Women's Basketball Hosts Defending National Champion Purdue
 
 
 
Redshirt freshman Vnemina Reese and the Spartans host Purdue on Feb. 17.
 
Redshirt freshman Vnemina Reese and the Spartans host Purdue on Feb. 17.
 
 

Feb. 16, 2000

East Lansing, MI -

Game #25 - No. 15/19 Purdue (17-6/9-4) at Michigan State (16-7/7-5) * Thursday, Feb. 17 * 7 p.m., EST * East Lansing, MI

Game #26 - Michigan at Michigan State * Sunday, Feb. 20 * 5 p.m., EST * East Lansing, MI

Michigan State begins the stretch run of the regular season with its final two home games of the year this week.

The Spartans will host No. 15 and defending national champion Purdue on Thursday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m., at the Breslin Center (15,138).

MSU will then take on intrastate rival Michigan on Sunday, Feb. 20. Tipoff for that game is set for 5 p.m.

The Spartans close out the regular season with a pair of road games against the Boilermakers (Feb. 24) and Minnesota (Feb. 27).

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Both games will be broadcast on WVFN (730 AM). Mike Vander Woude is the voice of Spartan women's basketball this season. He will be joined by Tracy Renken.

Broadcasts of all MSU games can be accessed on the internet at www.msuspartans.com.

Thursday's game will be televised live on AT&T Cable with Ben Stark, Paula Sanders and Sue Carter making up the broadcast team. The game can be seen in the Lansing area on cable channel 17.

The contest against Michigan is the Big Ten Game of the Week and will be televised live on Fox Sports Chicago. AT&T Cable will carry the game live in Lansing.

Dave Eanet will handle the play-by-play, while Amy Pritchard provides the analysis.

THE RECORDS

Michigan State is 16-7 overall and in fifth place in the Big Ten at 7-5. The Spartans, who are 11-0 at home this season, dropped a 77-69 road decision to Wisconsin on Feb. 13 in their only action last week.

Purdue comes to the Breslin Center with a 17-6 overall record and in third place in the Big Ten with a 9-4 mark.

The Boilermakers had an eight-game winning streak snapped in a 78-67 loss to fourth-ranked Penn State on Feb. 13.

Michigan is 17-6 overall and in second place in the Big Ten with a 9-3 record. The Wolverines take a four-game winning streak into a home game against Wisconsin on Feb. 17.

The Wolverines defeated Ohio State (65-61) and Indiana (85-58) last week.

IN THE POLLS

Michigan State received 4 votes in last week's USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll.

Purdue was ranked 15th in last week's Associated Press poll and 19th in the USA Today/ESPN poll.

CANDY DAY

The first 3,000 fans attending Thursday's game against Purdue will receive a free bag of M&M's.

TAKE A KID TO A GAME DAY

Michigan State has designated the Feb. 20 Michigan game as "Take A Kid To A Game" Day. It is a national promotion in conjunction with the NCAA.

The program is designed to promote athletics to the youth of America and allows for boys and girls 14-and-under to be admitted free if accompanied by an adult.

Members of the Izzone will help expose kids to the basketball action by bringing youths from the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing.

BRESLIN FAREWELL BID

Sunday's game against Michigan marks the final home appearance for MSU's three seniors, Kristen Rasmussen, Maxann Reese and Whitney Winberg.

The trio will be honored prior to tipoff of the game.

The contest is also the final home game for head coach Karen Langeland, who will retire at the end of the season.

THE COACHES

Michigan State coach Karen Langeland is in her 24th and final season at the helm of the Spartan program. The MSU mentor will retire at the conclusion of this season.

A native of Grand Rapids, Langeland has a career coaching mark of 373-285.

Langeland, who is the dean of Big Ten Conference women's basketball coaches, has guided the Spartans to three postseason appearances in the last four years, including a quarterfinal appearance in the WNIT last season.

