Feb. 21, 2009
(rv/rv) Michigan State Spartans (19-7, 12-3) at
Wisconsin Badgers (15-12, 5-11)
Date: Sunday, Feb. 22
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Madison, Wis.
Arena: Kohl Center
Radio: WVFN 730 AM (Rick Berkey - play-by-play)
Internet: Live Stats and Audio at www.msuspartans.com.
Statistically Savvy (Big Ten Edition)
Michigan State is among the Big Ten leaders in almost every statistical category. The Spartans are first in scoring defense (54.5), field goal percentage defense (33.6%), 3-point field goal percentage defense (25.9%), rebound margin (+9.0), rebounds (42.6), offensive rebounds (14.58) and blocked shots (5.65). They are also second in scoring margin (+10.7) and third in field goal percentage (42.4%).
Among the individual top-10, junior Allyssa DeHaan is second in the Big Ten in blocks with 3.12 and eighth with a 46.1 field goal percentage, while sophomore Kalisha Keane is eighth with 1.85 steals per game and classmate Brittney Thomas is 10th with 3.24 assists.
In conference games, MSU leads in field goal percentage defense (34.1%), 3-point field goal percentage defense (24.0%), rebound margin (+7.1) and rebounds (41.1), and is second in offensive rebounds (14.13), and is third in scoring defense (53.8), blocked shots (4.80) and steals (8.53). Individually, DeHaan is second with 2.53 blocks per game and eighth in field goal percentage (45.2%). Meanwhile, Johnson is tied for fourth in offensive rebounds (2.93) and tied for ninth with 7.1 rebounds, Thomas is fifth in assists (3.58) and Keane is tied for eighth with 1.80 steals..
Statistically Savvy (NCAA Edition)
Entering the weekend, the Spartans are among the nation's top-50 in six major statistical categories, including being in the top 20 in five. MSU is third in field goal percentage defense (33.6%), seventh in 3-point field goal percentage defense (25.9%), ninth in rebound margin (+9.0) and 12th in blocked shots (5.7). In addition, the Spartans are 20th in scoring defense (54.5) and 41st in scoring margin (+10.7).
Individually, junior Allyssa DeHaan is tied for seventh in the country in blocked shots with 3.1 per game.
DeHaan Named Big Ten Player of the Week
Junior Allyssa DeHaan was honored as the Big Ten Player of the Week on Tuesday, Feb. 17. DeHaan becomes the first Spartan to earn weekly conference recognition this season and takes home the award for the sixth time in her career. DeHaan posted her second double-double of the season, and 15th of her career, on Thursday in the Spartans' 71-65 overtime win at Indiana. DeHaan had game-highs with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, while also adding two assists and a steal in a career-high 41 minutes. She was 8-of-10 from the field, including a game-tying field goal with 5.7 second left in regulation to send the game into overtime.
Like its first meeting, the Breslin Center version of the Michigan State/Michigan rivalry on Thursday will go down in the record books. The 27 points allowed broke the following records:
- Fewest points scored by a Big Ten school in a conference game in Big Ten history.
- Fewest points allowed by MSU in the 3-point era and the lowest total since Notre Dame scored 23 on Jan. 30, 1975.
- Lowest point total by Michigan since the university began sponsoring the sport in 1973.
- Fewest points scored in Breslin Center history (previous was 33 by Michigan on Jan. 18, 2004).
Also, MSU held Michigan to 18.8% (9-of-48) from the field. It was the lowest field goal percentage against the Spartans since January 3, 1978, when Wayne State shot 17.6%.
At 12-3 in Big Ten play, the Spartans sit in a tie for the conference lead with Ohio State. The 12 wins are the fourth most in MSU history, trailing only the teams of 2004-05 (14-2), 2006-07 (13-3) and 1990-91 (13-5). Only two of past teams can match the success of this year's Spartan team in their first 15 conference games. The 2004-05 team went 13-2 and the 2006-07 squad also went 12-3.
Keys to MSU Success
As approach the end of the 2008-09 season, certain statistical trends have arisen in regard to MSU wins and losses:
- Michigan State is 15-0 when its opponent have been held to less than 60 and 12-0 when held below 31% from the field.
