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Women's Basketball Hosts MSU Chevrolet Classic

Nov. 13, 2000


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Tip-Off Michigan State opens the 2000-01 season hosting the MSU Chevrolet Classic this Friday and Saturday (Nov. 17-18) at the Breslin Center. The Chevrolet Classic features two NCAA Tournament teams (Boston College and Tennessee Tech) and two WNIT teams (MSU and Arkansas State) from last season. Arkansas State and Michigan State will tip-off in the first game on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m., followed by Boston College and Tennessee Tech at 9 p.m. On Saturday, Nov. 18, Arkansas State will play the first game at 5 p.m., followed by MSU at 7 p.m. The pairings will be decided following the conclusion of Friday's games.

About Michigan State

New Face Behind the Bench -- For the first time in 24 years, MSU will open the season with a new head coach. Joanne P. McCallie takes over the reigns of the Spartan program after being named to the position on March 27, 2000. McCallie arrived at MSU after an eight-year stint as the head coach at the University of Maine. During her tenure with the Black Bears, McCallie, 34, guided Maine to a record of 167-73, six-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, two North Atlantic Conference Championships, two America East Conference Championships and five regular-season conference titles. She has been named conference coach of the year three times, twice in the North Atlantic Conference and once in the America East in 1999. A native of Brunswick, Maine, McCallie guided the Black Bears to a 20-11 overall record in 1999-2000 and their sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Prior to taking her first head coaching position, McCallie was an assistant coach at Auburn from 1988-92. As the team's primary recruiter, she helped sign the fourth-ranked class in the nation in 1990-91 and the 16th-ranked class in 1991-92. While at Auburn, McCallie and the Tigers appeared in two national championship games and made an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight.

One Of The Keys To The Season -- Michigan State has the task of replacing 42 percent of its offensive fire power from the 1999-2000 season with the graduation of Maxann Reese (16.0 ppg) and Kristen Rasmussen (14.8 ppg). The duo accounted for 954 of MSU's 2,256 points last year. Cummings is MSU's lone returnee who averaged in double figures last season (15.1 ppg).

Exhibition Results -- MSU split a pair of exhibition games, beating NWBL (85-51) and falling to the Houston Jaguars (66-57).

MSU Chevrolet Classic Field

About Arkansas State The Coach - Brian Boyer (Missouri Western, 1993) is in his second season with the Lady Indians. In his rookie campaign, Boyer led ASU to an 18-12 overall mark and a berth in the WNIT.

Preseason Play - Arkansas State won both of its exhibition games. The Lady Indians beat the Nashville All-Stars 78-60 on Nov. 3 and Slovan Bratislava 83-63 on Nov. 6.

Ones to Watch -- Senior guard Keeshia Evans and senior guard/forward Natalie Goodall pace the Lady Indians attack. Evans averaged 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 1999-2000, while Goodall averaged 5.5 points and 2.3 rebounds. Goodall also was second on the squad with 41 three pointers.

About Boston College The Coach - Cathy Inglese (Southern Connecticut, 1980) is in her eighth year behind the BC bench and 15th overall.

What A Season - BC had an unforgettable season in 1999-2000. The Eagles posted their first 20-win season (26), their first national ranking and the team's first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. BC finished the season ranked 17th in both the final Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.

Preseason Ranking - BC is ranked in the preseason top 25 for a second straight season. The Eagles are 22nd in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. The Eagles also received 75 points in the first Associated Press poll of the season.

Ones to Watch - Senior co-captain Jamie Cournoyer (6-3, C) and junior Becky Gottstein (6-1, F) are the team's top returning players. Cournoyer earned All-Big East Third-Team honors, along with being selected the Big East Most Improved Player in 1999-2000. Cournoyer averaged 11.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.46 blocks. Gottstein, who missed 12 games midseason with a stress fracture, averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds.

About Tennessee Tech The Coach - Bill Worrell (Tennessee Tech, 1968) is in his 15th season behind the Golden Eaglette bench. Worrell led Tennessee Tech to a 24-9 overall mark last year and a first-place finish in the OVC at 16-2. The Golden Eaglettes advanced to the NCAA Tournament for a second-consecutive year in 2000 and eighth time during Worrell's tenure. Tennessee Tech went to the Big Dance in 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 19991 and 2000.

The Junior Speaks - Junior center Janet Holt is Tennessee Tech's top-returning player. Holt was named to the Kodak All-District IV team, as well as earning OVC Player of the Year honors and All-OVC First-Team honors. Holt averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 rebounds as a sophomore. She needs 32 more points to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

Holt II -- Holt has been selected as team MVP in each of her first two seasons at Tech. As a freshman in 1998-99, Holt earned OVC Freshman of the Year and All-OVC Honorable Mention honors after averaging 13.2 points and 6.1 rebounds.

