No. 21 Spartans Ready for Showdown Against No. 9 Oklahoma Sunday at Breslin Center
Dec. 13, 2007
TIPOFF - GAME 10
No. 21/21 MICHIGAN STATE (7-2) vs. No. 9/9 OKLAHOMA (6-2)
OU: Sherri Coale (Oklahoma Christian, 1987)
SPARTANS RETURN HOME TO FACE NO. 9 OKLAHOMA THIS SUNDAY AT BRESLIN CENTER
The Spartans are coming off one of their most impressive performances of the season with a dominating 83-58 win at Indiana State last Saturday. The Sycamores (5-3) entered the game winning 35 of their last 40 games at home, including a win over No. 20 Vanderbilt earlier this season, but the Spartans limited ISU to 27 percent shooting in handing Indiana State its worst home loss in five years.
For the second straight week, sophomore center Allyssa DeHaan was named Big Ten Player of the Week following her performance at Indiana State. DeHaan nearly registered the third triple-double in school history with 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks, while also tying a career high with five assists. She was 9-for-17 from the field and 6-for-6 at the free-throw line.
A LOOK AT NO. 9 OKLAHOMA (6-2)
Two-time All-American and preseason Player of the Year candidate Courtney Paris leads OU in scoring (17.8 ppg) and leads the nation in rebounding (16.0 rpg). The junior has recorded an NCAA record 69 consecutive double-doubles. In her first meeting against MSU as a freshman in 2005, Paris had 29 points and 21 rebounds in the Spartans' 80-60 victory. Her twin sister, Ashley, is second on the team with 13.1 ppg and 7.0 rpg. The Sooners' roster also features Carlee Roethlisberger, who is the younger sister of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and Abi Olajuwon, who is the daughter of NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon.
MSU ATHLETICS LOOKING TO "BUST THE BUS" ON SUNDAY
TWICE AS NICE
Led by DeHaan's near triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks, No. 23 Michigan State handed Indiana State its worst home loss in five years with a dominating 83-58 win Saturday, Dec. 8 before a crowd of 4,492 at the Hulman Center.
DeHaan, the nation's leading shot blocker, swatted eight shots against ISU, tying her own mark for the second-most blocks in a game in MSU history. DeHaan now has 193 career blocks, just one shy of MSU's all-time record (194 set by Kristen Rasmussen). The 6-9 sophomore center, who set the Spartan single-game record with nine blocked shots against Indiana on Dec. 28, 2006, has blocked eight or more shots on seven occasions in her career.
Not only was DeHaan 9-of-17 from the field and 6-for-6 at the line, she also tied her career high with five assists. As if the offensive effort wasn't enough, DeHaan limited Sycamore forward Laura Rudolphi, the team's second-leading scorer with nearly 15 points a game, to one point on 0-for-12 shooting.
ADD ME TO THE LIST
The committee elected to add DeHaan to the Wade Watch based on her on-court success early on in the season.
The renowned "Wade Watch" list for the State Farm Wade Trophy is comprised of student-athletes who are members of an NCAA Division I institution and are selected based on the following criteria: game and season statistics, leadership, character, effect on their team and overall playing ability. The national awards committee who selects these candidates is comprised of leading basketball coaches, journalists and basketball administrators.
The last Spartan to be named to the Wade Watch List was Liz Shimek during the 2005-06 season.
MINNESOTA GAME TIME CHANGE: TIP WILL BE MOVED UP TO 2 P.M. ON FRIDAY, DEC. 28
QUICK LOOK AT THE SPARTANS
YOUNG SPARTANS GETTING HELP FROM FRESHMEN CLASS
MSU lost All-Big Ten guards Victoria Lucas-Perry (13.5 ppg) and Rene Haynes (10.4 ppg) to graduation and honorable mention All-Big Ten forward Aisha Jefferson (10.4 ppg) to a season-ending knee injury. Junior guard Mia Johnson (8.3 ppg) missed the first eight games of the season with a knee injury and is just starting to get back into the rotation.