- MSU is 12-2 when it grabs more than 40 rebounds and also 15-2 when it has a greater than five rebound margin.
- The Spartans are 9-1 when they shoot over 43% from the field.
- MSU is 11-0 when it goes to the free throw line 20 or more times and is 13-1 when it attempts more than the opposition.
- The Spartans are 15-1 when they have a higher 3-point field goal percentage and 9-0 when they make more 3-pointers.
- Michigan State is 8-1 when they score more than 70 points.
- MSU is 16-1 when they create more points off turnovers and 12-1 when they have fewer turnovers than the opponent.
- The Spartans are 13-2 when scoring first and 17-1 when leading at halftime.
Spartans' Dynamic Duo
In their one-plus year on the court together, the Spartans know good things will happen when redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson and Allyssa DeHaan are both playing well. When both score in double-figures, MSU holds a 18-1 record, including a 8-0 mark so far this season.
DeHaan's scoring has shown to be a deciding factor in most Spartan games. When she reaches double-digits, Michigan State is 15-0 this season and are 51-14 in her career. Also, when she leads the team in scoring, MSU is 33-4, including a 10-0 record this season. Meanwhile, MSU is 29-11 when Jefferson tallies double-figures, including a 10-4 mark in 2008-09.
Holding Down the Opposition (First Half Edition)
The Spartans have been especially stingy in the first half of each game this season. Their opponents have combined for only 626 points (24.1 per game). In the last seven games, the opposition have combined for 136 points (19.4 per game), while shooting 30.1% from the field and 16.0% from behind the arc.
MSU allowed only 12 points in the first half against Delaware State on Dec. 18, and 13 points to Detroit on Nov. 19 and Michigan on Feb. 19. The 12 points against the Lady Hornets tied the previous school record for a first half, set on Jan. 16, 2003 against Indiana.
Defense on the Arc
The Spartans have picked up their defensive prowess on the perimeter. MSU has improved upon its league leading and seventh nationally ranked 3-point field goal percentage defense over the last 12 games. During the span, the Spartans are holding their opponents to a 21.3% (46-of-216) clip, including a season-low 7.1% (1-of-14) by No. 14/12 Ohio State (Feb. 8), a 12.5% (1-of-8) by Illinois (Feb. 5) and a 17.1% (6-of-35) effort by Michigan (Jan. 15).
Crashing the Glass
Michigan State has been dominant on the offensive boards this season. The Spartans leads the Big Ten lead with 14.58 offensive rebounds a game and have grabbed 41.2% of the possible rebounds in the offensive zone (Ohio State is second at 37.4%). MSU set a season-high with 25 offensive rebounds at Northwestern (Jan. 22). It was the most offensive rebounds in a game by MSU since the Spartans grabbed 27 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Dec. 19, 2004. By contrast, the Spartans have allowed only 12.8 offensive rebounds per game and have allowed the opposition to grab only 31.3% of their possible offensive rebounds.
Greatest Michigan State Defensive Team of All-Time?
The 2008-09 Michigan State team has a chance to finish the season as one of the greatest defensive teams in program history. Currently this year's team has allowed the fewest points per game (54.5) since 1974-75 and owns the lowest field goal percentage defense (33.6%) since records were kept for the 1976-77 season. Since the addition of the 3-point line to the women's game for the 1987-88 season, the Spartans' 25.9% is second to only the first year of the line. Also, this year's squad has the best rebound margin (+9.0) since opposing rebounds were kept in 1987-88.
Making a Splash
Freshman Porsche Poole has seen increased playing time as the season as progressed, especially over the last four games. Over the stretch, she is averaging 23.3 minutes per game, while producing 9.0 points (third on the team), a team-best 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals (second on the team) and 2.0 rebounds. With Poole on the court in those four games, the Spartans are plus-60, compared to being minus-11 with her on the bench. In her first 17 career games, she appeared in only 9.4 minutes and contributed 2.9 points, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals and 1.0 rebounds.
Poole had a career night on Thursday leading the team with a season-high 14 points, the only player in the game in double-figures, while adding a game-high three assists, three steals and three rebounds. In her 24 minutes on the court, the Spartans outscored Michigan 37-6. Poole became the seventh Spartan to lead the team in scoring this season, tying Michigan, Northwestern and Wisconsin for the most different scoring leaders in the Big Ten.
