season seventh in 2009-10, eighth in 2008-09, 11th in 2007-08 and fourth in 2006-07.
LIMITING THE MISTAKES
Michigan State committed a season-low nine turnovers on Jan. 13 in its win over No. 16 Iowa. It was the fewest turnovers for MSU since the second game of last season when it also had nine turnovers at Detroit (11/15/09). Overall, it was just the second time in the last 111 games that the Spartans have had less than 10 turnovers in a game and just the fourth time in the last six seasons.
HOW THE COMPUTERS RANK MSU
The Spartans are ranked 15th according to RealTimeRPI.com and 17th by CollegeRPI.com in RPI. In the third released RPI by the NCAA on Tuesday, the Spartans checked in at 17th. As a conference, the Big Ten is first in RPI overall by both internet sites.
A WINNING START
Head coach Suzy Merchant, who won the most games by a Spartan coach over their first three seasons, is 84-37 (.694) since her arrival prior to the 2007-08 season. All-time, Merchant is 285-157 (.645) in her 16 years as a head coach, including stops at Eastern Michigan (1998-07) and Saginaw Valley State (1995-98).
ON THIS DATE
Michigan State is 4-9 all-time on January 20.