Nov. 24, 1999
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State will play two games in four days this week, facing Detroit and Southern Illinois in a pair of non-conference battles.
The Spartans will play the Titans at Calihan Hall (8,837) in Detroit at 7 p.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 24 and will host the Salukis at the Breslin Center (15,138) on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.
ON THE AIR
Wednesday's game at Detroit will be carried live on WJIM Radio (1240 AM). Scott Moore will call the action, while former Spartan star Paula Sanders will provide the analysis.
Fans can also access the game via the internet at www.msuspartans.com.
The Spartans improved to 2-0 with wins over Appalachian State (100-63) and Alabama (73-72) last weekend in the Felpausch/MSU Classic.
MSU won its first two games of the year for the first time since 1995-96.
Detroit stands at 2-0 as well after opening its season with a pair of road wins over Central Michigan (72-58) and Valparaiso (86-77).
The Salukis are 1-1 after dropping their season opener to Wisconsin (66-58) in the first round of the Time Warner Cable Classic at Nebraska. SIU rebounded to claim the consolation game with a 63-58 victory over Georgia Southern.
IN THE POLLS
Michigan State received 18 votes in this week's USA Today/ESPN Top 25 poll. The Spartans did not receive any votes in the Associated Press Poll.
FANS ENCOURAGED TO HELP OUT
Spartan women's basketball fans are being asked to bring non-perishable food items to Saturday's game against Southern Illinois.
The food will be collected and donated to the Salvation Army of Lansing to help people who do not have enough food this holiday season.
Michigan State coach Karen Langeland is in her 24th season at the helm of the Spartan program.
A native of Grand Rapids, Langeland has a career coaching mark of 359-278.
Langeland, who is the dean of Big Ten Conference women's basketball coaches, has guided the Spartans to three postseason appearances in the last four years, including a quarterfinal appearance in the WNIT last season.
Anne Rexford is in her first year at Detroit after spending the previous eight seasons as the girls basketball coach at Our Lady of the Lakes High School.
Julie Beck is in her second year as head coach at Southern Illinois where she has a school and career record of 7-22.
MSU and Detroit will meet for the 15th time on Wednesday. The series, started in 1979, is tied 7-7.
The Spartans have two two-straight and four of the last five overall against the Titans, but are just 1-4 in games played in Detroit.
Southern Illinois and MSU have met just three times with the Spartans picking up their first win against the Salukis last season (66-56) in Carbondale, Ill.
LAST TIME OUT
The Spartans overcame a poor first half shooting slump to record a 78-70 win against Detroit in East Lansing last season.
Senior Kristen Rasmussen was one of four Spartans in double figures with 26 points. She also tied an MSU single-game record with a 10-for-10 performance from the free throw line.
The victory was bittersweet for the Spartans, who lost freshman point guard Vnemina Reese for the season after she suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the first half of the game.
In last year's contest against SIU, senior Maxann Reese scored 18 of her 26 points in the second half to help the Spartans overcome a 31-26 halftime deficit.
Terica Hathaway was one of two players in double figures for the Salukis with 11 points.
ABOUT THE TITANS
Detroit is the preseason favorite to win the Midwestern Collegiate Conference title. First-year head coach Anne Rexford returns all five starters from last season's team that posted a 13-15 overall record and finished second in the league with a 10-4 mark.
Senior guard Carrie Banks, last week's MCC Player of the Week, averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 assists in Detroit's first two games.
Sophomore Molly Peterman is a solid front line player, who averged 10 points and 9.5 boards in the first two contests.
ABOUT THE SALUKIS
SIU returns eight letterwinners and four players with starting experience from last season's team that struggled to a 6-21 record. The 1999-2000 Saluki edition is a youthful one with just two seniors and six freshmen.
Junior guard Terica Hathaway is the leading returnee for SIU after averaging 15.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game en route to earning First-Team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors last season.
Junior guard/forward Maria Niebrugge is another returning starter who will play a key role this year. Niebrugge averaged 8.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game a year ago.
In the season opener against the Badgers, SIU held a 10-point (32-22) halftime advantage before falling to the Big Ten foe.
