Feb. 10, 2009
Michigan State Spartans (17-7, 10-3) at Indiana Hoosiers (15-7, 8-5) | Game Notes
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009 | 7 p.m. ET | Buy Tickets
Assembly Hall (17,456) | Bloomington, Ind.
Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM (Jeremy Gray-PxP) | TV: Big Ten Network (Brent Stover-PxP; Brenda VanLengen-Analyst)
THE OPENING TIP
The Hoosiers host Michigan State on Varsity Club Day on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. ET in Assembly Hall. Indiana's battle against the Spartans will be aired live on the Big Ten Network and locally on WHCC 105.1 FM in Bloomington. Brent Stover and Brenda VanLengen will be the talent for the Big Ten Network, while the voice of the Hoosiers, Jeremy Gray, will call the action between IU and Michigan State on the radio.
The IU Department of Athletics invites all Varsity Club donors to cheer on the Hoosiers. All Varsity Club donors can purchase a $2 ticket to the game by calling 1-866-IUSPORTS or visiting IUHoosiers.com. Varsity Club donors in attendance are invited for refreshments during the game in the Varsity Club offices on the main level of Assembly Hall. The American Heart Association will also be in attendance and encourage fans to "Go Red" as they continue to raise awareness of heart disease.
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
Michigan State enters Thursday's game ranked second in the Big Ten with a league mark of 10-3 and overall record of 17-7. The Spartans are led by Aisha Jefferson with 11.2 points per game. She is followed by Alyssa DeHaan with 10.6 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds per contest. She also leads the team in blocked shots with 72 on the season. Michigan is averaging 65.6 points and 42.5 rebounds per game as a team.
WHAT'S COMING UP
Indiana will hit the road to take on Wisconsin on Monday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET, on the Big Ten Network. The Hoosiers will play their final regular season road game on Feb. 19 at Northwestern at 8 p.m. ET, before returning to Assembly Hall to face Ohio State on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack is in her third year at the helm of the Hoosier program with a career mark of 106-99 over seven seasons. She led the Hoosiers to back-to-back postseason berths in the WNIT and an 18-15 mark in 2007-08. Legette-Jack recorded her 100th career victory at Michigan State on Dec. 29, and reached her 50th win as the Hoosier mentor against Purdue on Jan. 19, 2009.
Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant is in her second season at Michigan State with a record of 40-21. She is in her 14th year as a head coach with an overall mark of 241-141. She led MSU to the 2008 WNIT Championship game.
NOTES OF INTEREST
Thursday's meeting marks the 59th all-time between the Hoosiers and Spartans, with Michigan State leading, 35-23.
Senior Whitney Thomas and junior Jamie Braun each entered IU's 1,000 point club this season. Thomas recorded her 1,000-th career point on Jan. 4 vs. Iowa, and Braun reached the 1,000 mark on Jan. 19 vs. Purdue.
IU head coach Felisha Legette-Jack and associate head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson were assistant coaches together to former Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie during the 2000-02 seasons.
IU's RPI ranks 28th in this week's Sagarin Ratings.
LAST TIME VS. MICHIGAN STATE
Indiana head women's basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack picked up her 100th career win as the Hoosiers won their eighth in the row with a 62-48 win at Michigan State on Monday, Dec. 28. The Hoosiers' eight game win streak is the longest since the 1998-99 team won nine straight games. Sophomore Jori Davis led all players with 14 points, while senior Amber Jackson and junior Jamie Braun added 12 points apiece. Senior All-America candidate Whitney Thomas grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds, while Jackson added nine. Thomas is now nine points shy 1,000 career points scored at Indiana after netting seven on the night. Braun also recorded five steals and four assists to lead IU. Indiana won the battle of the boards, 41-40, and held Michigan State to 30.5 percent (18-of-59) shooting from the floor on the game. The Hoosiers also forced the Spartans into committing 20 turnovers.
QUEEN OF THE BOARDS
Senior All-America candidate Whitney Thomas became just the second player in Indiana women's basketball to record 1,000 career points and rebounds in their time at IU. Thomas, who currently owns 1,146 points and 1,000 rebounds, joins Denise Jackson, who rallied 1,917 points and 1,273 boards between 1981-84. Thomas is also the 10th member to join the Big Ten's 1,000 board club.
Thomas recorded her 1,000th career point on Jan. 4 against Iowa and her 1,000th career rebound on Feb. 8 against Illinois.
CLEANING THE GLASS
The Hoosiers have upped their rebounding numbers over the last five games, grabbing 92 offense boards and 109 defensive swipes to average 40.2 rebounds per game, a +2.4 edge over its opponents. On the season, Indiana has averaged 40.5 rebounds per game, a +4.1 advantage over its opponents, ranking second overall in the Big Ten and leading the league with 15.18 offensive caroms per contest.
THOMAS AND ROBERSON FIGHT FOR STEALS RECORD
Seniors Whitney Thomas and Kim Roberson currently own 227 steals, each, standing just three shy of the IU record of 230 set by Jenny DeMuth (2002-06). Roberson ranks third in the Big Ten, and leads the Hoosiers with 2.59 steals per game, and Thomas ranks ninth in the category with 1.82 per game.
HOOSIERS FACE OHIO STATE ON ESPN2 FEB. 22
The Indiana women's basketball team's battle against Ohio State in Assembly Hall on Sunday, Feb. 22 will be aired live on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET. IU will Think Pink in its game against the Buckeyes as it continues to raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer. All fans are encouraged to wear pink with the first 1,000 fans receiving pink and white pom-poms.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO THE CIRCLE CITY
The conference will once again return to Indianapolis for the 2009 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament. 2009 marks the second of a five-year agreement that places both the men's and women's tournaments in the Circle City. This year's tournament will be the eighth straight and 14th overall in Indianapolis and will be held on four consecutive days, March 5-8.