Dec. 31, 2008
Michigan State Spartans (8-5, 1-1) at
(rv/rv) Purdue Boilermakers (8-4, 2-0)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 1
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: West Lafayette, Ind.
Arena: Mackey Arena
TV: Big Ten Network (Tracy Warren - play-by-play; Stephanie White - analyst)
Radio: WVFN 730 AM (Rick Berkey - play-by-play)
Internet: Live Stats and Audio at www.msuspartans.com
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 margin (+14.5), field goal percentage defense (33.8%), rebounds (44.1), rebounds allowed (33.8), rebound margin (+10.3), offensive rebounds (15.08), defensive rebounds (29.00) and blocked shots (6.46). They are also second in scoring offense (70.9), scoring defense (56.4), field goal percentage (44.3%) and assists (16.25), third in turnovers forced (19.5) and 3-point field goal defense (29.3%), and fourth in steals (9.08).
Junior Allyssa DeHaan is first in the Big Ten in blocks with 3.69. Also in the conference's top-10 is junior Mandy Piechowski (seventh in 3-point field goal percentage - 41.0%), redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson, (seventh in field goal percentage - 49.6% and eighth with 13.8 points per game) and sophomore Kalisha Keane (ninth with 2.00 steals per game).
On this Date
Michigan State has only played one game all-time on New Year's Day, beating Michigan, 77-44 in 2006.
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 10 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, Old Dominion's combo of Jessica Canady and Tiffany Green (32.3 ppg) managed only 19 points, and most recently, the Indiana pair of Amber Jackson and Whitney Thomas (28.7 ppg) tallied 19 points. For the season, the starting post players have combined to average only 12.8 points per game against the Spartans.
Keys to MSU Success
As we near the midpoint of the 2008-09 season, certain statistical trends have arisen in regard to MSU wins and losses:
- In Michigan State's eight wins, its opponents have been held to 60 points or less and below 31% from the field.
- MSU is 7-1 when it grabs more than 40 rebounds and also 7-1 when it has a plus-5 or better rebound margin.
- The Spartans are 6-1 when they shoot over 43% from the field.
- MSU is 6-0 when it goes to the free throw line more than 20 times and is 6-1 when it attempts more than the opposition.
- The Spartans are 7-0 when they have a higher 3-point field goal percentage and 6-0 when they make more 3-pointers.
- Michigan State is 6-1 when they score more than 70 points.
- MSU is 8-1 when they create more points off turnovers.
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 25-11 when Jefferson tallies double-figures, including a 6-4 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 327 points (25.2 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.
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 109 points (553-454), but when she is sitting, MSU has trailed by seven points (180-187).
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 1,069 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 41 blocks shy of the Big Ten career mark. She is currently third all-time with 343, 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 137 blocks shy of the NCAA record.
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.
Michigan State currently have seven players in the regular rotation at or over 6-foot, including four in the starting lineup at times. This size and length has paid dividends this season, as the Spartans hold a 438-256 edge in points in the paint, a 573-439 edge in rebounding and have 84 blocks. MSU leads the Big Ten in both rebound margin and blocks. Those seven players have combined for 707 of the team's 922 points (76.7%).
Purdue, who was picked to win the Big Ten by coaches, enters the game with a 8-4 overall record, including a 2-0 mark in conference play. The Boilermakers have won three straight including conference wins at Illinois and Iowa. Purdue is 4-1 at Mackey Arena this season.
Lindsay Wisdon-Hylton leads the Boilermakers, averaging 13.4 points, good for ninth in the conference, and 9.2 rebounds, third in the Big Ten. FahKara Malone is tied for third in the Big Ten with 5.0 assists per game, while also placing second with 2.75 steals per contest. Danielle Campbell is third in the league with 2.08 blocks and is fifth with 8.7 boards.
Against the Boilermakers
Michigan State trails the all-time series 34-20, including dropping 21 of the 25 meetings in West Lafayette. The two schools split their two meetings last season, each picking up a home win.