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Spartans to Host Boilermakers on Thursday Night

Jan. 20, 2010

rv/rv MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (11-7, 2-5) vs.

Date: Thursday, Jan. 21
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Arena: Breslin Center
TV: Big Ten Network (Mark Neely - play-by-play; Mary Murphy - analyst)
Radio: WVFN 730 AM (Rick Berkey - play-by-play; Mo Gerhardt - analyst)
Internet: Live audio and stats at
Hometown Day: Jasmine Thomas
Promotion: $1 Hot Dog Night

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Head Coach Suzy Merchant
Allyssa DeHaan | Aisha Jefferson

The Boilermakers are 9-9 on the season and enter the week tied for fourth in the Big Ten at 4-3. Purdue is 2-5 on the road this season, including having lost all three conference road tests. The Boilermakers are second in the Big Ten in scoring defense, allowing 56.0 points per game, but are second-to-last in scoring offense (60.8 points). Individually, Brittany Rayburn is the lone Boilermaker scoring in double-figures, averaging 15.2 points, good for seventh in the Big Ten. FahKara Malone is in the conference top-5 in three categories, ranking second in steals (2.78), third in assists (4.22) and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.46).



Michigan State trails the all-time series, 34-22, but hold a 17-11 edge in East Lansing. The Spartans won both games last season and have won the last two games in the Breslin Center. Allyssa DeHaan is the lone Spartan to averaged over 10 points a game against Purdue, scoring 13.9 points, including six of seven games in double-figures. DeHaan also averages 7.1 rebounds, including two double-doubles, and 3.4 blocks.

The Spartans are second in the Big Ten in RPI this season, ranking 16th according to Ohio State is first in fifth. The MSU schedule is the toughest among conference foes and ranks fourth nationally, trailing only Stanford, Oklahoma and Connecticut. As a conference, the Big Ten is fourth in RPI and first in strength of schedule.

Senior Allyssa DeHaan is one of only five Spartans to rank in the top-10 in both career points and rebounds. She became the sixth Spartan to score 1,500 career points vs. Ohio State on Jan. 9 and currently has 1,519 points. Maxann Reese (1996-00) is fifth with 1,589. DeHaan is also sixth all-time with 841 rebounds, needing one rebound to tie Paula Sanders (1993-97) for fifth and 18 to match Jack Carter (1979-83) for fourth. In addition, she is fourth with 321 made free throws and sixth with 585 made field goals in MSU career record books.

Senior Allyssa DeHaan entered her senior season on pace to break the NCAA Division I blocked shots record. At Indiana, she moved into second all-time and currently has 458 blocks, needing only 23 to surpass the record held by Sandora Irvin of TCU (2001-05).

DeHaan became the Big Ten's all-time blocked shots leader during MSU's Big Ten Tournament game against Wisconsin on March, 6, 2009. She surpassed Ohio State's Jessica Davenport (384) for the record. In addition, in last season's win over Stony Brook (Nov. 16, 2008), she became the fastest in conference history to reach the 300-block plateau, needing only 72 games.

Michigan State is fourth in the nation in blocked shots this season, averaging 7.1 blocks. Senior Allyssa DeHaan leads the charge, ranking ninth in the nation with 3.1 per game.

The Spartans are also among the nation's top-50 in three other categories, placing 23rd in field goal percentage defense (35.1%), 31st in rebound margin (+6.8) and 46th in assists (15.4).

Upon Allyssa DeHaan's arrival to East Lansing, the Spartans have been one of the effective teams in the country in protecting the rim. Since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, MSU is second in the nation with 736 blocks. North Carolina is first with 829, followed by MSU, Baylor (725), Duke (713) and Connecticut (701).

The Spartans had been among the NCAA leaders in blocks each of those three years, finishing the season eighth in 2008-09, 11th in 2007-08 and fourth in 2006-07.

Redshirt senior Aisha Jefferson became the 20th Spartan to score 1,000 career points against Indiana on Dec. 6. Jefferson's milestone point came on a free throw with 7:30 on the clock in the first half. Jefferson is currently 18th all-time with 1,069 points. In addition, she is also climbing the career rebounds list, sitting in 19th-place with 598, and is 14th with 426 made field goals and 20th with 207 made free throws.

The depth of the 2009-10 Spartans has paid dividends this season. The MSU bench is averaging 28.4 points, 18.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists, while playing 80.9 minutes per game, compared the opposition's 14.1 points, 14.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 58.4 minutes. The Spartans have received 21 double-figure scoring efforts off the bench so far this season.

This season, the Spartans lead the Big Ten in blocked shots (7.06), offensive rebounds (15.50) and total rebounds (44.3). They are also second in rebound margin (+6.8) and field goal percentage defense (.351), and third in scoring offense (69.3) and assists (15.39).

Individually, redshirt sophomore Lykendra Johnson ranks among the conference leaders in many categories: offensive rebounds (3.4; 1st), rebounds (8.6; 3rd), blocks (9th; 1.3), field goal percentage (5th; .472) and scoring (23rd; 9.7). Senior Allyssa DeHaan is second in the league in blocks with 3.1, and is also tied for ninth in rebounds (6.4), seventh in free throw percentage (.824) and 14th in scoring (12.3).

In conference games, the Spartans lead the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (16.00) and blocks (5.57), and rank third in rebound margin (+4.0) and field goal percentage defense (.353). Individually, Johnson leads in offensive rebounds with 4.0, and is also fourth in rebounds (8.7) and tied for fifth in steals (2.3). DeHaan is tied for fourth in blocks with 2.00 and Brittney Thomas is tied for sixth in assists (3.3).

Tonight's game will mark the seventh of at least nine games for the Spartans on the Big Ten Network. MSU is 17-9 all-time on BTN, including an 4-2 record this season.

The 2009-10 basketball season is the Spartans' 21st inside the Jack Breslin Student Events Center. MSU has an all-time record of 207-78 (.726) at Breslin and have been even more dominant of late in its cozy confines, posting a mark of 73-16 since 2003.

For the past five seasons, Michigan State has been one of the top programs in the country in regard to fan support. In each of the last five years, the Spartans have been among the nation's top 15, averaging over 6,000 fans per game. MSU was ninth in the country in 2006-07, averaging 6,737, while they were 10th in both 2005-06, with a school-record 6,787 average, and 2007-08 (6,317). In 2008-09, the Spartans finished second in the Big Ten and 13th in the country, averaging 6,024 fans.

This season, MSU has averaged 5,794 fans through eight games, to place second in the Big Ten. Saturday's crowd against Ohio State of 12,412 was the third largest crowd in Michigan State women's basketball history.

Michigan State is 3-3 all-time on January 21.

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