Thomas Out for the Remainder of the Season
Sophomore Brittney Thomas will miss the rest of the 2008-09 season after tearing the ACL in her left knee on Feb. 6. Thomas started her last 19 games at point guard for the Spartans, and leads them with 3.2 assists per game. She is also fifth on the team with 6.0 points, fourth with 4.1 rebounds and second with 1.6 steals per game, while playing a team-best 32.5 minutes.
She returned to the rotation in the game against Detroit (Nov. 19), after missing the first two games with a broken right hand. Since she was back, her impact on the floor was noticeable. With Thomas on the court, the Spartans outscored their opponents by 156 points (1084-928), but when she was sitting, MSU trailed by 11 points (249-260).
After losing all four of their non-conference road games, the Spartans have bounced back to win six of their first eight road Big Ten games this season. The six wins ties for the most conference road wins in program history. (The 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2006-07 teams went 6-2.) Four of those wins came in places where MSU has historically struggled; the Spartans entered the games 1-13 at Penn State, 4-21 at Purdue, 12-16 at Northwestern and 10-15 at Illinois.
Spartan Efficiency Per 40 Minutes
The depth of Michigan State so far this season has limited the minutes of its top players, and in turn, lessened their overall production in regard to the Big Ten leaders. However, when you calculate the production per 40 minutes (with those who have played at least 15.0 minutes per game), three Spartans are in the top-10 in scoring and two are among the top-15 rebounders.
Jefferson is third in scoring averaging 19.0 points per 40 minutes (trailing only Ohio State's Jantel Lavender - 24.8 and Penn State's Tyra Grant - 23.7). Also, classmate Lauren Aitch is fifth at 17.9 and DeHaan is seventh at 16.7. In regard to rebounding, redshirt freshman Lykendra Johnson is fourth with 11.4 boards per 40 minutes (behind the Ohio State duo of Lavender - 12.4 and Star Allen - 12.2, and Iowa's Kachine Alexander - 11.7), while DeHaan is 12th (10.2).
Michigan State currently have seven players in the regular rotation at or over 6-foot, including the entire starting lineup. This size and length has paid dividends this season, as the Spartans hold a 838-528 edge in points in the paint (+11.9 per game), a 356-231 edge in second chance points (+4.8), a 1107-873 edge in rebounding (+9.0 per game) and have 147 blocks. MSU leads the Big Ten and are top-15 in the nation, in both rebound margin and blocks. Those seven players have combined for 1319 of the team's 1697 points (77.7%).
Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun
In the Spartans win at Indiana, both junior Allyssa DeHaan (20 points, 10 rebounds) and redshirt freshman Lykendra Johnson (10, 10) posted double-doubles. It was the first time since Jan. 2, 2008 at Wisconsin (DeHaan and Kalisha Keane) that two Spartans tallied double-doubles in the same game.
Let's Play More Time
The Spartans have relished playing extra time over the past six seasons. MSU is currently riding a 11-game winning streak in overtime games, dating back to the 2003-04 season. The streak is the longest such run among Big Ten schools. Surprisingly, only two of the 11 wins have come at home. This season, MSU has knocked off Dartmouth at the TD Banknorth Classic, Purdue in West Lafayette and Indiana last time out in Bloomington.
Michigan State has dominated each overtime period, outscoring the three opponents, 35-15. The Spartans are shooting 75.0% (9-of-12) from the field, including hitting both 3-point field goal attempts, and also 75.0% (15-of-20) from the free throw line. Meanwhile, defensively, the opposition has combined to shoot 12.5% (4-of-32) from the field, including 18.1% (2-of-11) from behind the arc, while only going 5-of-11 (45.5%) from the charity stripe.
Success in the Classroom
Michigan State has not just had success this season on the court. The Spartans also posted a team grade point average of 3.00 for the fall semester. In addition, five members of the team were named to the Dean's List - junior Mandy Piechowski (3.88 GPA), sophomore Brittney Thomas (3.88), freshman Taylor Alton (3.75), redshirt senior Mia Johnson (3.57) and junior Allyssa DeHaan (3.54). DeHaan was also selected to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Second Team.