Chevrolet Classic History

Tournament History -- The 2000 tournament marks the 13th year of the tournament. The MSU Chevrolet Classic started in 1986 and has been played each year except for 1998. This is BC's second trip to the Chevrolet Classic, while Arkansas State and Tennessee Tech are making their first-ever appearances.

1999 MSU Chevrolet Classic Recap -- Michigan State won the 1999 Classic title game, a 73-72 victory over Alabama. In that game, MSU freshman Maria Recker grabbed an offensive rebound and put it in for the game-winning basket with 0.8 seconds remaining. In the consolation contest, St. John's beat Appalachian State, 69-63 to finish third.

MSU And The Chevrolet Classic -- Michigan State has advanced to the title game in 11 of the 12 Classics. The Spartans have won the tournament seven times.

BC In The Chevrolet Classic -- This is Boston College's second trip to the MSU Chevrolet Classic. The Eagles also played in the tournament in 1992, falling to Oregon State (89-54) in the semifinals before beating Iowa State (73-45) in the consolation game.

Last Time Out For MSU

MSU Falls to Houston -- Candice Jackson scored 24 points, but it wasn't enough as the Houston Jaguars handed MSU a 66-57 loss on Nov. 12 at the Breslin Center. Houston jumped out to an early 20-10 lead on a pair of free throws by Jamika Jones. However, Donita Johnson added five straight points as the Spartans cut the Houston lead to five, 20-15 with 3:48 to go in the first half. The Jaguars closed the first half on a 13-12 run to take a 33-27 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Spartans cut into the Houston halftime lead going on a 27-18 run to start the second half. Candice Jackson added a pair of three pointers to cut into the lead. A Jackson driving layup tied the game at 45 with 10:33 left to play. However, the Spartans went without a field goal over the next seven minutes while the Jaguars added 11 points to take a commanding 56-47 lead. MSU finally broke the scoring drought on a Vnemina Reese running jumper at the 3:33 mark. Houston connected on its final 10 free throws to seal the game, 66-57.

More Spartan Notes

Jackson Turns It Up -- Freshman guard Candice Jackson turned in a solid performance against Houston. The Lansing, Mich. native had a game-high 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the floor, including a 7-for-14 effort from the three-point line. She also added two rebounds and one steal in 26 minutes. Jackson was an all-conference, all-area and all-state honoree at Lansing Everett High School as a senior.

Sparkplug Off The Bench -- Senior guard Donita Johnson came off the bench to spark the Spartans against Houston. Johnson added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes. She hit two three pointers late in the first half to help pull the Spartans within six heading into the locker room at halftime. As a junior in 1999-2000, Johnson averaged 3.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists.

Spartan Tri-Captains -- Becky Cummings, Vnemina Reese and Abby Salscheider have been selected as the tri-captains for the 2000-01 Spartans.

Home Sweet Home -- Michigan State finished with a 13-1 record at Breslin Center last season, including a perfect 6-0 slate against non-conference opponents. Included in the wins were victories over then No. 4 Penn State on Jan. 23 and No. 17 Purdue on Feb. 17. Since the Spartans moved into the Breslin Center prior to the start of the 1989-90 season, MSU has won almost 70 percent of its home games. The Spartans are 99-43 in the last 11 years.

Staff Has Been to the "Dance" -- When Joanne P. McCallie was named the fourth head coach in Spartan women's basketball history on March 27, 2000, she immediately talked about pursuing championships. Her first task, however, was putting together a coaching staff. In a matter of weeks, McCallie assembled a trio of individuals who know how to win. McCallie and her staff have been a part of 18 conference titles and made 20 trips to the NCAA Tournament, including two appearances in the championship game and five Elite Eight trips.

Injury Update -- Sophomore forward Maria Recker (shoulder) and senior forward Nikki Davis (knee) are questionable for this week's action. Recker is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.

Television Spotlight -- Michigan State will make three appearances on national and regional television in 2000-01. The Spartans will face Alabama on Dec. 10 in the Big Ten/SEC Challenge on espn2. MSU also makes two appearances on Fox Sports Chicago -- Jan. 4 vs. Ohio State and Jan. 25 vs. Michigan -- both games will be played at the Breslin Center. In addition, AT&T Cable will broadcast eight women's basketball games, including the MSU games at the Spartan Chevrolet Classic, Nov. 30 vs. Detroit, Dec. 5 vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay, Dec. 20 vs. Central Michigan, Jan. 11 vs. Wisconsin, Feb. 1 vs. Iowa and Feb. 25 vs. Minnesota. In addition, all MSU games will be broadcast live on the radio (The Fan 730 AM).

Upcoming -- MSU heads to Tallahassee for the Tallahassee Democrat Seminole Classic Nov. 25-26. MSU will face Virginia Tech on Nov. 25 in the first game, while Chicago State and Florida State tip off in the second game. On Nov. 26, the consolation game is set for 2 p.m. with the championship game at 4 p.m.



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