The MSU women’s basketball team didn’t need help from lady luck Wednesday night in Las Vegas in its first game of the 2012 South Point Holiday Hoops Classic, cruising to a 49-35 win over Oregon State.
In Suzy Merchant’s 500th career game as a head coach, the Spartans (10-1 overall) never trailed Oregon State (6-5) at any point in the contest. The sophomore front court duo of forward Becca Mills and center Jasmine Hines led the way for MSU, with Mills scoring a team-high 16 points to go with five rebounds and Hines chipping in 12 points and six boards of her own.
MSU scored the first five points of the game and held Oregon State scoreless for the first 3:48. After heading into halftime holding a 24-15 lead, the Spartans began to pull away from the Beavers by racing out to a 10-0 run to begin the third quarter. Oregon State closed the margin to nine points with less than 10 minutes to play, but five quick MSU points thwarted any potential comeback attempt.
The Spartans won the rebounding battle, 41-37 — including senior guard Jasmine Thomas hauling in a career-high 10 rebounds — and rode a strong defensive effort to close out the game by shutting out the Beavers in the final 7:53. MSU has held every opponent this season under its season scoring average.
For the fifth time in program history, the Spartans are 10-1. The tournament wraps up tomorrow evening with a matchup against Texas Tech (8-1).