Kristy Curry is in her first year at Purdue where she has a record of 17-6. Curry was an assistant coach at Lousiana Tech for three years prior to being named coach of the Boilermakers.

Sue Guevara is in her fourth year at Michigan where she owns a career record of 69-39. Guevara was an assistant coach at Michigan State for 10 years prior to taking over the helm of the Wolverines.

THANKS FOR THE GIFTS

MSU coach Karen Langeland has received a couple of retirement gifts on her last three road trips.

Iowa coach Angie Lee gave Langeland a pewter mug with an Iowa insignia on it and a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble during MSU's visit on Jan. 20.

Ohio State coach Beth Burns presented the Spartan mentor with a gift certificate to Marshall Fields on Jan. 27.

Illinois coach Theresa Grentz gave Langeland a Calloway Big Bertha driver.

Badger coach Jane Albright presented her with a package of Wisconsin cheese and other products from the state.

SERIES RECORDS

Purdue leads the all-time series with MSU, 24-15. The Boilermakers have won five straight over the Spartans.

MSU is 12-8 all-time against Purdue in East Lansing. The Spartans last home win against the Boilermakers came on Jan. 5, 1997, 83-70.

Purdue won both meetings between the two teams last year, 70-47 in West Lafayette, Ind., and 80-66 at the Breslin Center.

MSU is 41-11 all-time against Michigan, including a 21-4 mark in games played in East Lansing. Three of the last four games between the two teams have been decided by three points or less.

The Wolverines knocked off the Spartans in Ann Arbor to open the Big Ten season, 64-61.

In that contest, junior Becky Cummings tied her career high with 23 points, including an 11-of-11 performance from the free throw line.

Both teams struggled from the field, with MSU shooting 37 percent and the Wolverines hitting 36 percent.

Stacey Thomas led the Wolverines with 21 points and nine rebounds.

ABOUT THE BOILERMAKERS

MSU and Purdue will play twice in the next week and a half. The Spartans will host the Boilermakers on Thursday and then travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to face them the following Thursday (Feb. 24) in Mackey Arena.

Three of Purdue's four conference losses have come on the road.

The Boilermakers are led by junior guard Katie Douglas, who is the Big Ten's leading scorer with a 21.5 points per game average.

Junior center Camille Cooper contributes 13.7 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Kelly Komara also averages in double figures with a 10.8 points per contest average.

As a team, the Boilermakers average 68.0 points and 38.1 rebounds per game.

Purdue is the Big Ten's top defensive team, allowing just 58.8 points per game.

ABOUT THE WOLVERINES

Michigan is 8-5 away from Crisler Arena this season, including a 3-3 road mark in the Big Ten.

The Wolverines have a balanced scoring attack with senior Stacey Thomas leading the way with 15.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game averages.

Sophomores Alayne Ingram and Raina Goodlow contribute 12.3 and 10.0 points per game, respectively.

As a team, the Wolverines average 72.2 points and 40.0 rebounds per game and are shooting 43 percent from the field.

HOME WINNING STREAK ON THE LINE AGAINST DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPS

Michigan State puts its 14-game home winning streak on the line against defending national champion Purdue on Thursday. The Boilermakers are the last team to beat the Spartans at the Breslin Center, 80-66 (Jan. 31, 1999).

The Spartans, who are 11-0 at home this season, moved their winning streak to a school-record 14 games with their 74-64 win over Iowa on Feb. 6.

MSU has a record of 97-42 (.698) in 10 years at the Breslin Center.

Consecutive Home Wins

14	2/12/99 - current
13	11/30/96 - 11/21/97
12	2/7/77 - 2/25/78
10	3/4/90 - 1/27/91

ROAD WOES

While Michigan State has flourished at home this season with a perfect 11-0 mark, it has struggled to just a 5-7 record on the road. The Spartans have won just once in six Big Ten road games.

After playing its final two home games of the regular season this week, the Spartans will close out the year with a pair of road games.

