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Women's Basketball Heads to Tallahassee Democrat Seminole Classic

Nov. 20, 2000

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- -

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Tip-Off Michigan State heads to the Tallahassee Democrat Seminole Classic this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 25-26) in Tallahassee, Florida. The Spartans will face Virginia Tech in the first game on Nov. 25 at 2 p.m., while Florida State and Virginia Tech will square off in the second contest. On Nov. 26, the consolation game is set for 2 p.m., followed by the championship contest at 4 p.m.

About Michigan State

Season Opening Win -- The Spartans opened the Joanne P. McCallie era in winning fashion, posting a 76-50 victory over Arkansas State in the first round of the MSU Chevrolet Classic. MSU used a 16-5 run to open the game and never looked back in posting the victory, and giving Coach P her first victory as a Spartan.

New Face Behind the Bench -- For the first time in 24 years, MSU opened the season with a new head coach. Joanne P. McCallie took over the reigns of the Spartan program after being named to the position on March 27, 2000. McCallie arrived at MSU following 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.

Road Trip -- MSU embarks on its first road trip of the season this weekend. The Spartans finished with a 6-11 mark in away and neutral site contests in 1999-2000.

Road Trip II -- Six of MSU's next eight games are on the road, including trips to Samford (Dec. 8), Alabama (Dec. 10) and Dayton (Dec. 17). The Spartans two home games will be against Detroit (Nov. 30) and Wisconsin-Green Bay (Dec. 5).

Tournament Field

Chicago State The Coach - Bridgett Williams is in her second season behind the Cougars bench. CSU finished 0-27 in 1999-2000 and have lost their first two games to start this season.

Season Opener Recap - CSU dropped a pair of games at the Best Western Eagle Classic last weekend. The Cougars fell to host Eastern Michigan, 79-53, in the first game and dropped a 54-53 decision to Murray State in the consolation contest.

Watch Out For Sanders - Guard Krisey Sanders had a solid tournament for CSU. Sanders finished with nine points and 10 rebounds against Murray State, and posted 17 points and six assists in the opener vs. EMU.

Florida State The Coach - Sue Semrau is in her fourth year behind the Seminole bench. Semrau led FSU to a 12-17 mark in 1999-2000 and has compiled a 29-55 all-time mark.

FSU Opens On High Note - Florida State opened the 2000-01 campaign with a 89-64 win over UNC-Asheville on Sunday (Nov. 19). Four Seminoles scored in double figures in the win, led by senior center Levys Torres with 17.

Ones To Watch - Senior forward Brooke Wyckoff, junior guard April Traylor and senior center Levys Torres are the Seminoles to watch. Traylor had 12 points and six assists in the season opener against UNC-Asheville.

Virginia Tech The Coach - Bonnie Hendrickson is in her fourth year behind the Hokies bench. Hendrickson led Virginia Tech to a 20-11 overall record and a spot in the Sweet Sixteen of the WNIT.

Season Opener Recap - Virginia Tech opened the season with a 72-51 victory over Liberty on Nov. 17. The Hokies will face James Madison on Nov. 21 before heading to the Tallahassee Democrat Classic.

Williams On The Move - Senior forward Tere Williams is a two-time Atlantic 10 First-Team honoree and was the 1998 co-Rookie of the Year. As a junior, Williams averaged 15.1 points and 8.1 rebounds. She shot 59.5 percent from the field which ranked ninth nationally.

Big East Play - Following five years in the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Hokies moved into the Big East this season.

MSU vs. The Tallahassee Democrat Seminole Field

vs. Chicago State -- A potential second-round match-up. The teams have never face each other.

vs. Florida State -- MSU is 1-0 all-time against FSU. In the only meeting between the schools, MSU posted a 82-69 win at the San Juan Shootout on Dec. 21, 1994.

vs. Virginia Tech -- The Hokies won the only meeting between the schools, 63-61, in the first round of the San Juan Shootout on Dec. 19, 1994.

MSU Chevrolet Classic Recap

MSU Finishes Second -- The Joanne P. McCallie era opened at Michigan State in winning fashion as the Spartans began the 2000-01 season with a 76-50 win over Arkansas State in the first game of the MSU Chevrolet Classic on Friday evening (Nov. 17) at the Breslin Center. MSU began the game on a 16-5 run and never looked back in posting the win. The Spartans shot 47.5 percent from the field, while holding Arkansas State to just 23.1 percent shooting (12-of-52). The Lady Indians made just three three-point field goals, before hitting their first two-point field goal with 9:52 to go in the second half. The Spartans converted 28 Lady Indiana turnovers into 23 points. The Spartans dropped a 63-61 decision to No. 22 Boston College in the MSU Chevrolet Classic Championship game. The Spartans, who were down by as many as 15 in the first half, fought back to tie the game at 61 on a Becky Cummings field goal with 4.1 seconds remaining. However, MSU's Vnemina Reese was called for the reach-in foul on the ensuing play, and MSU Chevrolet Classic Tournament MVP Rachel Byars converted both free throws for the 63-61 win with 1.5 seconds left.

More Spartan Notes

All Tournament Honors -- Vnemina Reese and Becky Cummings were named to the Spartan Chevrolet Classic All-Tournament team. It marked the second consecutive year that Cummings has been named to the Chevrolet Classic All-Tournament Team.

Pung Lights It Up -- Senior guard Christie Pung came off the bench and helped spark the Spartan comeback vs. Boston College. Pung finished with a season-high 12 points vs. BC as she shot 5-of-8 (.625), including a 2-for-4 effort from behind the three-point arc.

