December 29, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Following a brief break for the holiday, Michigan State returns to action this week with the opening of the Big Ten campaign.
The Spartans, who last played on Dec. 21, will host Ohio State on Wednesday, Dec. 30. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m., at the Breslin Center.
The rest of the Big Ten opened conference play on Monday, but the Spartans have a bye. Despite the open date, MSU will play a total of four games in 10 days.
Following Wednesdays contest against OSU, the Spartans will play two-straight on the road against Michigan (Jan. 3) and Northwestern (Jan. 5), before returning home to host Wisconsin (Jan. 8).
Michigan State closed out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 6-4 overall record. The Spartans had their two-game winning streak snapped in a 75-64 loss to seventh-ranked Notre Dame on Dec. 21.
Ohio State begins the week with a 7-3 overall record. The Buckeyes, who play at Penn State before facing the Spartans, have won six of their last seven games.
Michigan State Spartans (6-4 Overall/0-0 Big Ten) PPG RPG APG F 14 Pernille Dalgaard, 6-0, Sr., Horsholm, Denmark 8.0 3.1 2.1 F 52 Kristen Rasmussen, 6-4, Jr., East Lansing 15.5 9.2 1.4 bpg C 32 Becky Cummings, 6-3, So., Walled Lake 12.4 8.6 G 21 Maxann Reese, 5-9, Jr., Highland Park 16.0 3.8 2.8 G 34 Donita Johnson, 5-10, So., Clinton Township 3.5 3.1 2.3
Wednesdays game with Ohio State will be carried live by MediaOne Cable. The game will be shown in the Lansing area on MediaOne cable channel 17, in East Lansing and Meridian Township on TCI Cable channel 13 and on Horizon Cable channel 11.
Ben Stark will handle the play-by-play duties, while Sue Carter provides the analysis.
ON THE AIR
The Ohio State contest will be broadcast on WVFN Radio (730).
Jeff Walker is the voice of Spartan basketball this season, while former Spartan standout Paula Sanders handles the analysis.
Michigan State coach Karen Langeland is in her 23rd year of directing the Spartan program. The dean of Big Ten womens coaches has a career record of 346-268, all at MSU.
The Grand Rapids native is just four victories shy of her 350th career win. Langeland has guided the Spartans to 15 winning seasons, three NCAA Tournaments and a Big Ten title (1997) since becoming the third head coach in MSU history.
Beth Burns is in her second year at Ohio State and in her 10th campaign overall after spending eight seasons at San Diego State.
Burns has guided the Buckeyes to a record of 22-15, while her career coaching record stands at 173-97.
Ohio State leads the all-time series with MSU, 32-13. The Spartans are 5-1 in their last six games with the Buckeyes.
Last season, MSU defeated OSU twice during the regular season before falling to the Buckeyes in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, 83-61.
The Spartans easily knocked off OSU in East Lansing last season, 85-56, while then-rookie Becky Cummings had to sink two free throws with four seconds left to lead MSU to a 74-72 victory in Columbus.
The Spartans are just 4-13 at home against the Buckeyes, but have won the last two meetings in the Breslin Center.
The Buckeyes are led by senior forwards Larecha Jones and Marrita Porter, who average 16.7 and 12.2 points per game, respectively.
The Buckeyes were picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten in the coaches preseason poll, while Marrita Porter was a preseason All-Big Ten selection.
Freshman guard Lauren Shenk has moved into the starting lineup and is the teams third-leading scorer with a 9.5 points per game average.
As a team, the Buckeyes are averaging 69.6 points per game. OSU is last in the Big Ten in rebounding with a 33.5 boards per game average. The Buckeyes are shooting 46 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free throw line.
BIG TEN OPENERS
The Spartans will open their 18th season of Big Ten play on Wednesday against Ohio State. MSU is 9-8 overall in Big Ten openers and 7-3 in conference-opening home games.
The Spartans are winless in their two previous games against Ohio State to start the conference season.
The last time MSU opened the conference schedule against OSU was on Jan. 3, 1986 when the Buckeyes captured a 72-58 decision in East Lansing.
REESE REACHES 700-POINT CLUB
Junior guard Maxann Reese scored 15 points against Notre Dame on Dec. 21 to become the 24th player in MSU history to score 700 points in a career.
Reese currently ranks 24th on the MSU all-time scoring chart with 707 points.
Overall, the Spartan tri-captain has played in 67 career games for MSU and is averaging 10.6 points per contest.
On Dec. 5 against Illinois State, Reese went 3-of-5 from three-point range to become just the fifth player in school history to record 100 triples in a career.
She currently ranks fourth all-time with 109 three-pointers.
Reese has scored in double figures in nine of 10 games this year and in a total of 36 during her three-year career.
Junior Maxann Reese leads the team and is 10th in the Big Ten with a 16.0 points per game average.
Reese, who was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Dec. 14, has been the teams leading scorer in the last four games.
She is averaging 20.0 points per game during that span and is shooting 53 percent from the floor.
