Dec. 27, 2007
GAME 13 TIPOFF - MICHIGAN STATE (8-4) vs. MINNESOTA (9-3)
When: Friday, Dec. 28 2 p.m.
Where: Breslin Center East Lansing, Mich.
TV: No television coverage.
Radio: WVFN 730 AM and msuspartans.com (Rick Berkey: Play-by-Play)
Internet: Gametracker and live audio at msuspartans.com
Overall: MSU leads, 31-15
Last meeting: MSU 77, Minnesota 68 (3/2/07)
Series streak: MSU has won the last three meetings.
MSU: Suzy Merchant (Central Michigan, 1991)
Overall: 209-124 (13th year)
At MSU: 8-4 (first year)
MINN: Pam Borton (Defiance, 1987)
Overall: 190-98 (10th year)
At Minnesota: 121-53 (sixth year)
SPARTANS OPEN BIG TEN SEASON AT HOME AGAINST MINNESOTA
The Michigan State women's basketball team opens the Big Ten season Friday with a home game against Minnesota at 2 p.m. in the Breslin Center. The tip time, originally scheduled for 7 p.m., was moved up due to the Spartan football team's appearance in the Champs Sports Bowl at 5 p.m.
MSU finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with an 8-4 mark. The Spartans played eight games away from East Lansing, the most non-league games played away from home since the 1981-82 season. At home, the Spartans are 3-1, with victories against IUPUI, Evansville and Clemson, and the lone defeat arriving at the hands of No. 9 Oklahoma. The Spartans won a pair of neutral site games at the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico, over Northern Illinois and Kansas State, and also won contests at Delaware State, Indiana State and Providence. The Spartans' three road losses came to LSU, Old Dominion and Hartford.
MSU quietly played one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the Big Ten. The Spartans played the most non-league road games of any team in the Big Ten with eight, and are one of only three teams in the conference to have played three ranked teams (LSU, Oklahoma, Old Dominion). Penn State has also played three ranked teams, while Purdue has played four. Michigan State and Purdue are the only teams in the Big Ten scheduled to play four non-conference games against teams in the RPI Top 25.
MSU IN BIG TEN OPENERS
Michigan State has won its last four Big Ten openers, including a 74-49 victory over Indiana last year at the Breslin Center. MSU has won five straight Big Ten home openers.
DEHAAN'S FREE THROW STREAK ENDS AT HARTFORD
Allyssa DeHaan had her streak of 30 consecutive free throws snapped at Hartford on Dec. 22. DeHaan's streak was the fourth longest in MSU history. Lindsay Bowen holds the MSU record with 37 straight free throws, which she set during the 2002-03 season. DeHaan is currently second in the Big Ten in free-throw percentage at 89.6 percent.
DEHAAN MSU'S ALL-TIME BLOCKS LEADER
Allyssa DeHaan became MSU's all-time leader in blocked shots after recording five against Oklahoma on Dec. 16. She reached the mark in just 43 career games. Kristen Rasmussen previously held the record with 194 blocks in 118 career games.
DeHaan, who set the Big Ten single-season record with 145 blocked shots her freshman year, leads the nation with 62 blocks through 12 games (5.2 avg.). The NCAA single-season record for blocked shots is held by Amie Williams of Jackson State, who had 152 in 2003.
The NCAA career record is 480, set by TCU's Sandora Irvin from 2002-05. Jessica Davenport of Ohio State owns the Big Ten career record with 384.
With three blocks at Providence on Dec. 20, DeHaan became the fastest player in NCAA Division I history to reach the 200-block milestone while playing in her freshman and sophomore seasons. DeHaan, currently with 207 career blocks, is one of just eight players in Big Ten history to collect more than 200 blocks. By comparison, Sandora Irvin, the NCAA's all-time blocks leader, had just 134 blocks in 43 contests, and Oklahoma's Courtney Paris needed 60 games to reach 200 blocks.
A LOOK AT MINNESOTA (9-3)
Minnesota finished its non-conference season with a 9-3 record. The Gophers started out the season 6-0 with wins over UC Riverside, Northern Iowa, Western Carolina, Louisville, North Dakota State and Kentucky. Minnesota also has wins over Hawaii, Charlotte and Iowa State. Its three losses have come to Virginia, Virginia Tech and Utah.
The Gophers are led in scoring by Emily Fox, who is third in the Big Ten with a 17.5 ppg.
Michigan State has won 10 of the past 11 meetings against Minnesota, including three in a row.
HOW ABOUT THAT DEFENSE
The Spartans are one of the stingiest defensive teams in the Big Ten, leading the league in blocked shots (6.3 pg) and field-goal percentage defense (33.8 percent). MSU also ranks among the league leaders in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (first; 25.8 percent) and scoring defense (second; 55.2 ppg).
MSU has held nine teams under 40-percent shooting, including six under 33 percent. The only teams to shoot over 40 percent were LSU, Old Dominion and Oklahoma.