Women's Basketball To Face Boston College
November 17, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Michigan State Spartans (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Boston College Eagles (0-0, 0-0 Big East)
Reebok Classic - Sunday, November 22, 1998, 3 p.m.
Fleet Center - Boston, MA
The Michigan State womens basketball team has just one game on the schedule this week, a contest against Boston College at the Rebook Classic.
MSU will face the Eagles on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m., at the Fleet Center in Boston, Mass. Florida and George Washington meet in the first game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Sundays game is the first of three-straight road games for the Spartans, who return home on Dec. 1 to take on Detroit.
ON THE AIR
Sundays contest will be carried on WVFN Radio (730 AM). Jeff Walker is the voice of Spartan basketball this season, while former Spartan standout Paula Sanders handles all the analysis.
Michigan State split the opening games of the 1998-99 campaign, falling to Butler 70-62, before knocking off Central Michigan, 73-48.
Boston College opens its season on Monday, Nov. 16 when it hosts Massachusetts. The Eagles will play at Holy Cross on Nov. 19 before hosting the Spartans on Sunday.
Michigan State coach Karen Langeland is in her 23rd year of directing the Spartan program. The dean of Big Ten womens coaches has a career record of 341-265, all at MSU.
The Grand Rapids native is just nine victories shy of her 350th career win. Langeland has guided the Spartans to 15 winning seasons, three NCAA Tournaments and a Big Ten title (1997) since becoming the third head coach in MSU history.
Cathy Inglese is in her sixth season at Boston College and her 13th season in the collegiate ranks. Inglese begins the season with a record of 64-73 at BC and a career mark of 184-147.
Sundays game marks the first-ever meeting between MSU and Boston College.
Boston College returns 10 letterwinners and three starters from 1997-98.
The Eagles, who received four votes in the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches Poll, are coming off a 17-11 season and a fourth place finish in the Big East 6 with an 11-7 mark.
BC has split a pair of exhibition games this season, falling to the Russian Select Team on Nov. 4 (93-84) and defeating Lithuania, 99-68.
Junior guard Cal Bouchard, a First-Team All-Big East selection last year, is the leading returnee for the Eagles. Bouchard averaged 16.0 points per game a year ago and ranked 11th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.451).
Senior center Whitney Steele (6-4) was a Third-Team All-Big East honoree last year after averaging 14.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
The Eagles led the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.410) and were sixth in free throw percentage (.752) last season.
NO CHARITY HERE
Michigan State shot a dismal .389 (7-of-18) from the free throw line in last Fridays loss to Butler, its worst free throw percentage since Dec. 4, 1996.
On that date, the Spartans shot .333 (3-of-9) in an 80-52 victory over Bowling Green.
MSU didnt do much better in the win over Central Michigan, shooting 60 percent from the line. In two games this season, the Spartans are shooting just 52 percent from the line. Last season, the Spartans were 17th nationally with a .740 free throw percentage.
Three of MSUs four rookies, made their collegiate debuts in last Fridays loss to Butler. Freshman Vnemina Reese started the game at point guard and played 30 minutes. She scored four points, had two assists and four turnovers.
Abby Salscheider gave MSU a spark off the bench late in the game. The Spartan forward scored eight points, had three assists, two steals and no turnovers in 13 minutes of action.
Jill Blazek garnered five minutes of playing time in her first collegiate experience. She did not score, but had one rebound and a blocked shot.
Lansing native Kelly Czubak did not see any action in Fridays game, but did make her collegiate debut against Central Michigan. She contributed one steal in two minutes of play.
NEW OUTSIDE THREAT?
Junior forward Kristen Rasmussen showed her range in Fridays loss to Butler. With 12:40 left in the first half, Rasmussen found herself open at the top of the key and connected on just the second three-pointer of her career.
Last season, the East Lansing native missed on two three-point attempts. She made the first three-pointer of her career as a freshman against Penn State (Feb. 21, 1997).
On Friday, three of Rasmussens eight field goals were from 15 feet or more.
In MSUs first two games, Rasmussen is averaging 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 57 percent from the field.
In Sunday win over Central Michigan, Rasmussen scored 20 points and went over the 600-point mark in her career. In 58 career games, the Spartan tri-captain is averaging 10.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Kristen Rasmussen has 86 career blocked shots, just five shy of breaking the MSU all-time record of 90 held by Jackie Carter (1980-83).
Last season, Rasmussen broke her own seasonal record with 45 rejections and finished fourth in the Big Ten with a 1.67 blocks per game average.
Career Blocked Shots
1. Jackie Carter 90 (1980-83) 2. Kristen Rasmussen 86 (1997-SA) 3. Sue Forsyth 65 (1987-89) 4. Paula Sanders 62 (1994-97) Annette Babers 62 (1991-93)
Sophomore Becky Cummings has started both games at center for MSU. Cummings, who played in all 27 games a year ago, started the final five contests of the 1997-98 campaign and ended the season averaging 4.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Over the summer, Cummings traveled Denmark and Sweden with the Big Ten Tour team.
The Walled Lake, Mich., native has been solid in the first two games of this year. She is averaging 10.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. In the win over CMU, Cummings scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the second double-double of her career.
Against Butler, Cummings was plagued by foul trouble, but managed to contribute 10 points, six rebounds and a career-high four steals in 22 minutes of play.
Junior guard Maxann Reese has 95 career three-pointers and is five shy of becoming just the fifth player in Spartan history to record 100 triples in a career.
Reese looks to join the elite club that includes Tanya Place (159/1992-95), Christine Powers (144/1992-95), Eileen Shea (123/1988-91) and Jamie Wesley (101/1995-98).
