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Spartans Return Home to Face Delaware State on Thursday

Dec. 17, 2008

Michigan State Spartans (6-4) vs.
Delaware Dtate Lady Hornets (2-6)

Date: Thursday, Dec. 17
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Arena: Breslin Center
TV: None
Radio: WVFN 730 AM (Rick Berkey - play-by-play)
Internet: Live Stats and Audio at

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Game Notes in PDF Format

Statistically Savvy (NCAA Edition)
Entering the week, the Spartans were among the nation's top-50 in seven major statistical categories, including being in the top 25 in five. MSU was sixth in blocked shots (6.7), 10th in field goal percentage defense (33.1%), 13th in rebound margin (+12.2), and 24th field goal percentage (45.4%) and assists (16.8). In addition, the Spartans are 26th in scoring margin (+16.6) and 38th in scoring offense (73.6).

Individually, junior Allyssa DeHaan is fourth in the country in blocked shots with 3.7 per game.

Statistically Savvy (Big Ten Edition)
Michigan State is among the Big Ten leaders in almost every statistical category. The Spartans are first in scoring margin (+16.6), field goal percentage (45.4%), field goal percentage defense (33.1%), rebounds (44.6), rebound margin (+10.4), offensive rebounds (15.10), blocked shots (6.70) and 3-pt. fg defense (28.3%). They are also second in scoring offense (73.6), scoring defense (57.0), rebounds allowed (34.2) and assists (16.8), third in turnovers forced (19.5) and fourth in steals (8.90).



Junior Allyssa DeHaan is first in the Big Ten in blocks with 3.70 and classmate Mandy Piechowski is second with a 51.7 3-point field goal percentage. Also in the conference's top-10 is redshirt senior Mia Johnson (seventh with a 40.0 3-point field goal percentage), redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson, (eighth with 14.0 points per game), classmate Lauren Aitch (tied for eighth in field goal percentage - 50.0%), sophomore Kalisha Keane (eighth with 2.0 steals), redshirt freshman Lykendra Johnson (ninth with a 77.8 free throw percentage) and Piechowski (tied for ninth in 3-point field goals made - 1.5)

Shot Blocking Queen
In 28 minutes off the bench at Xavier, junior Allyssa DeHaan tied her own program single-game record with nine blocks, a mark she had previously set on two occasions (Dec. 8, 2007 at Indiana State and Dec. 28, 2006 vs. Indiana). DeHaan now holds the top 10 single-game block totals in MSU history. The nine blocks are also tied for the most in a single game in the country this season.

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 70 points (408-338), but when she is sitting, MSU have been outscored by one point (139-140).

Spark From Behind the Arc
Junior Mandy Piechowski has been a spark for the Spartans from long range this season. Piechowski's career day at Xavier (15 points on 4-of-7 from 3-point range) kept MSU in the game and her on the floor for a season-best 27 minutes. This season, she leads the team and is second in the Big Ten, shooting 51.7% (15-of-29) from behind the arc. Entering this season, Piechowski had only hit 22 3-pointers and shot 27.2% from long range in 44 career games.

Piechowski's success has come despite playing only 13.6 minutes per game. In the five games this season where she has played over 15 minutes, she is averaging 9.4 points and 3.2 assists, while shooting 59.1% (13-of-22) from 3-point range. In the other five games, she is averaging only 1.2 points and 0.8 assists, while shooting 28.6% from three.

DeHaan Reaches Milestone...
Junior Allyssa DeHaan became the program's 19th 1,000-point scorer with a basket with 14:48 left in the second half against Quinnipiac. DeHaan has moved into 18th on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,031 points. She also was the fifth fastest to the milestone, needing only 75 games (Mary Kay Itnyre - 65 games, Kris Emerson - 72, Lindsay Bowen - 73, Kisha Kelley - 74).

...And Approaches Another
Already the school's all-time block leader, DeHaan is only 52 blocks shy of the Big Ten career mark. She is currently third all-time with 332, trailing only Ohio State's Jessica Davenport (384) and Michigan's Trish Andrew (367). With her four blocks against Stony Brook (Nov. 16), she became the fastest in conference history to reach the 300-block plateau, needing only 72 games. Nationally, DeHaan is 148 blocks shy of the NCAA record.

On this Date
Michigan State is 5-3 all-time on December 18. The Spartans have not played on this date since 1993, when they beat Dayton, 70-62. MSU has won its last two games on Dec. 18.

Defense in the Post
The Michigan State post defenders have done a solid job of late, keeping the opposition below its season averages. Over the last seven games, the starting post players have been held below their combined season scoring averages. Most notably, All-America candidate Ta'Shia Phillips of Xavier (14.2 ppg) was held to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting and Old Dominion's combo of Jessica Canady and Tiffany Green (32.3 ppg) managed only 19 points. For the season, the starting post players have averaged only 14.0 points per game.

Holding Down the Opposition (First Half Edition)
The Spartans have been especially stingy in the first half of each game this season. The 10 opponents have combined for only 242 points (24.2 per game).

MSU allowed only 13 points in the first half to Detroit on Nov. 19. It was the second fewest points allowed in a half in school history. The Spartans held Indiana to 12 points on Jan. 16, 2003. MSU also allowed 13 points in the second half of last season's opener against IUPUI.

About Delaware State
Delaware State enters the day with a 2-6 record, after falling at Ohio State, 68-35, on Tuesday. The Lady Hornets are 0-5 on the road this season. DSU has struggled offensively averaging only 48.2 points per game, while shooting 30.2% from the field, 30.8% from behind the arc and 58.9% from the free throw line. In addition, they have been outrebounded by a 40.9-34.2 margin. Delaware State is pesky defensively, posting 11.4 steals and 4.9 blocks per game, while forcing 20.8 turnovers a game.

Keyhana Wakefield leads the team with 10.5 points and 2.6 assists per game, having also knocked down a team-best 10 3-pointers. Thea Littlepage is top rebounder at 6.8 per game. DSU has 11 players averaging over 10 minutes per game.

Against the Lady Hornets
Michigan State and Delaware State met for the first time last season in Dover. MSU held on for a 65-62 win on Nov. 26, led by a team-high 18 points by Kalisha Keane. Allyssa DeHaan and Courtney Davidson each added 15 points, while DeHaan blocked five shots. The Spartans have not faced another MEAC school.

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