Women's Basketball Hosts Colgate Sunday
Dec. 27, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - After a break to celebrate the holiday season, the Michigan State women's basketball team returns to Breslin Center on Sunday to host Colgate, concluding its non-conference schedule. The Spartans (7-5) and Raiders (4-6) are set to tip at 2 p.m.
AGAINST THE RAIDERS
QUICK HITTERS FROM PUERTO RICO
Currently, the 74.9 points per game would be the second-best in program history, less than two points lower than the 1996-97 team that averaged 76.8 points.
Already this season, the Spartans have scored 80 or more points in five of their 12 games. The total is the most in a season since 2005-06 and already the 13th-most in a single-season. In Merchant's previous six seasons, Michigan State reached 80 points only 17 times in 202 games.
DOUBLING IT UP
For the year, MSU has eight total double-doubles. All of last year, the Spartans only had four. Johnson's double-double was the first by a Spartan using assists since Kristin Haynie on March 27, 2005 vs. Vanderbilt.
COMFORTABLE AT HOME
Individually, redshirt freshman Aerial Powers leads the team in Breslin Center scoring with 17.5 points and rebounding with 8.8, but has posted only 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds outside of East Lansing.
RINGING THE BELL FOR THE LAST TIME
As a starter, Bell has helped Michigan State to a 40-17 record, while averaging 9.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 33.8 minutes.
Each season, Bell has seen progression in her stat lines, including averaging career highs of 10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.6 blocks as a junior. Her points and rebounds led the team, while her blocks were second, and her assists and steals were third. Because of a shortened bench, Bell was relied upon to play extended minutes, ranking fourth on the MSU single-season list in minutes (1,196) and sixth in minutes per game (35.2). Her play earned her third-team All-Big Ten honors, and placed her on the coaches' preseason All-Big Ten team.
This season, Bell is sixth on the team with 8.4 points, but is second in assists (3.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5), fourth in steals (1.0) and rebounds (5.3). She is seventh in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio and 14th in assists.
The Spartans' success last season was weighed heavily based upon Bell's play. In Michigan State's 25 wins, she averaged 12.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and shot 45.1% from the field, while in the nine losses, she scored only 6.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and shot just 29.5%. So far this season, the trend has continues, as in the seven wins, Bell is averaging 9.7 points and 4.1 assists, while shooting 48.0%, and in the five losses, she is averaging 6.6 points and 2.6 assists, while shooting 29.5%.
PICK AND POP
Pickrel has begun her senior season on a high note, building off her success last season. Through 12 games, she leads the team with 14.3 points and 1.3 blocks, in addition to averaging 7.3 rebounds (second on the team), 2.8 assists (third on the team) in a team-high 34.5 minutes. Pickrel is shooting 48.8% from the field, 46.0% from the 3-point line (23-for-50) and 84.4% (27-for-32) from the free throw line, all career highs. Among Big Ten players, Pickrel ranks among the top-15 in the Big Ten in nine different categories, including sixth in 3-point field goal percentage, seventh in minutes, eighth in 3-pointers and offensive rebounds, ninth in rebounds and blocks, 11th in free throw percentage, 13th in field goal percentage and 14th in points.
So far this season, Pickrel has reached the 20-point plateau in three games, after doing so only once in her first three seasons.
In the season opener at No. 6 Notre Dame, Pickrel posted her first career double-double (11 points and 12 rebounds), while also setting career highs with 12 rebounds and five assists, both team highs. With her stat line, Pickrel became the first Spartan since Kalisha Keane on Dec. 8, 2007 vs. Indiana State to tally at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game.
Her greatest asset the last two seasons has been her production from the 3-point line. Leading the team in both categories each season, Pickrel ranked ninth in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage (36.7%) and 3-point field goals made per game (1.8) last season. Pickrel made a career-high 65 3-pointers, which is the seventh most in a Spartan single season. Entering that year, she was just 19-for-63 (30.2%) from the 3-point arc in her first two seasons at MSU. This season, she is sixth in the conference at 46.0% and eighth with 1.9 3-pointers.
Pickrel is currently 10th in Spartan history with 107 3-point field goals made, while ranking fourth with a career 36.9% 3-point field goal percentage.
TAKING CARE OF THE ROCK
In her last seven games (having led MSU in assists in six of those), Johnson has totaled 48 assists to only eight turnovers (6.0 assist-to-turnover). Against IPFW, Johnson dished out a career-high 11 assists; the total tied for the eighth-most in a single game, and was the most by a Spartan since Donita Johnson vs. Indiana on Feb. 5, 1999. She also had double-figure assists vs. Georgetown on Friday, en route to her first career double-double. It was the first double-double using assists by a Spartan since Kristin Haynie on March 27, 2005 vs. Vanderbilt. Also, Johnson became the first Spartan since Tamika Matlock in 1996-97 with multiple double-digit assists games in the same season.