50 PERCENT EQUALS WINS

MSU shot 50 percent from the field against Wisconsin on Feb. 13, but lost 77-69 to the Badgers. It marked the first time this season (7-1) that the Spartans dropped a game when they shot 50 percent from the field.

The Spartans have shot 50 percent or better from the floor in four of the last eight games, including a season-high .556 in the first meeting with Iowa on Jan. 20.

MSU leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage in overall games with a .461 mark.

70 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER

MSU is 15-0 this season when it scores 70 or more points. The only time the Spartans won when they failed to reach the 70-point mark was in their 62-50 victory over Ohio State on Jan. 2.

The Spartans have topped the 80-point mark eight times this season, surpassing the number of times (5) it scored more than that last season.

MSU has been held to 65 points or less in five of its six losses this season (54 vs. Notre Dame, 65 vs. North Carolina, 61 vs. Michigan, 55 vs. Northwestern, 50 vs. Ohio State).

ON THE BOARDS

Michigan State has outrebounded 17 of 23 opponents this season and is 13-4 in those contests.

The Spartans are second in the Big Ten with a 41.0 boards per game average overall. MSU has garnered 50 or more rebounds three times this season, including a season-best 56 against Appalachian State on Nov. 19.

RASMUSSEN NEARING REBOUND RECORD

Senior Kristen Rasmussen stands second on the MSU all-time rebounding chart with 898 boards. She is 2 rebounds shy of becoming only the second player in school history to reach the 900-rebound mark.

Rasmussen is 36 rebounds away from moving past former Spartan great Kris Emerson (1984-87) as MSU's all-time leader. If Rasmussen averages at least 9.0 rebounds per game for the remainder of the regular season, she will pass Emerson.

CUMMINGS 3RD IN THE NATION

Junior Becky Cummings leads the Big Ten and is third in the nation in field goal percentage (.634). In conference action, Cummings is shooting 66 percent from the floor.

She has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 18-of-23 games this season and is hitting at a .710 clip (49-of-69) in the last nine contests.

ANOTHER MILESTONE AWAITS REESE

Maxann Reese is two three-point field goals shy of becoming just the seventh player in Big Ten history to record 200 triples in a career.

Reese, who is MSU's all-time leader in three-point field goals with 198, ranks eighth on the Big Ten all-time chart.

MORE ON MAD MAX

Senior Maxann Reese is averaging 18.0 points per game over the last three contests and is shooting 49 percent from the field during that stretch.

With the emergence of other scorers this season, Reese has not had to provide as much offense for the Spartans as in the past.

What she has done this year is develop into a more all-around player. She averages a team-high 31.7 minutes per game and is among the team leaders in assists (53) and steals (33). Offensively, Reese is averaging 15.0 points per game, while contributing 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

A First-Team All-Big Ten selection last year, Reese has scored 20 or more points five times this season, including a season-high 25 points in the win over Illinois State on Dec. 2.

Reese currently ranks ranks third on the MSU all-time scoring chart with 1,439 points, trailing only Kisha Kelley (1,668) and Kris Emerson (1,590) on the scoring list.

BECKY CUMMINGS NOTES

Junior Becky Cummings leads the team and is among the top eight in the Big Ten with a 15.7 points per game average. Cummings also ranks among the league leaders with a 7.6 rebounds per game average.

Cummings has scored 20 or more points seven times this year, including 23 points against Michigan (Dec. 30) and Central Michigan (Dec. 8).

The Walled Lake native tallied 20 points in the Feb. 3 win over Northwestern to become the 25th player in program history to top 800 career points. Cummings currently ranks 24th on the all-time scoring chart with 836 points.

She had four rebounds against Iowa on Feb. 6 to become the 14th player in school history to record 500 rebounds in a career. Cummings stands 14th on the all-time rebounding chart with 507 boards.

RASMUSSEN TOPS IN THE BIG TEN

Senior forward Kristen Rasmussen leads the Big Ten and is among the national leaders with a 10.3 rebounds per game average.

