Dec. 18, 2000
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Tip-Off Michigan State and Central Michigan square off this Wednesday (Dec. 20), at 7 p.m. at the Breslin Center. The Spartans look to bounce back following a disappointing 61-57 loss at Dayton on Sunday. The CMU game will be MSU's final warm up before beginning the Big Ten Conference slate at Indiana on Dec. 31.
About Michigan State
Looking To Get Back On Track-- The Spartans close out their non-conference schedule when they face Central Michigan on Wednesday. MSU has lost two straight games after posting back-to-back victories over Wisconsin-Green Bay (Dec. 5) and Samford (Dec. 8). Michigan State is 3-1 at the Breslin Center this season.
Cummings Looks To Return -- Senior forward Becky Cummings is listed as questionable for the CMU contest with a torn plantar fascia. She suffered the injury in the first half of the Eastern Michigan game (Dec. 3). She missed the Wisconsin-Green Bay, Samford and Dayton games . She attempted to play at Alabama, but was unable to go. Cummings leads the Spartans in scoring (85 points/12.1 ppg) and field-goal percentage (.625, 35-of-56) and is second in rebounds (45 boards/6.4 rpg) this season. An All-Big Ten honoree in 1999-2000, Cummings is averaging 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds for her career. She ranks second all-time in MSU history in field goal percentage (.581, 362-of-623).
The Emergence of Pagel -- Freshman forward Julie Pagel has emerged as a serious threat for the Spartans with Becky Cummings out of the line up due to injury. In the last four games, Pagel has averaged 10.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 3.8 steals. Prior to the UWGB game (12/5), Pagel was averaging just 6.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals.
Pagel Time Two -- Pagel matched her career high with seven steals at Dayton. The seven swipes rank tied for 10th on MSU's single-game steals chart. It marks the second time this season Pagel has posted seven steals. She has recorded seven vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay (12/5).
Getting Defensive -- MSU continues to lead the Big Ten in field goal percent defense at 34.4 percent as opponents have connected on just 176-of-512 shots. That mark also puts State fifth among the NCAA leaders in the field goal percent defense category.
This Week's Opponent
Central Michigan (2-6 overall)
The Coach - Fran Voll (Bowling Green 1968) is in his fifth season behind the CMU bench and 12th overall. He led the Chippewas to a 9-19 overall mark in 1999-2000.
Season Update - CMU enters the game with a 2-6 mark after dropping a 90-48 decision at Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Sunday. CMU posted their two wins against Harvard (69-52) and Wofford (75-58).
Ones To Watch - Junior guard Molli Munz and sophomore forward Beth Kindel pace the CMU attack. Munz is averaging 11.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Munz is also a three-point threat as she ranks third all-time in CMU history with 109 threes. Kindel is averaging 12.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 0.9 blocks.
All-Time Series -- MSU leads the all-time series with Central Michigan, 25-8. Michigan State has won four straight games, including a 87-62 victory last season. In games played in East Lansing, the Spartans are 12-2 all-time.
Last Meeting -- Becky Cummings (23 points) and Kristen Rasmussen combined for 45 points and 30 rebounds to lead Michigan State to an 87-62 victory over Central Michigan on Dec. 8, 1999 at Rose Arena in Mount Pleasant. The Spartans dominated the boards with a 53-38 advantage over the Chippewas. Rasmussen led the way with 17 rebounds, while Cummings had 13.
Coach P vs. CMU -- MSU coach Joanne P. McCallie is 0-1 all-time vs. Central Michigan. She faced CMU in her first season at Maine with the Chippewas taking a 81-56 victory.
Last Week For MSU
Spartans Fall To Dayton -- Dayton posted a 61-57 victory over Michigan State on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 17) in Dayton, Ohio. Dayton headed into the locker room at the half, holding a 38-35 advantage as Stefanie Miller hit a three-point basket at the buzzer to give the Flyers the lead. Both teams shot well in the first half as MSU went 16-of-27 (.593) from the field and Dayton, 14-of-26 (.538). MSU started the second half on a 9-2 run to take a 44-40 lead with 14:37 remaining as four different Spartans hit baskets during the run. Dayton closed the gap to two (46-44) before a layup by Vnemina Reese game MSU a four-point lead (48-44) with 8:49 remaining. The teams exchanged baskets before a pair of free throws by UD's Alena Martens gave the Flyers a 51-50 lead with 5:06 remaining. A fastbreak basket by Candice Jackson gave MSU a short-lived 52-51 lead, before a jumper by UD's Mandy Winner helped the Flyers reclaim a 53-52 advantage. The Flyers outscored the Spartans, 8-5, over the remaining four minutes to take the victory. MSU, who went to the free throw line just five times, was led by Julie Pagel with 13 points and seven steals. Kristy Hineline and RaeLynn McIntosh led the Flyers with 12 points each.
