Monday, June 17, 2024

Spartans defeat U-M 52-27, break Breslin Center defensive record

Freshman guard Taylor Alton, center, and junior center Allyssa DeHaan, right, hug junior guard Mandy Piechowski Thursday.

The MSU women’s basketball team set a record for defense Thursday, beating Michigan 52-27.

The 27 points the Spartans held U-M to are the lowest ever allowed at Breslin Center. The previous low was also against U-M, when MSU beat the Wolverines 67-33 on Jan. 18, 2004.

In the first meeting against U-M this season, the MSU beat the Wolverines 41-37 in Crisler Arena. After that win, junior forward Aisha Jefferson called it an ugly game. This time she was a much easier critic.

“I looked at the clock at the end and saw 27 and said, ‘Wow,’” Jefferson said. “I’m feeling proud right now.”

The Spartans started the game with a 3-pointer from sophomore forward Kalisha Keane but saw U-M run off nine straight points in the next five minutes to take a 9-3 lead.

That was the only scoring run the Wolverines would make in the rest of the game as MSU held U-M scoreless for the next eight minutes, going on a 15-0 run to take the lead 18-9. The Wolverines could only muster another 3-pointer and a free throw before halftime, as the Spartans took the lead into the break 22-13.

The second half wasn’t much prettier for the visiting team. MSU held U-M to 14.8 percent shooting in the half, and to only 19.1 percent for the game.

MSU, on the other hand, was having a much easier time on offense, as freshman guard Porsché Poole was speeding up and down the court in transition. Poole finished with a game-high 14 points.

“My team is always cheering you on, so you know you’re having a good game,” Poole said.

The Spartans would go on to stretch the lead to 29 when junior guard Mandy Piechowski stole the ball and took it to the basket to ice the game with 1:31 to play.

MSU took the lopsided victory 52-27.

“They’re good. They’ve got big, strong kids,” U-M head coach Kevin Borseth said. “We’re not able to get around them. … It’s tough when we can’t shoot the ball on the basket.”

This is the fourth straight win for the Spartans, bringing their record to 19-7 overall and 12-3 in conference, and keeps them in first place in the Big Ten with only three games remaining. MSU heads to Wisconsin (15-12, 5-11) on Sunday for its final road game of the season.

“Everybody has their role,” Jefferson said. “Right now people are really realizing what their roles are, and we’re keeping our eyes on the prize. We’re in a great position, and we’re ready to get a ring.”

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