Feb. 3, 2010
rv/- MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (14-7, 5-5) vs.
rv/rv PENN STATE LADY LIONS (15-6, 7-4)
Date: Thursday, Feb. 4
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Arena: Breslin Center
Radio: WVFN 730 AM (Rick Berkey - play-by-play; Mo Gerhardt - analyst)
Internet: Live broadcast on BigTenNetwork.com (Jacob Bodnar - play-by-play; Julie Dombroski - analyst); Live audio and stats at MSUSpartans.com
TV: Big Ten Network (tape delayed) - Fri., Feb. 5 - 9 a.m.
Hometown Day: Courtney Schiffauer
Promotion: National Girl and Women in Sport Day; $1 Brat Night
Watch | Listen | GameTracker
Game Notes in PDF Format
Listen to Spartan Sports Podcasts
Kalisha Keane | Cetera Washington
Suzy Merchant Weekly Press Conference Coverage (Video | Podcast)
FINAL GAME TIMES SET
The start times for the final two Michigan State women's basketball game were announced by the conference office this week. The Spartans' Feb. 25 game at Purdue will begin at 7 p.m. ET, while the final home contest of the season on Feb. 28 against Minnesota is set to tip at 2 p.m. ET.
ABOUT PENN STATE
The Lady Lions (15-6 overall) enter the week in second place in the Big Ten at 7-4, but have dropped their last two games. Senior Tyra Grant leads Penn State offensively, averaging 19.5 points, good for second in the Big Ten. Freshman Alex Bentley is the lone other Lady Lion in double-figures with 11.6 points, while also leading the team with 4.0 assists per game, fourth in the conference. As a team, Penn State is tied for second with MSU in scoring offense, averaging 68.7 points, and leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense (34.5%), just ahead of the Spartans. PSU is also second in offensive rebounds (14.81) and third in rebound margin (+4.0).
AGAINST THE LADY LIONS
Michigan State trails the all-time series, 24-9, including a 68-60 loss earlier this season in University Park. MSU is 6-8 all-time in East Lansing, but won last year's meeting in Breslin, 70-59 on Jan. 18 and have won three of the last four on its home court.
In the first meeting between the two schools this season, Penn State held MSU without a field goal over the final 8:16 for the come-from-behind victory. Jasmine Thomas led the Spartans with a career high 19 points, including the final 12 of the game for MSU. Kalisha Keane added 14 points and Lykendra Johnson grabbed 11 boards. Tyra Grant led three Lady Lions in double-figures with a game-high 23 points.
DeHAAN NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior Allyssa DeHaan was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday for the second time this season and for the eighth time in her career, a MSU record. DeHaan led the Spartans to a 66-62 win at Northwestern on Thursday with 24 points, the most points by a MSU player this season, 10 rebounds and five blocks. It was her third double-double of the season and 18th of her career. DeHaan also came through in the clutch, knocking down a pair of shots in the final two minutes to break a 49-all tie and put MSU up for good.
HOW THE COMPUTERS RANK MSU
The Spartans are second in the Big Ten, behind Ohio State, in RPI this season, ranking 14th in the NCAA RPI, 15th according to CollegeRPI.com and 19th by RealTimeRPI.com. The MSU schedule is the toughest among conference foes and ranks eighth nationally, by both CollegeRPI.com and RealTimeRPI.com. In non-conference action, CollegeRPI.com has MSU fourth nationally in RPI. As a conference, the Big Ten is fourth in RPI overall, and in the non-conference schedule was second in both RPI and strength of schedule according to CollegeRPI.com.
Michigan State has been a dangerous team this season against teams ranked in the nation's top-10. Up to this point in the season, MSU is one of five teams (California, Connecticut, Oklahoma, South Carolina) to have played at least four top-10 teams, having gone 2-2. The Spartans knocked off No. 4 North Carolina and No. 8 Xavier, and their two losses (No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 6 Ohio State) have come by a combined four points.
