EAST LANSING, Mich. – Needing another signature win, the Michigan State women’s basketball team dominated No. 17/19 Purdue in overtime to take home a 67-52 win at the Breslin Center. The Spartans, who hosted their Play4Kay game this afternoon in front of a crowd of 13,424, move into a tie for third place in the Big Ten with Iowa, Nebraska and Purdue at 9-5.
Freshman Becca Mills was important off the bench, scoring a game-high 17 points, her most in a Big Ten game, and added six rebounds. Senior Lykendra Johnsonfilled the stat sheet again, posting her ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while adding a season-high four blocks and two steals.
Both teams struggled offensively in regulation, going into extra time tied at 49. Michigan State set the tone early in overtime, scoring the first 11 points, and cruising to the important victory. The Spartans were nearly perfect in the overtime session, going 3-for-3 from the field and 11-for-12 from the free throw line, to outscore the Boilermakers 18-3.
Michigan State scored the first four points of the game and never trailed. The first half lead grew to as many as 10, but Purdue kept chipping away, going into the break down 29-23.
Purdue would tie the game at 33 with 15:13 remaining, but Mills put together a 6-0 run over the next five minutes to open a lead back up. MSU would remain ahead, leading by four (49-45) with 2:04 left. However, Purdue would hold the Spartans scoreless in the final stretch and would make four free throws to force overtime.
Senior Porsche Poole and freshman Kiana Johnsonjoined Mills and L. Johnson in double figures. Poole chipped in 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, while K. Johnson had 11 points, a season-high eight rebounds and seven assists.
The Spartans held Purdue to 27.9% shooting, including a 1-for-13 (7.7%) effort from behind the arc. MSU was also +11 (50-39) on the glass and forced the Boilermakers in 18 turnovers.
Michigan State closes out its home schedule on Thursday when it hosts Nebraska at 7 p.m.
– It was MSU’s fifth straight win over Purdue at Breslin Center.
– The attendance of 13,424 was the fifth largest crowd in program history.
– The Spartans improve to 86-8 (91.5%) under Coach Merchant when holding teams to 60 points or less.
– After shooting just 6-for-12 in the first half from the foul line, MSU went 17-for-20 (85.0%) in the second half and overtime.
– The 32 free throw attempts were the most by the Spartans this season.
– L. Johnson moved into 14th place in MSU history with 1,185 career points.
– It was L. Johnson’s 26th career double-double, tied for the seventh most in Spartan history.
– L. Johnson also moved up to seventh place in free throws made (288) and 16th in field goals made (419).
– L. Johnson played a season high 41 minutes, and moved into 13th place in Spartan history with 3,258 minutes played.
-With her seven assists, K. Johnson moved into fourth place on the MSU freshman assist list with 109.
– K. Johnson played all 45 minutes, a career high minute total.