More Spartan Notes
Upcoming -- Michigan State will take an 11-day break for the Christmas holidays before opening Big Ten play at Indiana on Dec. 31. Indiana has been one of the surprise teams of the Big Ten thus far, posting an 8-1 non-conference record.
Only a Freshman? -- Forward Julie Pagel turned in solid performance for the Spartans against Dayton. Pagel led all players with 13 points and seven steals -- both totals matched her career best. She was 6-of-8 (.750) from the field and also grabbed six rebounds in 36 minutes. Pagel leads the squad in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and steals (2.5 spg), and ranks third in scoring (8.3 ppg) through the first 10 games. The Utica, Mich., native also leads the Big Ten in defensive rebounds, averaging 6.9 per game.
Jackson Picks Up Play -- After scoring a combined 15 points in her last five games, freshman guard Candice Jackson added 10 points against Dayton. In the previous five games (11/30 to 12/10), Jackson was just 7-of-19 (.368) from the field. Against Dayton, she shot 5-of-8 (.625) from the field while adding three assists and one steal in 22 minutes. For the season, Jackson is averaging 6.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
Free Throws Continue To Improve -- Michigan State has stepped it up at the free throw line converting on 60.4 percent of its attempts (125-of-207). That mark still marks last in the Big Ten statistics, but it is an improvement from earlier in the season when MSU was shooting just 57.4 percent. In the last two games (Alabama & Dayton), the Spartans have hit on 72.7 percent of their free throw attempts (16-of-22). Individually, Maria Recker leads the team in free throw percentage as she has converted on all eight of her attempts. Abby Salscheider is second at 73.7 percent (14-of-19).
Callier Earns Starting Nod -- Sophomore center Jennifer Callier earned her third start of 2000-01 against Dayton, and her first since the opening two games of the season. Callier added eight points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, three rebounds and two blocks in 27 minutes.
First Start Of Season -- Junior forward Abby Salscheider grabbed her first start of the season at Dayton. Salscheider finished with five points and one board in 20 minutes. After registering just 17 points in the first six games (2.8 ppg), Salscheider has scored 23 points in the last four games (5.8 ppg), including a season-high 11 in the win over Wisconsin-Green Bay (12/5). Salscheider is averaging 4.0 points and 1.6 rebounds through the first 10 games.
The Shot Blocker -- Senior center Erin Skelly continues to inch her way up the MSU career chart for blocked shots. She blocked her team-leading 13th shot of the season and 79th career shot against Dayton. The 79 blocked shots place her third on MSU's all-time chart. Kristen Rasmussen (1997-2000) holds the MSU record with 194, while Jackie Carter (1980-83) is second with 90.
Happy Trails To You -- Michigan State has made two southern trips this season. MSU played a pair of games in Tallahassee at the Tallahassee Democrat Seminole Classic and a pair of games in Alabama (Birmingham and Tuscaloosa). MSU's other two road trips to seem much closer ... 1 1/2 hours up the road in Grand Rapids when the Spartans faced Eastern Michigan at the College Women's Basketball Showcase and a four-hour bus trip to Dayton last weekend.
Grab Those Boards -- MSU was outrebounded by an opponent for the first time this season at Dayton. The Flyers held a 32-to-25 edge on the boards, including a 10-to-8 advantage on the offensive glass. The 25 rebounds was MSU's lowest total of the season, and almost 16 rebounds below its season average. For the season, MSU holds a 40.8 to 31.2 advantage on the boards, a difference of +9.6 rebounds per game. The Spartans lead the Big Ten in rebound margin and rank seventh in the country according to last week's NCAA statistics.
Reese Double Figure Scoring Streak Snapped -- Vnemina Reese had her three game double-figure scoring streak snapped at Dayton. Reese added only eight points in the loss. She is second on the squad in scoring (10.9 ppg) through the first 10 games. Reese also leads the team in assists (38) and ranks second in steals (19).
Injury Update -- Senior forward Nikki Davis will miss the entire 2000-01 season due to a knee injury. Freshman forward Anne Peck (fatigue) is out indefinitely. Senior forward Becky Cummings is questionable with a torn plantar fascia suffered in the first half against Eastern Michigan (12/3).
Television Spotlight -- Michigan State will make three appearances on national and regional television in 2000-01. The Spartans will face Alabama on Dec. 10 in the Big Ten/SEC Challenge on espn2. MSU also makes two appearances on Fox Sports Chicago -- Jan. 4 vs. Ohio State and Jan. 25 vs. Michigan -- both games will be played at the Breslin Center.
In addition, AT&T Cable will broadcast eight women's basketball games, including the Dec. 20 vs. Central Michigan, Jan. 11 vs. Wisconsin, Feb. 1 vs. Iowa and Feb. 25 vs. Minnesota.
In addition, all MSU games will be broadcast live on the radio (The Fan 730 AM) and over the internet at www.msuspartans.com.