Williams whipping: Spartans romp

David McCoy

Michigan State’s women’s basketball team still has Minnesota’s number.

After four tries, coach Pam Borton is still winless against the Spartans, and Michigan State is still the only Big Ten team Minnesota hasn’t yet beaten since moving back to Williams Arena.

As for the number from the stat line that gives an explanation as to why that is, there is no short supply.

“If you look at the stat sheet, I think we got beat in every category tonight,” Borton said.

No. 9 Michigan State dominated No. 12 Minnesota on the court and the stat sheet Thursday, trumping the Gophers in every major category but blocks and trampling them 79-48 in front of an announced crowd of 8,768 at Williams Arena.

The most outrageous box-score flops by Minnesota came on three-pointers, turnover points and assists.

The Gophers (18-5, 8-3) shot an astonishing 0-for-17 from beyong the arc, while the Spartans (21-3, 10-2) were 6-of-8.

That puts a magnifying glass to Minnesota’s real issue on the perimeter. Only 10 of Minnesota’s points came from someone other than a post player.

“We can’t shoot well every night,” guard Shannon Schonrock said. “But we should still be able to hang our hat on our defense, and we didn’t stop them either.”

Michigan State converted for 26 points off turnovers in contrast to just 10 for Minnesota, and the Spartans racked up a remarkable 22 assists – twice the Gophers’ total.

“Our 22 assists reflect the nature in which we shared the ball,” Spartans coach Joanne McCallie said. “That’s where we got a lot of our momentum from early.”

The Spartans strung a 16-3 run together midway through the first half, giving them a 33-17 lead from which the Gophers would never recover.

After taking a 42-25 lead into halftime, the Spartans put together runs of 13-3 and 10-0 to ice the victory.

The game was the worst blowout loss since Minnesota lost 96-63 to No. 7 Stanford in the third game of the 2001-02 season. It was also the lowest point total for the Gophers since Feb. 29 when they scored 47 at Michigan.