EAST LANSING, Mich. -- With Lykendra Johnson setting a rugged example, Michigan State (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) smothered Washington early.
Johnson had 13 points and 11 rebounds and the Spartans held the Huskies scoreless for more than 11 minutes in the first half on the way to a 69-52 win Saturday night."It could very easily have been a 40-point game," Washington coach Tia Jackson said. "The fact that it wound up being 17 was impressive for us."Lauren Aitch added 12 points, Porsche Poole and Allyssa DeHaan each had 10 points for the Spartans (8-3), who used an early 17-0 run to pull away from the turnover-plagued Huskies (4-5) for their seventh win in eight games."We had a really good opportunity in front of us to send a message nationally," Washington coach Tia Jackson said. "Unfortunately, there were only about 10 minutes when we played the way we had to."Sami Whitcomb had 14 points for Washington, which didn't score again for 11:23 after a basket in the first four seconds.Michigan State went up by 27 points midway through the second half after leading 28-16 at the break.Washington was outrebounded 56-40 and had 19 turnovers and five assists.Neither team shot particularly well. The Spartans made 32.3 percent from the field and Washington shot 29.8.But in a game with 48 personal fouls and a technical foul on Aitch, Michigan State was the more aggressive team and had 22 offensive rebounds, including four by Johnson."I thought Lykendra was great tonight," Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant said. "She was very aggressive and very competitive."Johnson and DeHaan each blocked three shots.Aitch and the 6-foot-9 DeHaan tussled inside with Huskies center Regina Rogers, who fouled out with nine points and seven rebounds."We really didn't expect them to come out as play as physical as they did," Aitch said. "But we're a team that's used to that."