Jan. 23, 2010
rv/rv MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (12-7, 3-5) at
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (11-7, 4-3)
Date: Sunday, Jan. 24
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Arena: Williams Arena
TV: ESPN2 (Pam Ward - play-by-play; Stephanie White - analyst)
Radio: WVFN 730 AM (Rick Berkey - play-by-play)
Internet: Live audio and stats at MSUSpartans.com
Listen | Live Stats
Game Notes in PDF Format
The Golden Gophers, who are coming off a bye this week, enter the weekend at 11-7 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten, placing them in third. Minnesota is 10-1 this season in Williams Arena, including a 4-0 mark in conference action. They are third in the Big Ten in scoring defense, holding their opponents to 58.2 points, while ranking fifth in the league, scoring 67.8 points per game. Minnesota causes havoc on the defensive end, leading the Big Ten in steals (10.28), turnover margin (+4.38) and turnovers forced (20.6). Kiara Buford leads the Gophers offensively, ranking ninth the Big Ten with 14.4 points per game. Brittany McCoy is second in the conference with 4.6 assists and a 2.00 assist-to-turnover ratio, and third with 2.5 steals.
AGAINST THE GOLDEN GOPHERS
HOW THE COMPUTERS RANK MSU
Michigan State leads the all-time series, 32-19, but have lost the last two meetings and four of the last five. MSU is 12-11 all-time in Minneapolis, but have not won in Williams Arena since Feb. 10, 2005, having lost the last three games. Three Spartans average double-figures offensively against Minnesota in their careers. Aisha Jefferson, in six career games, averages 11.8 points and 2.3 steals, while Allyssa DeHaan has posted 10.3 points and 4.4 blocks in seven games, and Lykendra Johnson averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks in last year's two meetings.
The Spartans are second in the Big Ten, behind Ohio State, in RPI this season, ranking 16th in the NCAA RPI, 17th according to CollegeRPI.com and 25th by RealTimeRPI.com. The MSU schedule is the toughest among conference foes and ranks seventh nationally, by both CollegeRPI.com and RealTimeRPI.com. In non-conference action, CollegeRPI.com has MSU fifth nationally in RPI. As a conference, the Big Ten is fourth in RPI and second in strength of schedule on CollegeRPI.com.
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 1,530 points. Maxann Reese (1996-00) is fifth with 1,589. DeHaan moved into fifth all-time with 847 rebounds against Purdue on Thursday, and now needs 12 to match Jack Carter (1979-83) for fourth. In addition, she is third with 324 made free throws and sixth with 589 made field goals in MSU career record books.
SWATTING HER WAY INTO THE NCAA 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 460 blocks, needing only 21 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.
11th TO 1,000 AND 600
Redshirt senior Aisha Jefferson became 11th Spartan to total 1,000 points and 600 rebounds in their career. She is currently 17th all-time with 1,083 points and tied for 16th with 606 rebounds. On Dec. 6 against Indiana, Jefferson became the 20th 1,000 point scorer in MSU history, knocking in a free throw with 7:30 on the clock in the first half. In addition, she is 13th with 432 made field goals and 20th with 207 made free throws.
Michigan State leads the Big Ten in free throw attempts this season, going to the line 22.6 times overall and 23.1 times in conference play. The Spartans have been taking advantage of their opportunities more of late, hitting 71.6% of their free throws over the last six games, in comparison to 64.7% in their first 13 games.
A trio of Spartans are riding hot streaks from the line. Senior Allyssa DeHaan has made 19 consecutive free throws over her last six games, to improve her season percentage to 83.1%, good for fifth in the Big Ten. Meanwhile, junior Brittney Thomas has made 22 of her last 26 free throws (84.6%), including her last 10 attempts, over the last nine games, and freshman Jasmine Thomas has hit 18 of her last 19 free throws (94.7%) over the last 10 games.
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
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 17th in field goal percentage defense (34.8%), 25th in rebound margin (+7.0) and 43rd in assists (15.6).
THREE-PLUS YEARS OF SWATTING
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 743 blocks. North Carolina is first with 829, followed by MSU, Baylor (725), Duke (719) 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.
NEW LEADER EVERY NIGHT
Each night, a different Spartan has stepped up as the offensive leader, as eight different players have led MSU in scoring. Through eight conference games, six different Spartans have paced the team offensively. In addition, Michigan State is one of two teams in the Big Ten (Northwestern) to have four different player score 20 or more points in a game.
In all, nine different Spartans have scored in double-figures in a game this season, including a school-record six in the win over Florida Gulf Coast. The last time a MSU team had six players in double-digits was Feb. 18, 1996 vs. Michigan.
PRODUCTION OFF THE BENCH
The depth of the 2009-10 Spartans has paid dividends this season. The MSU bench is averaging 28.9 points, 18.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists, while playing 81.9 minutes per game, compared the opposition's 14.6 points, 14.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 59.4 minutes. The Spartans have received 23 double-figure scoring efforts off the bench this season, including being the leading scorer six times.
AMONG BIG TEN LEADERS
The Spartans lead the Big Ten in blocked shots (7.05), offensive rebounds (15.11) and total rebounds (44.3). They are also second in scoring offense (69.5), rebound margin (+7.0) and field goal percentage defense (.348), and third in scoring margin (+7.6) and assists (15.58).
Individually, redshirt sophomore Lykendra Johnson ranks among the conference leaders in many categories: offensive rebounds (3.4; 1st), rebounds (8.5; 3rd), blocks (9th; 1.3), field goal percentage (7th; .465) and scoring (25th; 9.3). Senior Allyssa DeHaan is second in the league in blocks with 3.1, and is also tied for ninth in rebounds (6.4), fifth in free throw percentage (.831) and 15th in scoring (12.2).
In conference games, the Spartans lead the Big Ten in blocks (5.75), and rank second in field goal percentage defense (.345) and offensive rebounds (15.00), and third in rebound margin (+4.9). Individually, Johnson leads in offensive rebounds with 3.9, and is also fourth in rebounds (8.6) and tied for sixth in steals (2.0). DeHaan is tied for fourth in blocks with 2.00 and Brittney Thomas is tied for sixth in assists (3.5).
SPARTANS' DYNAMIC DUO
In their two-plus years on the court together, the Spartans know good things will happen when seniors Aisha Jefferson and Allyssa DeHaan are both playing well. When both score in double-figures, MSU holds a 20-3 record, including a 2-1 record this season.
DeHaan's scoring has shown to be a deciding factor in most Spartan games. When she reaches double-digits, Michigan State is 62-20 in her career. Also, when she leads the team in scoring, MSU is 38-7. Meanwhile, MSU is 34-15 when Jefferson tallies double-figures.
ON THIS DATE
Michigan State is 5-7 all-time on January 24, but have not won on this date since 1986 (0-6).