Women's Basketball's NCAA Tournament Begins in Chapel Hill
March 21, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - It is win or go home time for the Michigan State women's basketball team, as the Spartans head down to Chapel Hill, N.C. for the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds. No. 5-seed Michigan State (22-9) faces No. 12 Hampton (28-4) on Sunday at 12:40 p.m. in the opening round at Carmichael Arena. The game will be available on ESPN2, with home-market protection in Michigan and whiparound coverage in the rest of the country.
SPARTANS' NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
MSU is a fifth-seed for the fourth time (2007, 2010, 2013), posting a 3-3 record. They have earned the seed for the second-straight season and for the third time in the last five seasons. As a host in 2007, the Spartans beat No. 12 Delaware 69-58, before losing to No. 4 Rutgers, 70-57. In 2010 in Louisville, MSU knocked off No. 12 Bowling Green, 72-62, but lost to No. 4 Kentucky, 70-52. Last season in College Park, Md., MSU squeezed past No. 12 Marist 55-47, before falling to host No. 4 Maryland 74-49.
MSU is one of 17 schools, including only two in the Big Ten (Iowa) who have qualified for the last six NCAA Tournaments [Baylor, Connecticut, DePaul, Duke, Fresno State, Georgia, Gonzaga, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Middle Tennessee, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt].
Over the last nine years (2005-present), MSU has posted a 13-8 record in the NCAA Tournament. Its 13 wins are the 14th most in the nation and tied with Purdue for the most among Big Ten schools. [Connecticut 38, Stanford 31, Tennessee 30, Baylor 26, Duke 25, North Carolina 21, LSU 21, Maryland 20, Notre Dame 19, Oklahoma 18, Louisville 16, Rutgers 16, Texas A&M 16]
MERCHANT'S NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
CURRENT SPARTANS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
SPARTANS VS. FIELD OF 64
Hampton is one of the top defensive teams in the nation, ranking second in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (32.8%), eighth in 3-point field goal percentage defense (26.5%) and 12th in points allowed (56.0).
The Pirates are led by freshman Malia Tate-DeFreitas, the MEAC Rookie of the Year, who is averaging 18.5 points, while making 2.2 3-pointers a game. Senior Alyssa Bennett is second on the team with 17.8 points and leads the team with 9.4 rebounds. Bennett is a two-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. Senior Nicole Hamilton leads the Pirates with 4.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.2 blocks, while also adding 12.9 points.
Annalise Pickrel was high school teammates with Hampton sophomore Shellis Hampton.
AGAINST THE PIRATES
HAMPTON NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
MSU AND HAMPTON COMMON OPPONENT
HAMPTON VS. FIELD OF 64
QUICK HITTERS FROM THE BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
ALL FIVE STARTERS HONORED
Michigan State was the only team in the Big Ten with five players named to the All-Big Ten teams. The five recipients also ties for the most in program history with the 1995-96, 2002-03, 2004-05 and 2008-09 teams.
In Suzy Merchant's seven seasons, Michigan State has a Big Ten-best 25 All-Big Ten selections.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONS
Michigan State has now won at least 10 Big Ten games in 12-straight seasons. It is the longest active streak in the Big Ten (with Penn State second at four). MSU is 140-58 (70.7%) in conference play over the last 12 seasons, trailing only Ohio State (141-57; 71.2%) in wins.
MSU is one of seven Division I teams to have double-digit conference wins in each of the last 12 seasons - Chattanooga, Connecticut, Duke, Green Bay, Liberty and Stanford also reached 10 conference wins in 2013-14.
Michigan State's 13 conference wins are tied for the second-most Big Ten wins in school history. The 2004-05 team won 14, while the 1990-91, 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2010-11 teams each also won 13 games.
The Spartans have finished third or better in the conference in each of the last six seasons - winning the title in 2010-11 and 2013-14, placing second in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2011-12, and third in 2012-13. In all, MSU has finished no worse than third place in nine of the last 10 years.
More recently, MSU has won 57 of its last 75 Big Ten regular season games (76.0%). The Spartans started this season 4-0 in Big Ten action for the fifth time in program history (1987-88, 1989-90, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2013-14). Also, MSU's 8-2 record was tied for the best 10-game start in program history (1996-97, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2013-14).
This year is Michigan State's 15th 20-win season all-time.
TURNING IT AROUND
MSU has led the Big Ten in conference games in points allowed in four of the last five seasons (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2013-14), while finishing second last season. The Spartans have also led the league in field goal percentage defense in three of the last six seasons (2008-09, 2009-10, 2013-14).
This season, Michigan State went 7-1 on the road in Big Ten games, with six of its seven wins coming in double digits. MSU's seven road conference wins set a new program record, as six previous teams had won six games. MSU has had a winning road Big Ten record in five of the last six seasons.
