No. 21/24 Spartans Look to Snap Skid Sunday at St. Bonaventure

Dec. 5, 2008

(21/24) Michigan State Spartans (6-2) at
St. Bonaventure Bonnies (5-1)

Date: Sunday, Dec. 7
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: St. Bonaventure, N.Y.
Arena: Reilly Center
TV: None
Radio: WVFN 730 AM (Rick Berkey - play-by-play)
Internet: Live Stats and Audio at

Listen | Gametracker
Game Notes in PDF Format
Listen to the Coach Merchant Radio Show (Dec. 4)
Allyssa DeHaan Feature on

Statistically Savvy (NCAA Edition)
Entering the week, the Spartans were among the nation's top-25 in nine major statistical categories, including being in the top 10 in six. MSU was third in field goal percentage defense (30.0%), fourth in rebound margin (+15.1), fifth in scoring margin (+27.9), sixth in both field goal percentage (48.5%) and blocked shots (7.0), and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage defense (20.3%). In addition, the Spartans are 12th in assists (18.1), 14th in scoring offense (81.1) and 22nd in scoring defense (52.3).

Individually, junior Allyssa DeHaan is fourth in the country in blocked shots with 3.4 per game.

Statistically Savvy (Big Ten Edition)
Michigan State leads the Big Ten in almost every statistical category. The Spartans are first in scoring defense (54.5), scoring margin (+22.8), field goal percentage (47.9%), field goal percentage defense (31.0%), rebounds (46.8), rebounds allowed (33.0), rebound margin (+13.8), offensive rebounds (15.75), defensive rebounds (31.00), assists (18.00), blocks (6.63) and 3-pt. fg defense (22.1%). They are also second in scoring offense (77.2), and third in steals (9.38) and turnovers forced (20.1).



Junior Allyssa DeHaan is first in the Big Ten in blocks with 3.38 and freshman Courtney Schiffauer leads the conference with a 67.6 field goal percentage. Schiffauer is one of four Spartans in the top 15 in field goal percentage, including redshirt junior Lauren Aitch (58.1%) who is fourth and classmate Aisha Jefferson (52.7%) who is ninth. Aitch is also ninth in free throw percentage (81.5%), while Jefferson is also eighth in the league in scoring at 15.1. Also in the conference's top 10 is junior Mandy Piechowski ,who is third in 3-point field goal percentage (52.6%), and sophomore Kalisha Keane, who is eighth in steals (2.13).

One Woman Show
Redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson had one of the most dominant single-game performances in Michigan State history last Saturday, posting a career-high 34 points and 11 rebounds at No. 14/10 Notre Dame. Jefferson's 34 points ties for the third most in a MSU single game and was the third most ever scored against Notre Dame. It was the most points scored by a Spartan since Maxann Reese scored a program record 41 points against Iowa on Jan, 29, 1999. Jefferson, who broke her previous career high of 20 in the first half, is also now fourth on the single-game list in field goals made (14) and attempted (28). It was Jefferson's fifth career double-double and her first since Feb. 11, 2007.

Jefferson leads the team and is eighth in the Big Ten, averaging 15.1 points per game. She has led the Spartans in scoring in a team-best four games.

Welcome Back
Sophomore Brittney Thomas returned to the rotation in the game against Detroit (Nov. 19), after missing the first two games with a broken right hand. Since she has been back, her impact on the floor has been noticeable. With Thomas on the court, the Spartans have outscored their opponents by 95 points (311-216), but when she is sitting, MSU have been outscored by 10 points (118-128). Defensively, opponents are averaging only 1.3 points per minute while she is on the floor.

Since she entered the starting lineup four games ago against Quinnipiac, Thomas has averaged 5.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, including a career-best 11 at Georgia Tech, and 3.0 assists per game. She is also shooting 69.2% (9-of-13) from the field.

About St. Bonaventure
St. Bonaventure enter the weekend at 5-1 overall, including a perfect 3-0 record at home. The Bonnies are coming off a 69-58 home win against IPFW on Tuesday. SBU also has wins at home against Binghamton and Canisius, and on the road against Buffalo and Akron. Their lone loss was a 76-72 affair at Oakland.

The Bonnies have outscored their opponents by a 69.2-61.0 margin on the season and hold a 38.2-35.3 edge on the boards. They are shooting 42.2% from the field, 35.8% from 3-point range and 75.0% from the foul line. Junior forward Dana Mitchell leads the team in points (18.2), rebounding (7.7) and field goal percentage (55.6%). Senior guard Katelyn Murray is the only other Bonnie in double-figures, averaging 14.8 per game, including a team-best 2.0 3-point field goals per game.

Against the Bonnies
Michigan State and St. Bonaventure have never faced each other.