November 30, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich.
After playing three-straight road games, Michigan State will play four of its next six games at the Breslin Center beginning with a matchup against Detroit on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m., at the Breslin Center (15,138).
Following Tuesday's contest with the Titans, MSU will travel to Normal, Ill., to take on Illinois State on Saturday, Dec. 5. Game time is 3 p.m., EST at Redbird Arena.
LOOSE CHANGE NIGHT
Fans attending Tuesday's game with Detroit can bring their loose change for admission to the game. All monies collected will be donated to a charity selected by MSU coach Karen Langeland and her players.
Tuesday's game with Detroit is the first of nine games to be carried live by MediaOne this season.
The game will be shown in the Lansing area on MediaOne cable channel 17, in East Lansing and Meridian Township on TCI Cable channel 13 and on Horizon Cable channel 11.
Ben Stark will handle the play-by-play duties, while Sue Carter provides the analysis.
ON THE AIR
Tuesday's game with Detroit and Saturday's contest with Illinois State will be broadcast on WVFN Radio (730).
Jeff Walker is the voice of Spartan basketball this season, while former Spartan standout Paula Sanders handles all the analysis.
Michigan State improved to 3-2 overall after winning the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Women's Basketball Classic last weekend in Dallas, Texas.
The Spartans defeated host SMU (80-71) and Texas A&M (74-59) to take home the tournament title. MSU has won two straight and three of its last four games, with its only setback coming in an 80-74 overtime loss to Boston College on Nov. 22.
Detroit goes into Tuesday's game looking for its first win of the 1998-99 campaign after dropping its first four contests of the season.
The Titan losses have come against Michigan (96-73), Eastern Michigan (73-72), Bowling Green (82-73) and Western Michigan (97-81).
Illinois State will take a 3-3 record into Saturday's matchup with MSU. The Redbirds went 1-2 in last weekends trip to Hawaii. ISU lost to Hawaii (82-56), before losing to Louisville (99-48) and beating St. Johns (80-65) in the Rainbow Wahine Basketball Classic.
Michigan State coach Karen Langeland is in her 23rd year of directing the Spartan program. The dean of Big Ten women's coaches has a career record of 343-266, all at MSU.
The Grand Rapids native is just seven 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.
Nikita Lowry is in her third year at Detroit where she has compiled a record of 35-27.
Jill Hutchison is in her 28th season at Illinois State where she has a school and career won-loss record of 456-306.
UD holds a slim 7-6 advantage in the all-time series with Michigan State. Tuesdays game is the first meeting between the two schools since 1995 when the Spartans defeated the Titans, 82-69, in Detroit.
MSU has won three of the last four games against Detroit and is 5-1 overall in games played in East Lansing.
The Spartans lead the all-time series with Illinois State, 11-7. The last two meetings between the two clubs have been decided by two points, with MSU coming out on the winning end of both contests.
MSU pulled out a 66-64 victory on Dec. 14, 1996 in East Lansing and was a 54-52 winner on Dec. 6, 1995 in Normal, Ill.
The Spartans have won five of the last six games against ISU, but are just 4-4 in games played in Normal.
Detroit returns six players and just two starters from last seasons 12-16 squad that finished fifth in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.
The Titans have been playing without preseason All-MCC selections Stephanie Gray, a six-foot forward, and Carrie Banks, a 5-8 junior guard, who have been out with injuries.
Detroit has a balanced scoring attack with four players averaging in double figures led by sophomore guards Shari Hill and Anne Yoches, who average 14.5 and 13.8 points per game, respectively.
As a team, the Titans are averaging 74.8 points and 40.2 rebounds per game and are shooting 38 percent from the field.
Sophomore Becky Cummings was named MVP of the Cotton Bowl Classic last weekend after averaging 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in MSU's two wins.
The Spartan post player shot 69 percent (11-of-16) from the field and 75 percent (9-of-12) from the free throw line.
Against SMU, Cummings scored a career-high 18 points and added a career-high 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the season and the third of her career. In the title game against Texas A&M, she contributed 13 points and six rebounds.
IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Juniors Kristen Rasmussen and Maxann Reese were named to the all-tournament team last weekend for their performances in MSUs victories.
Rasmussen recorded her first double-double of the season in the win over the Aggies, scoring 18 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.
Against SMU, Reese scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half and hit four free throws down the stretch to secure the win for the Spartans. Against the Aggies, she scored a season-high 17 points and had five assists and just one turnover in 37 minutes of action.
Junior forward Kristen Rasmussen had three blocks against Texas A&M to tie the Spartan career record for blocks with 90. She needs just one block to break Jackie Carter's record and 10 to become the first Spartan player to reach 100 career blocks.
Career Blocked Shots
1. Jackie Carter 90 (1980-83) Kristen Rasmussen 90 (1997-SA) 3. Sue Forsyth 65 (1987-89) 4. Paula Sanders 62 (1994-97) Annette Babers 62 (1991-93)
After shooting less than 40 percent form the field in its first three games, MSU shot 55 percent from the field against SMU, including 63 percent in the first half, and 51 percent against Texas A&M. Overall, the Spartans are now shooting 43 percent from the field.
MSU has shown improvement in the second half of each contest, hitting on 45 percent of its shots, compared to 41 percent of its shots in the first half of games.
By contrast, the Spartans opponents are cooling off, hitting 47 percent from the field in the first half and 37 percent in the second half.
Field Goal Percentage By Half
Michigan State 1st Half 2nd Half 63-154 .409 73-162 .451
Opponents 1st Half 2nd Half 64-137 .467 56-152 .368
MSU's reserves are contributing 16.6 points per game compared to its opponents 14.8 points per contest average.
The Spartan bench has outscored their opponents reserves in three of five games.
SLOW START - FAST FINISH
MSU has been outscored in the first half of games this season, 161-156. The Spartans have come on strong in the second half, outscoring their opponents, 197-151.
Overall, MSU is averaging 31.2 points in the first half and 39.4 points in the second half. Spartan opponents are scoring 32.2 points in the first half compared to 30.2 points in the second half.
NEWS AND NOTES...
Freshman Vnemina Reese scored a season-high 14 points in MSU's win over SMU on Nov. 27...junior guard Maxann Reese is averaging just 1.3 turnovers per game in the last three contests, while playing 32.7 minutes per game...sophomore point guard Christie Pung gave MSU some positive minutes off the bench in the victory over Texas A&M. Pung effectively ran the offense and contributed seven points and didn't commit a turnover in 14 minutes of play...MSU had a season-low 10 turnovers against the Aggies...senior forward Pernille Dalgaard scored nine points and pulled down four rebounds in 23 minutes of action against Texas A&M...just two players, Kristen Rasmussen and Becky Cummings, have led the Spartans in scoring and rebounding in a game this season. Rasmussen has been the leading scorer in four of five games and the leading rebounder in three of five contests...over the weekend, coach Karen Langeland did not hold her stress ball during either game. The Spartans were 2-0!