Dec. 19, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Lykendra Johnson posted a double-double with13 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 16 Michigan State beat Washington 69-52 Saturday night.
Porsche Poole and Allyssa DeHaan each had 10 points for the Spartans (8-3), who used an early 17-2 run to pull away from the turnover-plagued Huskies (4-5), who are in the middle of a seven-game road trip.
Sami Whitcomb had 14 points and pulled down six rebounds for Washington, which shot just 29.8 percent for the evening, a season-low. Regina Rogers added nine points and seven rebounds, and fared well in her anticipated matchup with MSU's DeHaan, who stands 6-9.
Sarah Morton broke the ice in fron tof 4,284 at the Breslin Center in the first four seconds with a layup right off the opening tip. But the Huskies did not score for the next 11 minutes, and missed their next 15 shots in the process.
"We just couldn't hit (shots)," said Coach Tia Jackson. "(Michigan State) did a good job switching, we recognized the switch, and tried to exploit that. We just couldn't make the 15-foot jumper."
The Huskies fell to 7-60 all-time when facing a ranked opponent on the road. The last time Washington beat a ranked opponent away from Bank of America Arena was Nov. 28, 1998 against Cal.
Two areas of concern for the Huskies reared again. The team was outrebounded 56-40 and had 19 turnovers compared to just five assists. Michigan State did crack the door open with poor shooting of their own, finishing just 21-of-65 from the floor for the game (32 percent).
As for the turnovers, Jackson credited the Spartans for asserting themselves physically in a foul-plagued game. Still, she said there were opportunities on the floor.
"We got the looks we wanted to early," Jackson said.
But the Spartans found their rhythm in the second stanza, and used a run to go up by 27 points midway through the second half after leading 28-16 at the break. The Huskies responded a late run, spurred by Whitcomb and capped by Christina Rozier to shave some points off the final deficit.
"Those last 10 minutes of the game were impressive for us," Jackson said.
DeHaan blocked three shots for the Spartans, one below her average per game this season. And she significantly frustrated the Huskies approach to feeding the ball to their posts, forcing the team to rely on outside shots. Washington responded by playing physical with the post, holding her to just four rebounds.
This was the second time Washington has faced Michigan State in the program's history. The two teams met in 1987 in East Lansing. UW also falls to 16-20 against Big Ten schools.
The road trip was considered a homecoming for the injured Lydia Young, who grew up in Detroit. And while Rogers considers herself a Seattle native, she was born in Rochester, Mich., and had members of her extended family in attendance. The trip to Big Ten country also brought back fond memories for Jackson, who has played in several games at Breslin during her collegiate years at Iowa.
While the Huskies time on the road is grueling, the team feels it will toughen the Huskies for the Pacific-10 Conference opener on Jan. 1 against Oregon in Eugene. Washington will cap the non-conference slate of their schedule on Tuesday when they face Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan in Kalamazoo. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. (PST).