Nov. 14, 2011
IPFW has dropped its first two games of the season, losing at Cincinnati, 74-42, and at home to Youngstown State, 91-81. Anne Boese leads the squad in scoring with 16.0 points per game, while Erin Murphy (12.0) and Amanda Hyde (11.0) are also averaging double figures on the young season. Hillary Moore is the top rebounder with 6.0 per contest. The Mastodons have allowed their opponents to shoot 52.7% from the field and have been outrebounded by a 13.0 margin in the first two games.
The Mastodons went 20-11 last season, and finished second in the Summitt League at 13-5.
AGAINST THE MASTODONS
Michigan State played IPFW for the first time in program history in last season's opener. The Spartans took the game 90-62. MSU had a balanced attack with six different players scoring between 10 and 12 points.
SPLASH IN THE POOLE
Senior Porsche Poole had a career game in Saturday's win over North Carolina A&T. Poole set career highs with 24 points (scoring 20 in the first half), six assists and five steals. She went 10-11 from the field, marking the second-best shooting effort in Spartan history, and hit all three free throw attempts.
In her career, Poole's offensive success has been a great indicator for a Spartan win. When she has led the team in scoring, MSU is 8-0, while the Spartans are 16-2 when she scores in double-figures.
Poole has increased her scoring average in each of her seasons at MSU, averaging 3.8 as a freshman, 4.6 as a sophomore and 6.1 last season. Through two games this season, she leads the team and is tied for 11th in the Big Ten with 15.0 points per game.
MILLS NAMED BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Becca Mills was named the initial Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Monday. Mills averaged 12.0 points and 9.0 rebounds, earning all-tournament honors at the Iona Tip-Off Tournament. Starting the first two games, she shot 56.3% from the field and went 2-of-4 from behind the arc.
In her debut, Mills battled foul trouble throughout limiting her to 22 minutes, but totaled 12 points and nine rebounds, both team highs, going 5-of-8 from the field. Her 12 points are the 11th most by a Spartan in their debut, while her nine rebounds were fifth best. While playing 16 minutes vs. North Carolina A&T on Saturday, she posted another 12-point, 9-rebound effort, also adding a block and a steal.
Mills becomes the first Spartan to earn his honor in the two-plus seasons that award has been given out.
In the Spartans' 113-60 win over North Carolina A&T on Saturday, MSU scored the second-most points in program history, while also posting the sixth largest margin of victory all-time. Also, it was the 11th time in school history that the Spartans toppd 100 points.
Part of the Spartans' success was their domination on the boards. MSU outrebounded North Carolina A&T, 60-24. The +36 rebound margin was the largest in program history, while the 60 rebounds were the most since grabbing 62 vs. Alcorn St. in the NCAA Tournament First Round (March 19, 2005).
IN HOME OPENERS
All-time, the Spartans are 31-8 in home openers , and have won 11 of their last 12. Michigan State is 3-1 under head coach Suzy Merchant in its first game at Breslin Center. Coach Merchant has won nine of her last 10 home openers dating back to her time at Eastern Michigan.
In head coach Suzy Merchant's tenure, when two numbers on the scoreboard were achieved it typically has been a sign of a MSU win. When the Spartans have scored at least 70 points, their record is 42-4 (91.3%), including winning their last 25 games, while when they hold opponents to 60 points or less, their record is 73-8 (90.1%).
CRASHING THE BOARDS
The Spartans are off to a positive start on the boards early in the 2011-12 season. Through the first two games, MSU is second in the Big Ten in rebound margin (+20.5), rebounds (48.0), rebounds allowed (27.5) and offensive rebound percentage (50.7%). Freshman Becca Mills leads the Spartans, ranking fifth with 9.0 rebounds, and is third with 4.0 offensive rebounds a game.
Last season, Michigan State led the Big Ten in rebound margin, offensive rebounds and both rebound percentage categories. MSU was +8-4 in rebound margin, which was also ninth in the nation and broke the school's single-season record. The Spartans also topped the league with 15.5 offensive rebounds a game, which tied the previous single-season record (2005-06).
MSU has out-rebounded 25 of its last 28 opponents dating back to last season.
CRASHING THE BOARDS - LJ EDITION
Senior Lykendra Johnson moved into the top-10 on the MSU career rebounding list last season and is currently eighth with 755 rebounds. In terms of offensive rebounds, she is at an even quicker pace up the Spartan all-time charts. Since the stat began being recorded in 1986-87, Johnson has the third most offensive rebounds all-time (307) and her 3.1 a game average is second to Liz Shimek (3.4). Last season, she set a new single-season offensive rebound record with 133, while leading the conference.
AMONG SPARTAN GREATS
Lykendra Johnson enters her senior season among the program's leaders in many statistical categories, and has a chance to finish among the elite players in MSU history. Currently she is third all-time at MSU in offensive rebounds (307), sixth in blocks (106), eighth in rebounds (755), 16th in free throws made (231), 17th with 48 3-point field goals and 19th with 168 steals. Johnson needs only 81 points to become the 22nd 1,000-point scorer in MSU history.
Last season, the Spartans set a new single-season record by making 221 3-point field goals, shattering the previous record of 176 (2004-05). Twelve different MSU players made a 3-pointer in 2010-11. However, this offseason the NCAA moved the women's 3-point line back to the men's line of 20-feet, 9-inches. It hasn't effected the Spartans to this point, as MSU went 14-for-40 (35.0%) in the two games at Iona.
Taylor Alton is the top long-distance threat returning in 2011-12. She led the team and was eighth in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (36.9%). After joining the starting lineup for the final 15 games, Alton made 1.9 3-pointers a game, including seven in the two combined NCAA Tournament games. So far this season, Alton is shooting 38.5% from behind the arc, including going 4-of-6 vs. North Carolina A&T.
The 2011-12 basketball season will be the Spartans' 23rd inside the Jack Breslin Student Events Center. MSU has an all-time record of 227-79 (.742) at Breslin and have been even more dominant of late in its cozy confines, posting a mark of 93-17 (.845) since 2003.
FANS CONTINUE TO PACK BRESLIN CENTER
For the past seven seasons, Michigan State has been one of the top programs in the country in regard to fan support. Last season marked the seventh straight season that the Spartans had been among the nation's top 15 in attendance, averaging 7,388 fans per game, which ranked ninth in the nation and second in the Big Ten. It set a new single-season attendance record, previously 6,787 in 2005-06, and tied for the highest nationally ranking (2006-07).
Michigan State had its first official sellout in program history vs. Michigan (Feb. 13) with a crowd of 14,797. It was the first sellout by a Big Ten school since Feb. 29, 2004 (Penn State), and just the ninth by a Big Ten school in their current home venue. With the sellout, the Spartans were the Big Ten Conference winner of the NCAA's Pack the House initiative.
In the 22-year history at Breslin, 1,185,858 fans have watched a MSU women's basketball game.
A WINNING START
Head coach Suzy Merchant, who won the most games by a Spartan coach over their first four seasons, is 96-42 (.696) since her arrival prior to the 2007-08 season. All-time, Merchant is 297-162 (.647) in her 17 years as a head coach, including stops at Eastern Michigan (1998-07) and Saginaw Valley State (1995-98).
Head coach Suzy Merchant named seniors Taylor Alton and Lykendra Johnson, and redshirt junior Courtney Schiffauer as the team's captains for the 2011-12 season. Johnson was one of four captains on last year's Big Ten Championship team.
ON THIS DATE
Michigan State is 3-1 all-time on Nov. 15, including wins the last two seasons. In 2009, the Spartans beat Detroit, 71-62, while last year, MSU won 74-62 over Dayton.