Taking Advantage of Freebies
During the last 11 games (10-1 record), the Spartans have been going to the line more often. In the 11 games, MSU has attempted 20.0 free throws per game, in comparison, in the first four conference games (2-2 record), they went to the line an average of 14.0 times per game.
The Spartans set a season-high at the free throw line on Jan. 22 at Northwestern, hitting 22-of-24 (91.7%), including a perfect 14-of-14 in the second half. It was the best percentage by MSU since Nov. 26, 2007 at Delaware State, when the Spartans went 16-of-17 (94.1%). The combination of Brittney Thomas (6-of-6), Lykendra Johnson (6-of-6), DeHaan (5-of-5) and Keane (4-of-4) were perfect from the charity stripe.
Success After the Intermission
Redshirt junior Lauren Aitch has enjoyed much of her offensive success this season in the second half of games. Aitch has scored almost two-thirds of her points this season after halftime. Aitch has totaled 127 points in 237 second half minutes (54.4 field goal percentage) compared to 65 points in 190 first half minutes (35.6%).
Among Big Ten Freshmen
The Spartans have received contributions from their four newcomers throughout the season, especially now with the addition of Lykendra Johnson and Courtney Schiffauer into the starting lineup, and the increased playing time of Porsche Poole.
Among fellow freshmen in the conference, Johnson ranks in the top-10 almost every statistical category. Johnson leads in rebounding and blocked shots, is third in steals, fourth in field goal percentage, sixth in assists and free throw percentage, and eighth in scoring. In Big Ten games, Johnson leads in rebounding and blocks, is second in field goal percentage, fourth in scoring, assists, free throw percentage and steals. Meanwhile, Schiffauer is second in field goal percentage, sixth in blocks and seventh in rebounding. Classmate Porsche Poole leads in field goal percentage, is fifth in assists and sixth in steals in overall games, while also leading in field goal percentage in league games and placing third in steals.
DeHaan Reaches Milestone...
Junior Allyssa DeHaan became the program's 19th 1,000-point scorer with a basket with 14:48 left in the second half against Quinnipiac. DeHaan has since moved into ninth on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,219 points. She also was the fifth fastest to the milestone, needing only 75 games (Mary Kay Itnyre - 65 games, Kris Emerson - 72, Lindsay Bowen - 73, Kisha Kelley - 74).
DeHaan is also ninth on the Michigan State career rebound list with 688. She is only one of five Spartans to be in the top-10 in both career points and rebounds, joining Liz Shimek, Kristen Rasmussen, Kris Emerson and Kisha Kelley.
...And Approaches Another
Already the school's all-time block leader, DeHaan is only eight blocks shy of the Big Ten career mark. She is currently alone in second all-time at 376, trailing only Ohio State's Jessica Davenport (384). With her four blocks against Stony Brook (Nov. 16), she became the fastest in conference history to reach the 300-block plateau, needing only 72 games. Nationally, DeHaan is 104 blocks shy of the NCAA record.
On this Date
Michigan State is 3-4 all-time on February 22, but have not won since 1991 (four-straight losses).
The Spartans currently have a RPI of 41 according to CollegeRPI.com, with the Big Ten Conference ranking fifth in the nation as a whole. MSU is fifth in the conference, trailing Ohio State (14), Purdue (27), Iowa (33) and Minnesota (36). Michigan State's strength of schedule is 69th.
Wisconsin enters the weekend in seventh in the Big Ten at 5-11 (15-12 overall), but have lost seven of its last eight. The Badgers are 10-4 at home this season, including a 4-4 mark in conference games. They are eighth in the Big Ten averaging 57.2 points per games, but are fourth allowing only 56.5 per contest. Sophomore Alyssa Karel is the only Badger in double-figures, averaging 13.0 per game, while also ranking among the conference's top-10 in 3-point field goals made and 3-point percentage.
Team Against the Badgers
Michigan State leads the all-time series 34-21, but trail 16-11 in Madison. With their win earlier this season in East Lansing, the Spartans have won nine of the last 10 meetings.
Michigan State to Host NCAA First and Second Rounds
The MSU Athletics Department will play host to the 2009 NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds at the Breslin Center on March 22 and 24. For ticket information, call 1-800-GO STATE or visit www.msuspartans.com. MSU hosted for the first time in 2007.