In all, MSU is one of five teams in the country with at least two top-10 wins, as No. 1 Connecticut has five top-10 wins and No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 Nebraska and No. 10 Oklahoma State each also have two. Against teams in the current AP top-10, MSU and Connecticut are the only two teams with at least three wins.
It was the only the second time in program history that a Spartan team has beaten two Associated Press top-10 teams in the same regular season. The 2002-03 Spartans knocked off No. 7/6 Purdue on Jan. 6 and No. 10 Minnesota on Jan. 23.
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 1,558 points. Maxann Reese (1996-00) is fifth with 1,589. DeHaan moved into fourth all-time with 861 rebounds at Northwestern last Thursday. Kris Emerson is third with 933. In addition, she is third with both 330 made free throws and 600 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 468 blocks, needing only 13 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 16th all-time with both 1,089 points and 608 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 435 made field goals and 20th with 207 made free throws.
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 eighth in the nation with 3.1 per game.
The Spartans are also among the nation's top-50 in three other categories, placing 18th in field goal percentage defense (35.0%), 23rd in rebound margin (+6.6) and 32nd in assists (15.7).
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 757 blocks. North Carolina is first with 851, followed by MSU, Baylor (736), Duke (728) and Connecticut (708).
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 10 conference games, six different Spartans have paced the team offensively. It doesn't stop there as nine different Spartans have led the team in assists this season and six different have paced the team in rebounds. In addition, Michigan State is one of two teams in the Big Ten (Northwestern) to have four different players 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, 18.1 rebounds and 6.8 assists, while playing 81.0 minutes per game, compared the opposition's 14.5 points, 14.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 57.3 minutes. The Spartans have received 26 double-figure scoring efforts off the bench this season, including the leading scorer seven times.
AMONG BIG TEN LEADERS
The Spartans lead the Big Ten in blocked shots (7.05), offensive rebounds (15.10) and total rebounds (43.6). They are also second in scoring offense (68.7), scoring margin (+7.5), rebound margin (+6.6) and field goal percentage defense (.350), and third in assists (15.71).
Individually, redshirt sophomore Lykendra Johnson ranks among the conference leaders in many categories: offensive rebounds (3.5; 1st), rebounds (8.5; 3rd), blocks (9th; 1.3), field goal percentage (9th; .462) and scoring (26th; 9.4). Senior Allyssa DeHaan is second in the league in blocks with 3.1, and is also tied for ninth in rebounds (6.4), eighth in free throw percentage (.813), 13th in field goal percentage (.450) and 14th in scoring (12.4).
In conference games, the Spartans lead the Big Ten in blocks (6.00), offensive rebounds (15.00) and field goal percentage defense (.350), and rank second in scoring defense (58.9) and rebound margin (+4.5), and third in scoring margin (+2.8), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.290) and assists (13.40). Individually, Johnson leads in offensive rebounds with 3.9, and is also fourth in rebounds (8.6) and tied for sixth in steals (1.90). DeHaan is tied for second in blocks with 2.40 and Brittney Thomas is sixth in steals (1.90) and seventh in assists (3.60). Kalisha Keane has been efficient from the field, tanking eighth in field goal percentage (.437) and fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (.410).
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 63-20 in her career. Also, when she leads the team in scoring, MSU is 39-7. Meanwhile, MSU is 34-15 when Jefferson tallies double-figures.
CENTER OF ATTENTION
MSU has received great production from the center position this season. The duo of seniors Allyssa DeHaan and Lauren Aitch have combined to average 19.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.5 blocks. The pair has been only on the floor together for 42:47 this season, but 10:47 of which was in the last game.
The 2009-10 basketball season is the Spartans' 21st inside the Jack Breslin Student Events Center. MSU has an all-time record of 208-78 (.727) at Breslin and have been even more dominant of late in its cozy confines, posting a mark of 74-16 since 2003.
FANS CONTINUE TO PACK THE BRESLIN
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 5,797 fans through 11 games, to place second in the Big Ten. The Ohio State crowd of 12,412 was the third largest crowd in MSU women's basketball history.
ON THIS DATE
Michigan State is 4-3 all-time on February 4.