MSU won its seventh Felpausch/MSU Classic in 12 years last weekend with a thrilling 73-72 victory over Alabama in the championship game.
Freshman Maria Recker rebounded a Vnemina Reese miss and scored with just 0.8 seconds left on the clock to give the Spartans the victory.
Senior Maxann Reese was named MVP of the Felpausch/MSU Classic after averaging 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in the two Spartan wins.
Reese also played a key role in helping MSU erase a 10-point deficit against the Crimson Tide. Senior Kristen Rasmussen and junior Becky Cummings were named to the all-tournament team.
The Spartans scored 100 points in a game for just the seventh time in program history with their 100-point effort against Appalachian State on Nov. 19.
The last time MSU reached the triple-digit mark was on Feb. 7, 1997 when it beat Minnesota, 102-51, at the Breslin Center.
Six of MSU's seven 100-point outbursts have come at home.
RASMUSSEN APPROACHING REBOUND MILESTONE
Heading into Wednesday's game with Detroit, senior Kristen Rasmussen is 15 rebounds shy of becoming just the sixth player in Spartan history to record 700 boards in a career.
Coach Karen Langeland felt one of the areas that the Spartans needed to improve on this season was rebounding.
If the first two games are any indication, MSU seems to be on the right track.
The Spartans outrebounded their two opponents, 48.5-33.5. Last year, MSU averaged 38.1 boards per game.
Part of the reason for MSU's higher production was the contributions of its wing players, namely Maxann Reese (5.5 rpg) and Donita Johnson (4.0 rpg).
HOW ABOUT THOSE ROOKIES!
MSU has just two freshman on this year's team, but the duo made a lasting impression in last weekend's Felpausch/MSU Classic.
In the win over Appalachian State, center Jennifer Callier came off the bench just three minutes into the game and promptly hit five of her first six shots from the field, scored 11 points, had two rebounds and blocked a shot to help the Spartans take a commanding 21-3 lead early in the contest.
Callier ended the contest with a game-high 15 points, on 7of-10 shooting from the field, six rebounds and two blocks.
Callier's offensive output was the best by an MSU rookie in her collegiate debut since Nicole Cushing totaled 20 points and pulled down six rebounds against Yale in 1995 enroute to earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.
Against Alabama, Maria Recker grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with just 0.8 second on the clock to give MSU a 73-72 win.
Recker ended the game with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes of play.
Redshirt freshman guard Vnemina Reese and junior forward Nikki Davis made successful returns to the court last weekend after missing most of last year with knee injuries.
The duo suffered anterior cruciate ligament tears within four days of each other last season and underwent reconstructive surgery on the same day (Jan. 5).
Reese started at the point and scored four points and dished out nine assists in her first game back, while Davis came off the bench to score three points and pull down five rebounds in 13 minutes of action.
POINTS FOR EVERYONE
All 14 players on the roster scored in the game with Appalachian State on Nov. 19.
WORTH THE WAIT
Sophomore Kelly Czubak, a native of Lansing, tallied the first points of her collegiate career in the win against Appalachian State.
Czubak, who didn't score a point in four appearances last year, put her name in the box score with a free throw with 5:11 left in the game.
She went on to score eight of MSU's final 16 points of the game, including a layup with one second left to give the Spartans 100 points.
Czubak connected on 4-of-6 shots from the field en route to her career-high nine-point effort. She also had three offensive rebounds in her nine minutes of play.
MORE CAREER BESTS
Several players put up career numbers in the win over the Mountaineers.
Redshirt freshman Vnemina Reese dished out a career-high nine assists and didn't commit a turnover in 22 minutes of play.
Sophomore Abby Salscheider came off the bench to score a career-high 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field, while junior Donita Johnson canned a career-high three triples in the contest.
AT THE BRESLIN CENTER
The Spartans have had a winning record at home 25 times in 27 years of play.
MSU has an all-time record of 212-100 (.679) at home and a mark of 87-42 (.674) in 10 years at the Breslin Center.
The Spartans have a modest four-game winning streak at home dating back to last season. MSU's last home loss came against defending national champion Purdue on Jan. 31, 1999 (80-66).