She is also tops in the league with 13 double-doubles this season. Rasmussen has recorded 36 double-doubles in her career.

Junior Becky Cummings is among the top five in the league with seven double-doubles.

The Spartans are 5-1 this season when Rasmussen and Cummings post a double-double in the same game and 10-3 in the last 13 games when they accomplish that feat.

MORE ON RAS

Senior Kristen Rasmussen is one of the best all-around players in the Big Ten. She ranks among the league leaders in five different categories, scoring (14.2 ppg), rebounding (10.3 rpg), field goal percentage (.543), free throw percentage (.760) and blocks per game (1.87 bpg).

Rasmussen stands fifth on the MSU all-time scoring chart with 1,361 points.

The Spartan co-captain became the fifth player in Spartan history to record 800 boards in a career when she pulled down eight rebounds against Northwestern (Jan. 6).

The East Lansing native is one of just three players in Spartan history to score 1,000 points and pull down 800 rebounds in a career. Rasmussen is in the elite group with Kris Emerson (1,590 pts./933 reb.) and Mary Kay Itnyre (1,189 pts./821 reb.).

In the loss to Wisconsin on Feb. 13, Rasmussen showed off her shooting range, going 2-for-2 from three-point range.

Rasmussen is shooting 50 percent (5-of-10) from behind the arc this season. She is 13-of-34 from three-point range in her career.

RASMUSSEN SETS SIGHTS ON 200 BLOCKS

Senior forward Kristen Rasmussen is 16 blocks shy of becoming just the sixth player in conference history to record 200 blocks in a career.

She has 43 blocks this season, good for third on the Spartan single-season chart.

GETTING TO THE POINT

Redshirt freshman Vnemina Reese cotinues to improve with each game. She currently averages 5.2 points and 4.54 assists per game, good for fifth in the Big Ten.

Reese, who started the first six games a year ago before being sidelined with a knee injury, has started all 22 games she has played in this season. In the last two games, she is averaging 7.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game.

In the loss to Wisconsin on Feb. 13, Reese scored four points, had nine assists, just two turnovers and came up with a career-high six steals in 33 minutes.

Against Iowa on Feb. 6, Reese scored six points, pulled down a season-high seven rebounds and had six assists in 30 minutes of action.

The Fort Wayne, Ind., native distributed a career-high 10 assists in the win over Dayton on Dec. 17.

TOUGH "D" LEADS TO WINS

MSU has held 16 opponents to less than 70 points this season and is 13-3 in those contests.

The Spartans won 17-straight games when holding the opposition to less than 70 points before their 64-61 loss to Michigan on Dec. 30.

MSU has held five opponents to less than 60 points and is undefeated in those games.

The Spartans are third in the league in scoring defense (64.3) for Big Ten games only.

ACTION FOR ABBY

Sophomore Abby Salscheider had a good week of practice heading into the Wisconsin game, so coach Karen Langeland rewarded her with some early playing time against the Badgers.

Salscheider responded with the best game of her career.

The Bluffton, Ind., native scored a career-high 15 points, on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. She scored eight points in the first half to help the Spartans come back from an early 13-point deficit.

Salscheider also had four rebounds, four assists and two blocks in a career-high 29 minutes of action.

On the season, Salscheider is averaging 3.3 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.

RESERVES STEPPING UP

After early season struggles with bench production, the Spartan reserves have been consistent contributors in the last half of the year.

The MSU bench has outscored the opponent reserves in seven of the last nine games.

Overall, the Spartans are 12-3 when the bench outscores their opponents reserves.

The MSU bench is averaging 19.5 points per game overall, while its opponents average 16.1 per contest.

In the first three Big Ten games of the year, MSU got just 6.7 points per game from its bench. The Spartan reserves were held scoreless in the loss to Michigan on Dec. 30 and contributed just four points in the loss to Northwestern on Jan. 6.

