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No. 16 Michigan State Rallies Past Indiana

Jan. 29, 2006

Final Stats |  Quotes |  Notes

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Despite 17 points from Liz Shimek and 15 from Lindsay Bowen, it was defensive pressure that made the difference in No. 16 Michigan State's comeback.

On defense, Victoria Lucas-Perry, Rene Haynes and Aisha Jefferson helped the Spartans (15-7, 5-4 Big Ten) beat Indiana 65-59 and erase a nine-point deficit with seven steals in an 8-minute span.

"Those three played key roles," Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "Victoria was very smart and aggressive when she had to be. Rene made their players go faster than they wanted to. And Aisha's athleticism is something you can't teach."

Jenny DeMuth and Cyndi Valentin each had 24 points for the Hoosiers (11-9, 5-4). No other Indiana starter had more than two points, and four Hoosiers fouled out in the closing minutes.

Shimek led the Spartans with 17 points and eight rebounds but was just 5-for-14 from the field. Bowen had 15 points and passed the 1,600 mark for her career despite 2-for-12 shooting from the field. They were a combined 17-for-19 at the foul line.

Lucas-Perry had 11 points and four steals after tweaking a sprained ankle. Haynes added 10 points and a career-high five steals. And Jefferson was everywhere before fouling out.

"Our mental aspect in the second half was better than it has been in a while," Lucas-Perry said. "There was a lot more fight in us, not like at Purdue."

After a sloppy first half when both teams had more fouls and turnovers than baskets, Indiana pulled away behind DeMuth for a 44-35 lead. Despite outshooting Michigan State by that margin -- 44-35 percent from the field -- and having a two-rebound advantage, the Hoosiers struggled in the last 10:12.



Lucas-Perry, Haynes and Jefferson changed the game's tempo with full-court traps and double-teams, sparking a 10-0 run and a 17-2 surge. With a 52-46 lead, the Spartans used a 26-11 edge at the foul line to protect their margin, despite 22 second-half points from Valentin.

"It was really an even game," Indiana coach Sharon Versyp said. "We got on a run. Then, they started pressing, and the crowd got into it. The difference was the free throws. We just didn't have the composure we needed."

Michigan State ended a two-game skid, including a 20-point loss Thursday at Purdue.

"It was all about being aggressive with our press, getting after it and finishing the game," Bowen said. "They had two go-to players. But our heart and effort were the difference. And we need to do more than play this way at home. We need to carry this energy with us."

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