First Career Starts -- Freshman guard Candice Jackson and sophomore center Jennifer Callier earned their first career starts against Arkansas State (Nov. 17). Jackson finished with five points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal in 25 minutes against Arkansas State, while Callier finished with 10 points, three rebounds and two steals in 19 minutes.

Only a Freshman? -- Julie Pagel turned in an impressive showing in her collegiate debut against Arkansas State. The freshman forward added 13 points, on 5-of-8 (.625) shooting from the floor including a 1-for-1 effort from behind the three-point arc. Pagel also grabbed eight rebounds, and had one steal and one assist in 24 minutes.

Career Highs -- Sophomore guard Vnemina Reese tied her career high with 10 assists against Arkansas State. Reese also had 10 against Dayton on Dec. 17, 1999. She also added six points, five rebounds and five steals in 30 minutes. Reese followed up with a career-best 15 points in the loss to BC.

Free Throw Shooting Woes -- MSU shot just 57.8 percent (26-of-45) from the free throw line in the Spartan Chevrolet Classic. On the other hand, MSU opponents are shooting 76.7 percent (33-of-43) from the free throw line. Against Boston College, MSU connected on 11-of-17 attempts (.647). The Eagles converted 14-of-17 attempts (.824).

The Spartan Bench -- In the first two games, the Spartan bench has provided a big boost outscoring opponents 52-22, a difference of 30 points. Julie Pagel came off the bench to add 13 points against Arkansas State, while Abby Salcheider finished with eight points. Christie Pung added 12 against Boston College.

Cummings Picks Up Play -- Senior forward Becky Cummings has picked up where she left off last season. As a junior, Cummings averaged 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds. In the season opener, the Walled Lake, Mich., native posted 17 points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes. She also tied her career high with five steals and dished out three assists. Against Boston College, Cummings added 11 points, including the game-tying basket with 4.7 seconds left, and six rebounds in 26 minutes.

The Sharp Shooter -- Through the first two games, Cummings is shooting 54.5 percent (12-of-22) from the floor. Cummings, who already holds the single-season records for field goal percentage (.621, 169-272), ranks second all-time in school history in field goal percentage (.576, 339-589) entering this week's action. Nicole Cushing (1996-97) holds the school record at 59.1 percent (257-of-435).

Looking for 170 -- MSU head coach Joanne P. McCallie needs two more wins to reach 170 career victories. In eight years at Maine, McCallie posted a 167-73 overall mark (.696). She won her first game at MSU vs. Arkansas State (Nov. 17).

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

Block That Shot -- Senior center Erin Skelly swatted away her 67 career shot against Arkansas State. The 67 career blocks place her third on MSU's all-time blocked shots list. Kristen Rasmussen (1997-2000) holds the MSU record with 194, while Jackie Carter (1980-83) is second with 90.

Defense Wins -- Michigan State turned in a solid defensive performance against Arkansas State. The Spartans held the Lady Indians to 23.1 percent field-goal shooting (12-of-52), while MSU shot 47.5 percent (29-of-61) from the field. MSU also converted 28 ASU turnovers into 23 points. MSU finished with 18 steals, including five by both Becky Cummings and Vnemina Reese.

Replacing That Offense -- Michigan State must replace 42 percent of its offensive fire power from last season. Maxann Reese, a All-Big Ten First-Team honoree, averaged 16.0 points, while All-Big Ten Second-Team honoree Kristen Rasmussen averaged 14.8 points. The duo accounted for 954 of MSU's 2256 points last year.

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 100-43 in the last 12 years. MSU won its 100th game at the Breslin Center against Arkansas State (Nov. 17). Below is a list of MSU's Yearly Record at the Breslin Center. Year Record 1989-90 7-6 1990-91 12-1 1991-92 9-5 1992-93 7-6 1993-94 8-5 1994-95 7-4 1995-96 10-3 1996-97 12-1 1997-98 5-6 1998-99 9-5 1999-2000 13-1 2000-01 1-1 11 Years 100-44 (.698)

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. Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie rounds out her coaching staff with a trio of individuals who know how to win. Joining the Spartan staff are: Associate Head Coach Katie Abrahamson, Assistant Coaches Felisha Legette-Jack and Janel Grimm. Abrahamson is a former assistant from Iowa State where she was the recruiting coordinator for the Cyclones for six seasons. She played collegiate basketball for both Georgia and Iowa. Legette-Jack arrived at MSU after spending seven seasons as an assistant coach at Syracuse. Legette-Jack was a two-time Honorable Mention All-American as a player at Syracuse. Grimm is familiar with McCallie after spending the 1999-2000 season as an assistant coach at Maine. Grimm played collegiately at Iowa State where she was a two-time All-Big 12 honoree. 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.

Senior Leadership -- The Spartans list five seniors on the 2000-01 roster. The group of Becky Cummings, Nikki Davis, Donita Johnson, Christie Pung and Erin Skelly will be counted on to provide leadership to this young group.

Approaching Milestones -- Senior forward Becky Cummings is approaching two Spartan milestones: * She needs just 29 points to reach the 1,000-point plateau. She would become just the 12th player in Spartan history to reach 1,000 points. * She also needs 25 rebounds to reach the 600-rebound mark. She would become just the fifth player in school history to record 1,000 points and grab 600 rebounds.

Return to Action -- Sophomore forward Maria Recker, who missed the entire preseason recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, saw her first action of the season against Arkansas State (Nov. 17). Recker added four points and two rebounds in seven minutes of play.

Injury Update -- Senior forward Nikki Davis (knee) is questionable for this week's games.

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 -- The Spartans return home to face Detroit at the Breslin Center on Thurs., Nov. 30. Tip-off is 7 p.m.



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