Dec. 28, 2008
Michigan State Spartans (8-4, 1-0) vs.
Indiana Hoosiers (8-2, 1-0)
Date: Monday, Dec. 29
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Arena: Breslin Center
Radio: WVFN 730 AM (Rick Berkey - play-by-play)
Internet: Live Stats and Audio at www.msuspartans.com; Live Video at BigTenNetwork.com/MSU/live
In Big Ten Openers
The Spartans are 19-8 in their home conference opener, including winning their last six.
Michigan State is now 13-15 all-time in Big Ten openers and are 12-16 all-time in their first conference road game with its 67-60 win over Penn State on Dec. 21.
Statistically Savvy (NCAA Edition)
Entering the week, the Spartans were among the nation's top-50 in eight major statistical categories, including being in the top 25 in six. MSU was seventh in blocked shots (6.7), ninth in field goal percentage defense (33.3%), 11th in rebound margin (+11.3), 17th field goal percentage (45.4%), 24th in scoring margin (+16.9) and 25th in assists (16.8). In addition, the Spartans are 42nd in scoring offense (72.8) and 44th in scoring defense (55.9).
Individually, junior Allyssa DeHaan is third in the country in blocked shots with 3.8 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 offense (72.8), scoring defense (55.9), scoring margin (+16.9), field goal percentage (45.4%), field goal percentage defense (33.3%), rebounds (44.4), rebounds allowed (33.2), rebound margin (+11.2), offensive rebounds (15.00), defensive rebounds (29.42), blocked shots (6.67) and 3-pt. fg defense (28.0%). They are also second in assists (16.75), third in turnovers forced (19.7) and fourth in steals (9.33).
Junior Allyssa DeHaan is first in the Big Ten in blocks with 3.83. Also in the conference's top-10 is sophomore Brittney Thomas (sixth with a 1.38 assist/turnover ratio), junior Mandy Piechowski (seventh in 3-point field goal percentage - 41.7%), redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson, (seventh in field goal percentage - 50.8% and eighth with 13.8 points per game), freshman Courtney Schiffauer (tied for seventh with a 80.6 free throw percentage) and sophomore Kalisha Keane (tied for seventh with 2.08 steals per game).
Spartans' Dynamic Duo
In their one-plus year on the court together, the Spartans know good things will happen when redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson and Allyssa DeHaan are both playing well. When both score in double-figures, MSU holds a 15-1 record, including a 5-0 mark so far this season.
DeHaan's scoring has shown to be a deciding factor in most Spartan games. When she reaches double-digits, Michigan State is 6-0 this season and are 42-14 in her career. Also, when she leads the team in scoring, MSU is 26-4, including a 3-0 record this season. Meanwhile, MSU is 25-10 when Jefferson tallies double-figures, including a 6-3 mark in 2008-09.
Holding Down the Opposition (First Half Edition)
The Spartans have been especially stingy in the first half of each game this season. Their opponents have combined for only 286 points (23.8 per game).
MSU allowed only 12 points in the first half against Delaware State on Dec. 18 and 13 points to Detroit on Nov. 19. The 12 points against the Lady Hornets tied the previous school record for a first half, set on Jan. 16, 2003 against Indiana.
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 nine 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 combined to average only 12.0 points per game against the Spartans.
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.
DeHaan followed the performance up with six blocks in only 18 minutes against Delaware State. The 15 blocks over two games, tied her career high for back-to-back games.
On this Date
Michigan State is 7-3 all-time on December 29, but have won its last four, including an upset of No. 11 Connecticut in 2004.
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 114 points (512-408), but when she is sitting, MSU hold only a two point advantage (173-171).
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 17th on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,060 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 43 blocks shy of the Big Ten career mark. She is currently third all-time with 341, 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 129 blocks shy of the NCAA record.
Breslin Celebrates No. 20
The 2008-09 basketball season will be the Spartans' 20th inside the Jack Breslin Student Events Center. MSU has an all-time record of 192-72 (.727) at Breslin and have been even more dominant of late in its cozy confines, posting a mark of 57-9 since 2003, including a perfect 5-0 record this season.
Fans Continue to Pack the Breslin
For the past four seasons, Michigan State has been one of the top programs in the country in regard to fan support. In the four seasons leading into 2008-09, the Spartans were among the nation's top 15, averaging over 6,000 fans per game. MSU was ninth in the country in 2006-07, averaging 6,737, while they were 10th in both 2005-06 with a school-record 6,787 average, and last season (6,317).
In the early stages of 2008-09, the Spartans are fourth in the Big Ten, averaging 4,397 fans through four games.
Indiana is off to an 8-2 start early in the 2008-09 season. The Hoosiers have won seven in a row, including their Big Ten opener, a 81-57 win over Northwestern on Dec. 20. They are 4-1 on the road, including wins ar West Virginia, Miami, Missouri and St. Mary's.
Indiana is among the conference leaders in rebounding (2nd at 42.4), rebounding margin (2nd at +6.4), 3-point field goal defense (2nd ar 29.0%), turnover margin (2nd at +2.6), scoring margin (3rd at +12.5), scoring defense (3rd at 58.4), field goal percentage (3rd at 44.7%), steals (3rd at 9.8) and scoring offense (4th at 70.9).
The Hoosiers have not utilized much depth so far this season, as five players average over 26.5 minutes per game. All five are among the Big Ten top-30 in scoring with over 9.6 points per game, led by Amber Jackson's 17.1 points, good for fourth in the conference. Jackson is also first in the conference and fifth in the nation with a 63.6 field goal percentage, and second in the Big Ten with a 87.5 free throw percentage. Whitney Thomas is fourth in the conference with 9.3 rebounds, while also adding 11.6 points. In addition, Jamie Braun in fifth in the Big Ten with 3.8 assists and Kim Roberson is fourth with 2.5 steals.
Against the Hoosiers
Michigan State leads the all-time series, 35-21, and have won nine of the last 10 games. In East Lansing, MSU is 17-9. The two schools split their two meetings last season, winning on each other's court.