Thus far, the freshmen have responded, accounting for 40 percent of MSU's points and 42 percent of the team's rebounds. Keane is second on the team and 10th in the Big Ten in scoring with 13.6 ppg; Thomas is second in the Big Ten in assists (4.8 pg); and Washington averages 5.1 ppg and 3.2 rpg. Off the bench, Taja Wilson is scoring 3.1 ppg in 9.3 minutes of action.
Keane, Thomas and Washington became the first freshmen trio to start at MSU since the 2001-02 season, when Kristin Haynie, Joy Johnson and Kelli Roehrig started. The trio of Haynie, Johnson and Roehrig started the first five games of the 2001-02 season.
LAST TIME VS. OKLAHOMA - MSU 80, OKLAHOMA 60
In a meeting of dominant inside players, Shimek guided her team to victory by simply staying on the court. Michigan State built much of its lead while Courtney Paris, who entered the game seventh in the nation in scoring and second in rebounding, was on the bench.
Shimek scored 12 of her 18 first-half points when Paris wasn't on the floor, and the Spartans took a 34-20 lead at halftime.
Paris scored 23 of her 29 points in the second half, but it was not enough to lead the Sooners back from a 22-point deficit.
With Paris out of the game, the Spartans (8-2) scored the final 10 points of the first half, then continued pulling away with a 14-6 run after the break. Laura Hall hit back-to-back baskets, Shimek and Rene Haynes made 3-pointers and Victoria Lucas-Perry's layup pushed Michigan State's lead to 48-26.
LAST TIME OUT - MICHIGAN STATE 83, INDIANA STATE 58 - DEC. 8 - TERRE HAUTE, IND.
The Spartans played one of their most efficient games of the season, outscoring the Sycamores 40-12 in the paint and dishing out 25 assists against a season-low seven turnovers. Courtney Davidson collected a career-high seven assists, while Keane had five. MSU, who leads the Big Ten in field-goal percentage, shot 49 percent from the field (33-of-67) and 90 percent (9-for-10) at the free-throw line.
DeHaan, the nation's leading shot blocker, swatted eight shots against ISU, tying her own mark for the second-most blocks in a game in MSU history. The 6-9 sophomore center, who set the Spartan single-game record with nine blocked shots against Indiana on Dec. 28, 2006, has blocked eight or more shots on seven occasions in her career. Not only was DeHaan 9-of-17 from the field and 6-for-6 at the line, she also tied her career high with five assists.
As if the offensive effort wasn't enough, DeHaan limited Sycamore forward Laura Rudolphi, the team's second-leading scorer with nearly 15 points a game, to one point on 0-for-12 shooting. MSU's defense held Indiana State to 28 percent shooting and halted the Sycamores' potent fast-break attack to just four points.
"We had some concerns going into the game," said MSU head coach Suzy Merchant. "They have a balanced offensive attack and can hurt you in many different ways. Taking them out of their transition game was big for us. We didn't want to allow them to have any easy looks. I really think Allyssa's length was causing problems for them down low.
"Offensively, in the second half we wanted to get the ball inside first, then go outside. We took too many quick outside shots in the first half. We definitely had more patience in the second half, and that opened up our outside shot."
Michigan State scored a season-high 47 points and hit eight of its season-high nine 3-pointers in the second half. The nine 3-pointers tied a season best; MSU also hit nine against Evansville on Nov. 11.
Keane took over in stretches of the second half, scoring 12 of her 20 points and going 5-for-6 from the field and 2-for-2 from 3-point range after the break.
The Spartans led most of the game and took a 36-29 advantage into halftime, but completely dominated second-half action and outscored the Sycamores in the final 20 minutes, 47-29. MSU led by as many as 28 points in the second half.
INDIANA STATE NOTES:
HOW ABOUT THAT DEFENSE
MSU has held seven teams under 40-percent shooting, including five under 33 percent. The only teams to shoot over 40 percent were LSU and Old Dominion.
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