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Spartans Travel to Iowa for Meeting Against Big Ten-Leading Hawkeyes

Feb. 5, 2008

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MICHIGAN STATE (13-10, 5-6) at IOWA (15-7, 8-3)

Game Information
When: Thursday, Feb. 7 • 8 p.m. ET
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena • Iowa City, Iowa

Media Coverage
TV: No television coverage.
Radio: WVFN 730 AM and (Rick Berkey: Play-by-Play)
Live Stats: Gametracker at

Series History
Overall: Iowa leads, 29-22
Last meeting: @ MSU 73, Iowa 65 (1/10/08)

MSU: Suzy Merchant (Central Michigan, 1991)
Overall: 214-130 (13th year)
At MSU: 13-10 (first year)

IOWA: Lisa Bluder (Northern Iowa, 1983)
Overall: 498-236 (24th year)
At Iowa: 142-94 (eighth year)

After a stirring comeback to defeat rival Michigan, the MSU women's basketball team had the weekend off before this Thursday's road trip to Big Ten-leading Iowa. In the first meeting back on Jan. 10 in East Lansing, the Spartans had one of their biggest comebacks in school history, rallying from 16 down in the first half to pull out the 73-65 victory. Since that point, Iowa (15-7, 8-3 Big Ten) has won six straight games and has vaulted to a three-way tie atop the league standings along with Ohio State and Purdue. The Hawkeyes beat Indiana at home on Sunday, 81-65.

MSU is looking to maintain its momentum after a thrilling come-from-behind over Michigan last Thursday at the Breslin Center. After a timeout at the 6:32 mark and trailing 53-45, the Spartans held Michigan scoreless for more than five minutes and went on a 10-0 run to take a 55-53 lead. Although the Wolverines tied it on a layup with 1:28 left, the Spartans iced the game with six free throws in the final minute to seal the victory. Michigan had one last chance to tie the game, but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. It marked MSU's 10th win in the last 11 meetings of the series, and the fifth straight over the Wolverines at the Breslin Center.

Iowa is riding a season-long six-game winning streak after defeating the Hoosiers Sunday in Iowa City. Four of those wins came at home (Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan, Indiana) while two came on the road (Illinois, Northwestern). The Hawkeyes are led by junior guard Kristi Smith, who is averaging 13.3 points a game. Smith scored a game-high 23 points against the Spartans on Jan. 10 with four 3-pointers. Wendy Ausdemore, who was held scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting in the first meeting, is second on the team with 11.0 ppg.

The Michigan State Athletics Department wants fans to "Think Pink" for the Monday, Feb. 11 game vs. Purdue at 7 p.m. The night will be dedicated to raising awareness and money to fight breast cancer.

The Spartans will be wearing pink apparel to show their support for the cause, and breast cancer survivors will be honored at halftime.

Think Pink t-shirts will be on sale at the game for $15, and $5 goes right back to the Greater Lansing Komen Foundation. Fans that have already purchased a t-shirt can get in free to the game by wearing their Think Pink t-shirt. In addition, the first 1,000 fans will get a free Think Pink water bottle.

Iowa leads the all-time series over Michigan State, 29-22, including a 15-8 advantage in games played in Iowa City. However, the Spartans have won five in a row over the Hawkeyes and nine of the past 11.

Allyssa DeHaan leads the Big Ten in blocks with 97.

• Mandy Piechowksi finished with 12 points, opening the game with eight of MSU's first 10 points...over the past two games, she is averaging 13 points in 26.5 minutes...she scored a career-high 14 points with four 3's at Minnesota on Jan. 27.

Allyssa DeHaan swatted away four shots after failing to record any blocks for the first time in her career at Michigan (1/13)...she now has 242 career blocks and 97 for the season...she also scored 15 points, marking the 18th time this season she has scored in double-figures.

• MSU held Michigan to three 3-pointers after giving up 12 in their last meeting...Michigan shot 16.7 percent (3-for-18) from long range in the game...Michigan came into the contest averaging nearly seven 3's a game.

• MSU was perfect from the free-throw line over the final 9:34 (12-for-12)...the Spartans finished the game 13-for-15 (87 percent).

• During one stretch, MSU held Michigan scoreless for more than five minutes in the second half (6:38 to 1:28 mark), during which the Spartans went on a 10-0 run to put them ahead by two...the Wolverines led by 53-45 at the 6:38 mark...after a 30-second MSU timeout, the Spartans closed the game on a 16-5 run.

• MSU scored 32 of its 61 points in the paint...Michigan finished with 46 points in the paint.

Cetera Washington scored seven points, her highest scoring output since the second game of the season when she scored 15 against Evansville on Nov. 11...she also had five rebounds, her most since she collected seven against Ohio State on Dec. 30.

Brittney Thomas scored in double-figures for the sixth time this season with 10 points...she also had seven rebounds and two steals.

• The win marked MSU's fifth straight at home against Michigan, and was its 10th win in the past 11 meetings...MSU leads the all-time series, 51-14.

• The 8,287 fans in attendance marked the 18th largest crowd in school history, and fourth largest of the season.

• The Spartans won their fifth straight over Iowa with a 73-65 win before a crowd of 4,759 on Jan. 10 at the Breslin Center.

• MSU outscored the Hawkeyes in the second half, 51-30. The 51 second-half points were a season high. MSU trailed at the half, 35-22, and trailed by as many as 16 in the first half.

• Down 52-39 with 12:13 remaining, the Spartans went on a 20-4 run to go up 59-56 with 5:15 left.

• In the last 12 minutes of the game, MSU outscored Iowa, 34-11.

• Freshman point guard Brittney Thomas scored a career-high 18 points - 16 arriving in the second half. She also had a season-high six steals.

• Reserve guard Takeya Forter, who had only played five minutes all season entering the game, made a difference in the second half. She played 16 minutes and scored five points, both marks representing then-career highs, while helping MSU's defensive pressure force 17 second-half Iowa turnovers.

Courtney Davidson tied a career high with 18 points and hit three 3-pointers.

• Michigan State turned up the pressure in the second half, causing 17 Hawkeye turnovers and nine steals. For the game, MSU forced 25 turnovers, a season high for a Spartan opponent, and tied a season high with 12 steals. The Spartans scored 36 points off Iowa turnovers, the most for MSU this season.

• For just the fourth time of the season, Allyssa DeHaan did not score in double-figures. DeHaan finished with eight points and six rebounds.



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