Miami to Face Michigan State in Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Nov. 30, 2011
|No. 9 Miami at Michigan State (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Dec. 1, 2011 | BankUnited Center | Big Ten Network
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|Attending a Future Game at the BankUnited Center
BankUnited Center Seating Map
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — A little more than two weeks after a trip to Knoxville, Tenn. for a showdown with the No. 3 Lady Volunteers, Head Coach Katie Meier’s ninth-ranked Miami Hurricanes have their second major road test of the season Thursday night against another historic college basketball program.
School and conference pride is on the line for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge match-up with the Spartans of Michigan State University at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich. The Hurricanes (5-1), who are riding a four-game win streak into Thursday’s contest, are facing a talented Spartans team that captured the Big Ten title outright in 2010-11.
The Spartans are led by a pair of dynamic senior guards in Lykendra Johnson and Porsché Poole. Johnson (9.7 points per game), who was tabbed as one of five Preseason All-Big Ten selections, led the conference in steals and offensive rebounds in 2010-11, and is on the verge of becoming one of only a handful of 1,000-point scorers in program history. Poole, who was named Sixth Player of the Year for the Spartans last season, leads the team in scoring (14.0 points per game) and assists (30).
The Hurricanes will be competing in their first Big Ten/ACC Challenge game since the 2008-09 season, when they lost to Indiana University by a 69-54 margin at the BankUnited Center. The Spartans, who were ranked No. 25 at the time of last year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge, defeated No. 14 Florida State 72-64 in Tallahassee, Fla. in the 2010 edition of the series. Though the ACC has won every Challenge since its 2007 inception, Michigan State has recorded an impressive 3-1 overall record, while the Hurricanes are 0-2 in Challenge games.
The Hurricanes are hoping reigning ACC Player of the Week Shenise Johnson (18.8 points per game) can continue her hot hand into Thursday night’s 8 p.m. tip-off (Big Ten Network) with the Spartans. Johnson has recorded eye-popping totals of 51 points, 22 rebounds and 21 assists in her last three games, en route to the Great Alaska Shootout’s Most Outstanding Player and ACC Player of the Week honors.