No. 22/21 Spartans Opens Big Ten Play with Indiana on Sunday
MSU won its fourth straight on Thursday vs. No. 4 North Carolina.
Dec. 5, 2009
No. 22/21 MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (5-2, 0-0) vs.
INDIANA HOOSIERS (4-3, 0-0)
Date: Sunday, Dec. 6
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Arena: Breslin Center
TV: Big Ten Network (Lisa Byington - play-by-play; Vera Jones - analyst)
Radio: WVFN 730 AM (Rick Berkey - play-by-play; Mo Gerhardt - analyst)
Internet: Live audio and stats at MSUSpartans.com
Hometown Day: Cetera Washington
The Hoosier enter their Big Ten opener with a 4-3 record, coming off an 83-74 Big Ten/ACC Challenge home loss to No. 12/9 Florida State on Thursday. Jori Davis leads the Indiana offense, averaging 17.9 points per game, ranking her fourth in the Big Ten. Davis leads the conference, knocking down 66.7% (10-of-15) of her 3-point attempts. Jamie Braun is second on the team and 13th in the conference with 13.0 points, and Hope Elam is tied for 19th with 11.7 points. Sasha Chaplin controls the glass for the Hoosiers with 8.0 per game, fifth in the Big Ten.
AGAINST THE HOOSIERS
Michigan State leads the all-time series, 36-22, having split the two meetings last season. Indiana has won the last two games in Breslin Center, but all-time MSU holds a 17-10 edge in East Lansing. In all, the Spartans have won 10 of the last 12 meetings.
IN BIG TEN OPENERS
Michigan State is 13-15 all-time in Big Ten openers and is 19-9 all-time in its first conference home game. Last season, MSU won at Penn State, 67-60 in its Big Ten opener, and have won five of its last six conference openers.
Redshirt senior Aisha Jefferson is approaching a historic milestone, needing only three points to become the 20th Spartan to reach 1,000 career points. Jefferson is currently 21st all-time with 997 points. In addition, she is also climbing the career rebounds list, sitting in 20th-place with 556, and is 17th with 400 made field goals.
HOLDING THEM UNDER 50
With its 78-47 win over George Washington on Nov. 27, Michigan State won its 86th consecutive game when holding its opponent under 50 points. MSU's last loss came on Feb. 16, 1979 (48-42 to Indiana). All-time, the Spartans are 125-3 when keeping the opposition below 50 points.
LET'S PLAY MORE TIME
The Spartans have relished playing extra time over the past seven seasons. With its 93-90 double overtime win over Oklahoma State on Nov. 28, MSU won its 12th straight overtime game, dating back to the 2003-04 season. The streak is the longest such run among Big Ten schools. Surprisingly, only two of the 12 wins have come at home. MSU's last overtime loss came on Feb. 28, 2002 against Ohio State, 89-82, in the Big Ten Tournament.
The win was also MSU's first double overtime victory since Jan. 15, 1995 vs. Iowa (71-70). The Spartans had lost their previous three double overtime contest.
Michigan State won the Lucaya Division of the Junkanoo Jam last weekend in the Bahamas. The Spartans began with a 78-47 rout of George Washington and concluded with a 93-90 double overtime victory over Oklahoma State. Senior Allyssa DeHaan was named most valuable player, while she was joined on the all-tournament team by junior Kalisha Keane.
Senior Allyssa DeHaan is one of only five Spartans to rank in the top-10 in both career points and rebounds. She is eighth all-time with 1,388 points and is seventh with 769 rebounds.
SWATTING HER WAY INTO THE NCAA RECORD BOOKS
Senior Allyssa DeHaan entered her senior season on pace to break the NCAA Division I blocked shots record. Recently, she moved into fifth all-time with 430 blocks and needs only 51 rejections to surpass the record held by Sandora Irvin of TCU (2001-05). DeHaan is also third on the NCAA list with a 3.90 blocks per game average.
DeHaan became the Big Ten's all-time blocked shots leader during MSU's Big Ten Tournament game against Wisconsin on March, 6, 2009. She surpassed Ohio State's Jessica Davenport (384) for the record. In addition, in last season's win over Stony Brook (Nov. 16, 2008), she became the fastest in conference history to reach the 300-block plateau, needing only 72 games.
NATION'S BEST AT PROTECTING THE RIM
Michigan State leads the country in blocked shots early in the 2009-10 season. Entering this week, MSU was averaging 9.2 rejections a game, a full block ahead of North Carolina, who was second at 8.2. Senior Allyssa DeHaan leads the charge, ranking fourth in the nation with 4.5 per game.
The Spartans are also among the nation's top-50 in five other categories, placing 10th in assists (18.3), 32nd in scoring offense (76.2), 34th in field goal percentage defense (33.9%), 38th in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.99) and 47th in rebound margin (+6.5).
THREE-PLUS YEARS OF SWATTING
Upon Allyssa DeHaan's arrival to East Lansing, the Spartans have been one of the effective teams in the country in protecting the rim. Since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, MSU is second in the nation with 668 blocks. North Carolina is first with 771, followed by MSU, Duke (666), Connecticut (648) and Baylor (644).