An honorable mention All-Big Ten choice last season, Johnson has also been effective scoring the ball, averaging 9.3 points as a sophomore, tying for third on the team. She led MSU in free throw percentage (81.6%) and was second in 3-point field goal percentage (33.0%). Defensively, Johnson led MSU with 1.9 steals last season, and currently is 15th on the MSU career steals list at 1.7.
At Temple, Jankoska gathered her first career double-double with team-highs of 19 points and 11 rebounds, a season high. She also went 10-for-12 from the free throw line, the most free throws made by a Spartan since Feb. 6, 2011 (Brittney Thomas vs. Purdue). Against Dayton, Jankoska and redshirt freshman Aerial Powers each scored 24 points. It was the most points scored by a Spartan freshman since Kalisha Keane scored 24 points in the WNIT Championship game vs. Marquette on April 5, 2008.
Jankoska came to Michigan State with a laundry list of high school accolades, highlighted by being named a PARADE High School All-American, Michigan's Miss Basketball and Michigan's Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She shattered Freeland's career scoring record, totaling 2,333 points, while averaging 24.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.6 steals in her career. As a senior, she averaged 30.9 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 4.8 steals.
DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK(S)
Both players are expected to be major contributors this season, but Powers has been the first to make an immediate impact. She is second on the team with 13.8 points, which is 16th in the Big Ten, and leads the team with 7.4 rebounds, which is eighth in the conference, and 2.3 steals, which is third. She is also is averaging 2.3 assists in just 25.5 minutes. Powers is also 12th in the Big Ten in field goal percentage (49.2%) and offensive rebounds (2.1).
Powers has earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors twice this season, including last Monday, becoming the first Spartan to do so. Over her last six games, she has posted three double-doubles, while averaging 16.7 points and 9.3 rebounds in 29.3 minutes.
Powers had her best statistical output of the season vs. IPFW, posting her first career double-double with game-highs of 28 points and 14 rebounds. Her points were the most by a Spartan freshman since Nov. 29, 2006 (and the second-most all-time by a freshman) and her rebounds were the most by a MSU freshman since Jan. 22, 2009. Powers followed it up with another double-double at Florida State with 19 points and 10 rebounds. She became the first Spartan since Courtney Schiffauer on Dec. 8 and 16 last season to record back-to-back double-doubles, and the first MSU freshman to do so since Lykendra Johnson on Feb. 8 and 12 in 2009.
Agee has been up-and-down so far this season. Against Detroit, she became the first Spartan freshman to post a double-double since Lykendra Johnson at Indiana on Feb. 12, 2009. Agee led MSU with 17 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs, in a career-high 23 minutes. For the season, Agee is averaging 6.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in only 14.1 minutes. She also leads the team with a 50.0% field goal percentage.
HOLDING DOWN THE POST
Mills has been up-and-down so far this season, as she has yet to put together more than two good games in a row. For the season, she is fourth on the team with 9.3 points and third with 5.8 rebounds in 24.9 minutes. Her best game this season came at Virginia Tech (Dec. 7), where she exploded for 19 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, for her first career double-double.
Hines returned to the lineup for the first time this season at Florida State, after missing the first seven games due to a concussion. For the season, she is averaging 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 11.4 minutes, but is coming off a seven-point, eight-rebound effort vs. Georgetown on Friday.
WORTH THE WAIT
After playing only one minute in the next game at Temple, Williams missed the next three games before returning against Oakland. She played six minutes, grabbing three rebounds and blocking two shots. Williams was back to playing steady minutes in Puerto Rico, clocking 13 against Oklahoma State and 11 vs. Georgetown.
In less than a full game (36 minutes) this season, Williams has totaled 10 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
After getting out-rebounded by 23 in its opener at Notre Dame, Michigan State has a +8.7 rebound margin in its last 11 games. For the season, the Spartans are +6.1 on the glass to rank fourth in the Big Ten. They are also third in offensive rebounds (12.8) and offensive rebound percentage (34.6%) MSU has out-rebounded 84 of its last 103 opponents (81.6%), including eight of its 12 opponents this season.
The Spartans led the Big Ten in conference games last season with a +6.3 margin. MSU has led the league in three of the last five seasons in conference games only.
CLOSING IT OUT
FANS CONTINUE TO PACK THE BRESLIN
ON THIS DATE
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