Overall, the Spartan tri-captain is contributing 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game.
ON THE DOUBLE
Junior Kristen Rasmussen and sophomore Becky Cummings have been a formidable rebounding force for the Spartans this season.
The duo ranks fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Big Ten in rebounding with Rasmussen averaging 9.2 boards per game and Cummings contributing 8.6 per contest.
Rasmussen has garnered double-digit boards three times this season, while Cummings has four double-figure games to her credit.
Opponent Pts. Reb. Texas A&M 18 11 Ohio 10 12 Season Total - 2 -- Career Total - 13
Opponent Pts. Reb. Central Michigan 10 10 SMU 18 13 Ohio 21 11 Season Total - 3 -- Career Total - 4
Forward Pernille Dalgaard is the only senior on the 1998-99 MSU squad. She has started all 10 games for the Spartans and is contributing 8.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
Dalgaard has scored in double figures in three-straight games and in four of the last five contests overall, including a season-high 14 points in the win over Southern Illinois on Dec. 12.
In the last three games, Dalgaard is averaging 12.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, while shooting 50 percent from the floor.
Dalgaard had her consecutive free throw streak of 16 halted against Notre Dame when she missed on her only trip to the line.
Overall, the Spartan tri-captain is shooting 78 percent (21-of-27) from the charity stripe.
Coach Karen Langeland has just six players on her bench following the season-ending injuries to Vnemina Reese and Nikki Davis.
Three of the players are freshmen, two are sophomores and one is a junior.
Two of the six players have played in less than 10 collegiate games, while the six reserves combined have made just 10 starts.
Career Career Games Starts Whitney Winberg 54 2 Erin Skelly 34 4 Christie Pung 31 4 Abby Salscheider 10 0 Jill Blazek 6 0 Kelly Czubak 2 0 Total 137 10
Now that sophomore Donita Johnson has moved into the starting lineup, sophomore Christie Pung is MSUs leading reserve averaging 3.5 points per game.
Against Notre Dame, four Spartan reserves saw action and outscored the Irish bench, 10-5. Overall, MSU reserves are contributing 14.3 points per game compared to its opponents 16.2 points per contest average.
The Spartan bench has outscored its opponents reserves in five of 10 games.
THOSE FIRST HALF BLUES
For the sixth time this season, the Spartans found themselves trailing at the half in the game with Notre Dame.
MSU used a strong second half run against the the Irish, but it wasnt enough to overcome an eight-point halftime deficit.
The Spartans are averaging 10 points better in the second half of play this season. Overall, MSU is averaging 30.0 points in the first half and 40.0 in the second. Spartan opponents are scoring 31.0 points in the first half compared to 33.4 points in the second half.
Opponent HT Score Final Butler (11/13) 42-26 (-16) L-70-62 Illinois State (12/5) 34-23 (-11) L-64-60 Notre Dame (12/21) 32-24 (-8) L-75-64 Southern Ill. (12/12) 31-26 (-5) W-66-56 Boston Coll. (11/22) 33-29 (-4) L-80-74 ot SMU (11/27) 38-36 (-2) W-80-71 Notre Dame (12/21) 32-24 (-8) L-75-64
Opponent HT Score Final Ohio (12/9) 40-21 (+19) W-79-67 C. Michigan (11/15) 33-22 (+11) W-73-48 Texas A&M (11/28) 32-26 (+6) W-74-59
Opponent HT Score Final Detroit (12/1) 31-31 (=) W-78-70
BIG TEN STANDINGS
(as of 12/30/98)
Big Ten Overall 1. Michigan 1-0 1.000 9-1 .900 Ohio State 1-0 1.000 8-3 .727 Wisconsin 1-0 1.000 6-4 .600 Iowa 1-0 1.000 6-5 .545 5. Purdue 0-0 .000 8-1 .889 Michigan State 0-0 .000 6-4 .600 Northwestern 0-0 .000 5-4 .556 8. Penn State 0-1 .000 8-2 .800 Indiana 0-1 .000 11-4 .733 Illinois 0-1 .000 6-5 .545 Minnesota 0-1 .000 5-6 .455 Upcoming Schedule/Results Monday, December 28 Iowa def. Illinois, 89-86 Michigan def. Indiana, 72-58 Wisconsin def. Minnesota, 70-59 Ohio State def. Penn State, 72-54
Wednesday, December 30 Wisconsin at Illinois Ohio State at Michigan State Northwestern at Indiana Minnesota at Purdue
Sunday, January 3 Indiana at Illinois Iowa at Wisconsin Michigan State at Michigan Penn State Minnesota Purdue at Ohio State
Tuesday, January 5 Michigan at Illinois Iowa at Minnesota Michigan State at Northwestern Penn State at Purdue Wisconsin at Ohio State
Friday, January 8 Illinois at Ohio State Indiana at Iowa Wisconsin at Michigan State
Saturday, January 9 Louisiana Tech at Michigan