ROOKIE RECKER

Freshman Maria Recker has provided MSU with valuable minutes off the bench, averaging 14.2 minutes per contest.

While Recker has started twice this season, she has been more productive off the bench.

The rookie from Auburn, Ind., is fourth on the team with a 5.2 points and 1.7 rebounds per game average.

She has scored in double figures four times this season, including a career-high 15-point effort against Ohio on Dec. 21. Recker pulled down a career-high seven rebounds in the win over Penn State on Jan. 23.

I DO

Junior Erin Skelly got the surprise of a lifetime following MSU's victory over Northwestern on Feb. 3.

The Maple Grove, Minn., native accepted a surprise marriage proposal from Josh Smith during a live post-game interview on AT&T Cable.

Smith is a junior backup center on the Spartan football team.

FREE THROW RECORDS

Senior Maxann Reese went 4-of-5 from the line against Illinois on Jan. 30, ending her consecutive free throw streak.

Reese connected on an MSU record 35 straight free throws prior to her miss.

Prior to the game with Illinois, Reese had not missed a free throw since Dec. 5.

Junior Becky Cummings tied the MSU single-game record for free throw percentage (1.000) with a perfect 11-for-11 performance against Michigan on Dec. 30.

Cummings is one of eight players to be perfect from the charity stripe on 10 or more attempts. Cummings went on to hit 19 consecutive free throws, the sixth longest streak in Spartan history.

CONSECUTIVE FREE THROWS

35	Maxann Reese
	12/8/99 to 1/30/00
33	Brenda Jezowski
	2/25/83 to 12/12/83
27	Kristen Rasmussen
	2/5/99 to 3/14/99
23	Maxann Reese
	12/14/96 to 2/23/97
22	Chris Powers
	12/4/93 to 1/2/94
19	Becky Cummings
	12/30/99 to 1/6/00

SPARTANS WIN NINE NON-CONFERENCE GAMES

MSU went 9-2 in the non-conference season, the first time it has won nine non-league games since 1981-82, the first year of sanctioned Big Ten play.

START BEST EVER FOR SPARTANS

Michigan State posted a 7-0 mark before suffering its first loss of the season, the best start in school history.

The previous record was the 6-0 record the 1983-84 squad posted to open the campaign en route to an 18-10 record.

WINNING STREAK TOPS SINCE 1996-97

MSU's seven-game winning streak to start the season is the longest since the 1996-97 season, the year it won the Big Ten. The seven straight victories tie for the third longest winning streak in program history.

CO-CAPTAINS

Seniors Maxann Reese and Kristen Rasmussen have been selected as team co-captains for 1999-2000. Reese and Rasmussen were tri-captains last year along with the graduated Pernille Dalgaard.

Rasmussen joins Brenda Jezowski and Christine Powers as the only players in history to serve as team captain three times. Rasmussen was also a co-captain in 1997-98 with Jamie Wesley.

EARLY START

The Spartans got an early start on their 1999-2000 season with a 10-day trip to British Columbia, Canada in August.

MSU practiced for 10 days prior to departing for Canada and posted a 5-0 record during its first-ever foreign tour.

PRESEASON POLL

The Big Ten coaches picked MSU to tie with Michigan for fifth place in the league in a preseason poll released at the conference media day on Oct. 31.

Penn State was the favorite to win the league crown followed by Illinois, Wisconsin and Purdue.

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING

MSU backcourt mates Vnemina Reese and Maxann Reese are not related. The duo does have the distinction of being the first Spartan teammates since Sue Tucker and Mary Tucker in 1984 and 1985 with the same last name.

MSU SIGNS FORWARD FROM CONNECTICUT

Michigan State signed Anne Peck to a national letter of intent during the early signing period. The 6-2 forward from Madison, Conn., was an Honorable Mention USA Today All-American in 1999 after averaging 22.8 points and 12.6 rebounds per game as a junior.