2:00 PM ET, January 1, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's pressure defense and near-record crowd were too much for Michigan.Liz Shimek had 16 points and eight rebounds to lead Michigan State (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 10 AP) to a 77-44 win over Michigan on Sunday in a game played in front of 12,088, the second-largest crowd for a women's game in Breslin Center and the sixth-largest in the nation this year.The Spartans (10-3, 1-0 Big Ten) got balanced scoring and forced 29 turnovers."The crowd was just fantastic -- and all paid," Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "Some places can have a big crowd and let everybody and their dog in. We recognize we're on a different stage. But we want to be a revenue-producer the way Connecticut and Tennessee have been."That atmosphere gave the Spartans an added advantage they probably didn't need in beating the inexperienced Wolverines (6-8, 0-2) for the seventh straight time."With about 13 minutes to go, we looked a little shellshocked," Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett said. "But it was a great environment. You want your players to revel in that. And we want to compete with Michigan State, not have 30-point defeats."The Spartans outrebounded Michigan 53-31."We had a lot of players with a lot of productivity," McCallie said. "That has to become a habit as we get into these games. Our pressure defense is still a work in progress. But we've really grown in our ability to press and not just to take time off the shot clock."Lauren Aitch had a career-high 14 points, while another freshman reserve, Aisha Jefferson, added 10 points."Being from the area, I'd been to Michigan-Michigan State games and heard we might get 8,000 people," said Aitch, who nearly became a Wolverine. "But a game like this sends a message that we're not playing around. We're here to prove what we proved last year."Lindsay Bowen added nine points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals, while directing the Spartans on offense and defense."We have some great guards in this program and want to attack every opponent we play," Bowen said. "Today, we wanted to send a statement to Michigan, as well as the rest of the Big Ten, that we're here to do some damage. Having a ton of people here helped that."Janelle Cooper scored 13 of her 15 points in the first half for the Wolverines. No teammate had more than nine points.Michigan led 11-10 but turned the ball over 17 times in the first 20 minutes as Michigan State took a 36-23 lead at the break.The Spartans scored 11 straight points and 16 of the first 18 to open the second half. The lead grew to 35 points with 5:41 left."No question, our inability to handle their pressure was the difference," Burnett said. "I'm not taking anything away from Michigan State. But we didn't make very good decisions."
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||17-54 (.315)||30-74 (.405)|
|3P Made-Attempted||5-17 (.294)||5-18 (.278)|
|FT Made-Attempted||5-6 (.833)||12-15 (.800)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||15 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|