The Spartans won their first five Big Ten road games this season for the first time in program history, before losing at Nebraska. In the 34 years of the Big Ten, only 20 teams had won its first five road conference games, including MSU and PSU this season.
Currently, the 73.4 points per game would be the fifth-best in program history, behind the 1996-97 team (76.8 points), the 1990-91 squad (74.9), the 1994-95 team (74.6) and the 1976-77 team (73.7).
Already this season, the Spartans have scored 70 or more points in 20 of their 31 games, and 80 or more points in 10. It is the second most times reaching 70 points and currently the third most games scoring 80 points. In Merchant's previous six seasons, Michigan State reached 70 points only 60 times and 80 points only 17 times in 202 games.
Also, Michigan State has already shot at least 50% from the field eight times. It is the most in a single-season since the 1999-00 team that also accomplished the feat 11 times. All of last season, MSU shot over 50% on only five occasions.
WINS V. LOSSES
Individually, Tori Jankoska has seen the largest difference in production from wins and losses. Jankoska is averaging 14.3 points and shooting 45.3% from the field and 42.1% from 3-point (2.3 per game) in the wins, but only 7.6 points, 30.4% shooting and 23.9% from 3-point (1.2 per game) in the defeats. The Spartans are 7-0 this season when Jankoska leads them in scoring.
Michigan State is one of four teams in the nation with its top-two scorers as freshmen, along with Eastern Michigan, North Carolina and UMBC.
The trio has been more effective as the season has gone on, increasing its production level in the last 12 games. During this stretch the three have combined for 47.9% (411 of 858) of MSU's points, as Jankoska is averaging 14.0 points, Powers 13.5 and Agee 6.8.
HELP OFF THE BENCH
In five of Suzy Merchant's seven seasons, the Spartans have led the Big Ten in bench production (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12 and 2012-13).
DOUBLING IT UP
For the year, MSU has 19 total double-doubles. All of last year, the Spartans only had four. It is the most in a season since the 2004-05 team that had 23.
CLOSING IT OUT
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Entering this season, MSU has finished top-40 in the nation in rebound margin each of the last six seasons, getting as low as ninth nationally in 2010-11. The Spartans have led the Big Ten in the previous three seasons in rebound margin, and four of the last five. MSU has out-rebounded 98 of its last 122 opponents (80.3%).
AMONG ALL-TIME FRESHMAN GREATS
Meanwhile, Jankoska is second on the 3-point field goals made list with 62, while her 37.1% 3-point percentage is third. She is also sixth in scoring average (12.4) and eighth with 72 assists. Also, her free throws made (71) are eighth.
Powers has six 20-point games this season to set a new MSU freshman record, while Jankoska is tied for second with five. Powers also has nine double-doubles which are the second most.
RINGING THE BELL FOR THE LAST TIME
Entering this season, Bell has seen progression in her stat lines, including averaging career highs of 10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks as a junior. Her points and rebounds led the team, while her blocks were second, and her assists and steals were third. Because of a shortened bench, Bell was relied upon to play extended minutes, ranking fourth on the MSU single-season list in minutes (1,196) and sixth in minutes per game (35.2). Her play earned her third-team All-Big Ten honors, and placed her on the coaches' preseason All-Big Ten team.
With a new role this season, Bell is sixth on the team with 7.6 points, but is second in assists (3.5), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4) and steals (1.2), and fourth in rebounds (5.0). She is eighth in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio and ninth in assists. Bell had a career-high 10 assists vs. Minnesota. She earned her second-straight All-Big Ten recognition, being named honorable mention by both the coaches and media, in addition to being selected to the five-player All-Defensive Team.
Bell will finish her Spartan career in the top-20 of multiple statistical categories. Currently, she is 15th in MSU history with 124 games played, 16th with 69 career 3-pointers, 20th with 247 assists and 46 blocks and 21st with 3,020 minutes played.
PICK AND POP
Pickrel has continued her improvement during her senior season, earning second team All-Big Ten honors. She is second on the team with 12.4 points and 6.9 rebounds, while leading the team with 1.2 blocks and third with 2.7 assists in a team-best 33.5 minutes. Pickrel is shooting 45.4% from the field, 36.3% from the 3-point line and 74.7% from the free throw line. Pickrel's points, rebounds, assists and blocks are all on pace for career highs.
Pickrel has led MSU in points, rebounds and assists in two separate games (home vs. Wisconsin and Ohio State). She is the first Spartan to do so twice in the same season since Lykendra Johnson in 2010-11. Also this season, Pickrel has reached the 20-point plateau in three games, after doing so only once in her first three seasons.