Last season, Reese averaged 11.7 points per game and canned 52 three pointers, good for second on the MSU single-season chart. In 1997-98, she was fourth in the Big Ten with a 1.93 three pointers per game average and was sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.371).
SHES GOT THE POINT
Freshman Vnemina Reese has started at point guard for the Spartans in their first two games. Reese, a 1998 Street & Smith and AAU All-American, averaged 21.3 points per game as a senior at South Side High in Fort Wayne, Ind., last year.
In her first two collegiate games, Reese averaged 5.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
In the victory over CMU, she scored a season-high seven points, dished off two assists, had one block and two steals in 20 minutes of play.
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.
Forward Pernille Dalgaard is the only senior on MSUs 13-player roster.
The Spartan tri-captain averaged a career-high 7.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last season. She started 15 contests last year before becoming a valuable sixth player for head coach Karen Langeland.
D.J. GETS OFFENSIVE
Sophomore guard Donita Johnson turned in an outstanding performance in MSUs win over Central Michigan.
The Clinton Township native scored a career-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. In 1997-98, Johnson scored just 27 total points.
SUCCESS STARTS AT HOME....
If the Spartans are to improve upon last seasons 11-16 record, they will need to perform better at home.
Last year, MSU was 5-6 at the Breslin Center, marking just the second time in program history it finished with a losing record at home.
The Spartans got off to a rough start this year, dropping their home opener to Butler, 70-62. With the victory over CMU, the Spartans have an all-time home record of 203-96 (.679) and a mark of 78-38 (.672) in 10 years at the Breslin Center.
....AND CONTINUES OF THE ROAD
A stretch of nine-straight road games a year ago was difficult for the youthful Spartans as they managed just six wins in 16 road games overall.
MSUs current stretch of three-straight road contests is the longest the Spartans will face in 1998-99.
The first part of January will be the toughest stretch for the Spartans as they play four of five games on the road, including back-to-back road contests against Penn State (Jan. 11) and Purdue (Jan. 15).
Senior Pernille Dalgaard along with juniors Kristen Rasmussen and Maxann Reese will captain 1998-99 Spartan squad. The players were selected in a vote by their teammates, giving MSU a trio of captains for just the third time in the last 21 years.
JOHNSON HAS CAREER GAME IN WIN OVER CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Sophomore guard Donita Johnson scored a career-high 14 points off the bench to lead MSU to a 73-48 victory over Central Michigan on Nov. 15.
The win improved MSUs record to 1-1 overall, while the Chippewas suffered the loss in the first game of the season.
Johnson scored nine of her 14 points in the second half and helped the Spartans take a 56-36 lead with 6:26 left in the game. MSU outscored the Chippewas, 13-2, over the last 3:15 of the contest en route to the vitory.
"I thought we came out ready to play today," coach Karen Langeland said. "We played aggressively, got a lot of help off the bench and had some people who played outstanding games. Specifically, Christie Pung, Donita Johnson and Abby Salscheider really gave us a big lift off the bench.
"Our defense made a big difference today," Langeland added. "We want our defense to creat some offense for us and that was a big factor for us in this game."
Overall, the Spartans came up with 20 steals, forced 25 turnovers and held the Chippewas to just 33 percent shooting from the field.
Junior Kristen Rasmussen led the Spartans in scoring for the second-straight game with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore Becky Cummings added 10 points and 10 rebounds for her second career double-double. Johnson, who scored just 27 total points in 1997-98, hit 6-of-8 shots from the field in 23 minutes of action. Salscheider provided a spark off the bench for the second time in as many games, scoring eight points and pulling down five rebounds in 15 minutes.
Pung was steady at the point, dishing off two assists and coming up with two steals in 14 minutes of play.
POOR SHOOTING PLAGUES SPARTANS IN SEASON-OPENING LOSS TO BUTLER
The Butler Bulldogs shot 61 percent from the field and held off a late run by Michigan State en route to a 70-62 victory in the season opener for both teams on Friday at the Breslin Center
Butler shot a blistering 68 percent from the field in the first half and took advantage of MSU foul trouble to race out to a 42-26 halftime lead.
The Spartans, who shot just 31 percent from the field in the first half, could muster just 11 points in the first nine minutes of the second half as the Bulldogs took a 54-39 lead with 9:22 left in the game.
The Spartans had several opportunities to cut the lead to single digits in the second half, but turnovers and poor free throw shooting kept Butler in control.
Sophomore Erin Skelly hit one of two free throws with 42 seconds left to cut the Bulldogs lead to 68-58. MSU regained control of the ball and junior Maxann Reese canned a three-pointer to cut the deficit to six points with 31 seconds remaining.
MSU fouled and Butlers Alison Edgar missed the front end of a one-and-one, but the Spartans were unable to convert at the other end and the Bulldogs held on for the victory.
"A very disappointing performance, no matter how you look at it," MSU coach Karen Langeland said. "You cant win ballgames shooting 39 percent from the free throw line and 37 percent from the field. We gave up 42 points in the first half and let them shoot 68 percent and we shot 30 percent. You just cant win doing that."
Junior Kristen Rasmussen led the Spartans with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Maxann Reese contributed 12 points. Sophomore Becky Cummings was the only other player in double figures for MSU with 10 points and six rebounds.
Freshman forward Abby Salscheider provided a spark off the bench late in the game and finished the contest with eight points, three assists and two steals.
"I thought Abby played extremely well," Langeland said. "She shot well, had some assists and she got her hands on a lot of balls that created some turnover situations for us."
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