The Spartans had been among the NCAA leaders in blocks each of those three years, finishing the season eighth in 2008-09, 11th in 2007-08 and fourth in 2006-07.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Spartans are in the midst of a season-long six game home stand. It is the first time since the 1982-83 season that MSU has played six straight games at home (Dec. 18, 1983-Jan. 9, 1983). In all, it is the sixth time in program history that MSU has played at least six consecutive games on its home floor.
AMONG BIG TEN LEADERS
Through the first couple weeks of the 2009-10 season, the Spartans lead the Big Ten in blocked shots with 8.43. They are also second in assists (18.43), offensive rebounds (15.43) and assists-to-turnover ratio (0.93), third in scoring offense (75.6), and fourth in field goal percentage (.441), rebound margin (+6.0) and turnover forced (19.1).
Individually, redshirt sophomore Lykendra Johnson leads the conference in field goal percentage (.596) and offensive rebounds (3.3), in addition to placing among the conference leaders in rebounds (8.1; 4th), 3-point field goal percentage (7th; .467), blocks (9th; 1.29), assists (t-16th; 2.9) and scoring (19th; 12.5). Senior Allyssa DeHaan is second in the league in blocks with 4.0, and is also ninth in free throw percentage (.846), 12th in rebounds (6.1) and 14th in scoring (12.7). Also, junior Kalisha Keane is sixth in steals (2.00) and jninth in assists (3.57).
Johnson is one of only four Big Ten student-athletes to rank among the conference's top-20 in each points, rebounds and assists. Joining Johnson is Northwestern's Amy Jaeschke, Michigan's Veronica Hicks and Iowa's Jaime Printy.
WINNING NO. 250
Head coach Suzy Merchant won her 250th career game against Oklahoma State on Nov. 28. In her 14th season as head coach, Merchant has compiled a career record of 251-147 between Michigan State, Eastern Michigan and Saginaw Valley State. In addition, MSU's upset over No. 4 North Carolina was her 50th win as a Spartan and her first career win over a top-5 team.
STEPPING UP FROM BEHIND THE ARC
Sophomore Lykendra Johnson has improved her outside shooting early in the 2009-10 season, having already matched her made 3-point field goal total from last season. This season, she is 7-of-15 (.467) from the arc, while last year she went 4-of-20 (.200) in 33 games.
WELCOMING THE BEST TO THE BRESLIN CENTER
Entering this season, no team ranked in the The Associated Press top-5 had played Michigan State in the Breslin Center. Now, in their first two home games of the season, two top-5 teams played the Spartans at Breslin. MSU upset No. 4 North Carolina, 72-66 on Thursday and No. 5 Notre Dame knocked off MSU, 68-67 on Nov. 19. No. 2 Georgia was the only non-conference top-5 team to play in East Lansing before the season, facing the Spartans on Dec. 17, 1988 at Jenison Field House.
The UNC win was the first home win over a top-5 non-conference opponent in MSU history. In all, the Tar Heels were be the 12th team ranked in the top-5 of the AP poll to play Michigan State in East Lansing. A matchup with No. 2 Ohio State on Feb. 20, 2005, was the last time a top-5 team played in Breslin before this season, the results a 66-64 Spartan win, MSU has won three of its last five games against top-5 teams at home, but are 2-10 all-time.
KNOCKING THEM OFF AT BRESLIN
All-time, the Spartans are 32-28 against ranked-opponents at the Breslin Center. MSU had won four-straight over ranked foes in Breslin before the home opening loss to No. 5/6 Notre Dame.
SPARTANS' DYNAMIC DUO
In their two-plus years on the court together, the Spartans know good things will happen when seniors Aisha Jefferson and Allyssa DeHaan are both playing well. When both score in double-figures, MSU holds a 19-2 record, including Thursday's upset of No. 4 North Carolina.
DeHaan's scoring has shown to be a deciding factor in most Spartan games. When she reaches double-digits, Michigan State is 55-18 in her career. Also, when she leads the team in scoring, MSU is 35-6. Meanwhile, MSU is 33-14 when Jefferson tallies double-figures, including a 3-0 record this season.
The 2009-10 basketball season is the Spartans' 21st inside the Jack Breslin Student Events Center. MSU has an all-time record of 202-75 (.729) at Breslin and have been even more dominant of late in its cozy confines, posting a mark of 68-13 since 2003.
FANS CONTINUE TO PACK THE BRESLIN
For the past five seasons, Michigan State has been one of the top programs in the country in regard to fan support. In each of the last five years, the Spartans have been among the nation's top 15, averaging over 6,000 fans per game. MSU was ninth in the country in 2006-07, averaging 6,737, while they were 10th in both 2005-06, with a school-record 6,787 average, and 2007-08 (6,317). In 2008-09, the Spartans finished second in the Big Ten and 13th in the country, averaging 6,024 fans.
So far this season, MSU has averaged 5,172 fans through two games, to lead the Big Ten.
ON BIG TEN NETWORK
Today's game will mark the third of at least nine games for the Spartans on the Big Ten Network. MSU is 14-8 all-time on BTN, including an 1-1 record this season.
ON THIS DATE
Michigan State is 2-1 all-time on December 6.