Her greatest asset the last two seasons has been her production from the 3-point line. Leading the team in both categories last season, Pickrel ranked ninth in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (36.7%) and 3-point field goals made per game (1.8). Pickrel made a career-high 65 3-pointers, which is the seventh most in a Spartan single season. Entering that year, she was just 19-for-63 (30.2%) from the 3-point arc in her first two seasons at MSU. This season, she is 14th in the conference with 1.6 3-pointers, and second on the team with a 36.2% 3-point field goal percentage.
Pickrel is currently seventh in Spartan history with 134 3-point field goals made and a career 35.4% 3-point field goal percentage. She also ranks eighth in MSU history in career blocks with 79 and 15th with 124 games played.
HOLDING DOWN THE POST
Mills has been up-and-down throughout the season though. For the season, she is fourth on the team with 10.1 points and third with 5.6 rebounds, both career highs, in 25.0 minutes, while leading the team and sixth in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (50.6%). Over her last 23 games, Mills is shooting 53.3% from the field.
Over the last seven games, Mills is 7-for-13 (53.8%) from behind the arc. It was her first 3-pointers since the Big Ten opener at Minnesota. She was 2-for-14 on the season from 3-point prior to the last seven games.
Hines returned to the lineup for the first time this season at Florida State, after missing the first seven games due to a concussion. For the season (24 games), she is averaging 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.1 minutes, and is slowly working back into more significant minutes. Hines broke out in a big way against Purdue, coming off the bench for a season-high 16 points in 23 minutes, and has averaged 8.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in 22.3 minutes over her last six games. Hines is currently second on the team in field goal percentage (48.5%), and is shooting 51.1% over her last 21 games.
Powers leads the team with 13.4 points (17th in the Big Ten), 8.0 rebounds (seventh in the conference) and 1.8 steals (eighth). She is also is averaging 2.4 assists in just 26.3 minutes. Powers is 14th in the conference and third on the team, shooting 48.1%. Powers, who also was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors four times.
Powers is the only freshman in the nation with at least 400 points, 200 rebounds and 75 assists.
Powers had her best statistical output of the season vs. IPFW, posting her first career double-double with game-highs of 28 points and 14 rebounds. Her points were the most by a Spartan freshman since Nov. 29, 2006 (and the second-most all-time by a freshman) and her rebounds were the most by a MSU freshman since Jan. 22, 2009. Powers followed it up with another double-double at Florida State with 19 points and 10 rebounds. She became the first Spartan since Courtney Schiffauer on Dec. 8 and 16 last season to record back-to-back double-doubles, and the first MSU freshman to do so since Lykendra Johnson on Feb. 8 and 12 in 2009. Powers had her fourth double-double vs. No. 16/14 Nebraska, totaling 17 points and 15 rebounds in only 27 minutes. Her 15 rebounds were the most by a Spartan in a game since Jan. 7, 2012 and the 13th-most ever by a MSU freshman.
Since rejoining the starting lineup Jan. 26 at Ohio State, Jankoska has seen an uptick in her statistical production. In the 12 games, she leads the team in points (14.0), assists (3.5) and 3-pointers (2.2), while also having 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and a 1.9 assist-to-turnover ratio in 33.8 minutes. Jankoska is shooting 44.5% from the field and 40.6% from 3-point.
Jankoska came to Michigan State with a laundry list of high school accolades, highlighted by being named a PARADE High School All-American, Michigan's Miss Basketball and Michigan's Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She shattered Freeland's career scoring record, totaling 2,333 points, while averaging 24.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.6 steals in her career. As a senior, she averaged 30.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 4.8 steals.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME
For the season, Agee is averaging 5.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in only 13.9 minutes. Agee has increased her playing time over the last 10 games, averaging 18.3 minutes, after playing only 7.4 minutes in the first eight Big Ten games. In her last six games, Agee is averaging 8.5 points and shooting 58.3%, including leading MSU at the Big Ten Tournament with 13.5 points per game.
WORTH THE WAIT
So far this season per 40 minutes, Williams is averaging 9.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.4 blocks. After missing two of the previous three games, Williams returned to action at Ohio State to play arguably her best game as a Spartan. In a career-high 19 minutes, she blocked seven shots and grabbed eight rebounds, both career highs. Her seven blocks tied for the 10th most in a single-game and were the most since Feb. 4, 2010.
At 6-7, Williams is currently the fifth tallest player in NCAA Division I. The only student-athletes taller are Pittsburgh's Marvadene Anderson (6-11), Albany's Megan Craig (6-9), UCLA's Savanna Trapp (6-9) and Nevada's Mimi Mungedi (6-8).
In conference games, she is 82-36 (69.5%), ranking her 10th all-time in career winning percentage in Big Ten games and second among active coaches. During her Spartan career, her 82 conference wins are the most in the Big Ten (Iowa and Ohio State-76).
BOUNCE BACK ABILITY
ON THIS DATE
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