March 28, 2009
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- Alison Lacey capped a furious finish for Iowa State that sent the Cyclones into the regional finals for just the second time in school history.
Lacey hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 23 seconds remaining and fourth-seeded Iowa State scored the final eight points in a 69-68 victory over ninth-seeded Michigan State on Saturday night.
Michigan State went ahead 68-61 on Aisha Jefferson's jumper with 1:26 left that gave the Spartans a 68-61 lead.
Nicky Wieben started the comeback with her only basket of the game on a putback and the Cyclones (27-8) turned up the defensive pressure. A steal by Kelsey Bolte in the backcourt led to Heather Ezell's banked-in 3-pointer that cut the lead to 68-66 with a minute to go.
Lykendra Johnson then turned it over in the backcourt again for Michigan State (22-11), setting up Lacey's heroics. Iowa State tried to get the ball inside but Allyssa DeHaan blocked Bolte from in close and the loose ball made it out to Lacey, who drained the 3-pointer to give her 29 points and the Cyclones the lead.
Kalisha Keane missed a 3-pointer for the Spartans, who kept possession after a jump ball on the rebound. Following a timeout, Jefferson and Johnson missed shots from in close to give the Cyclones the win.
DeHaan scored 24 points to lead Michigan State, but didn't get a touch on the last possession.
Iowa State advanced to face the winner of the game between third-seeded Ohio State (29-5) and second-seeded Stanford (31-4) for a trip to the Final Four.
The Spartans wanted to prove they could win away from the Breslin Center, and appeared to do so with strong play in the second half. The game was tied going into the final 6 minutes before DeHaan gave the Spartans a 62-60 lead with a hook shot in the lane.
Jefferson's basket appeared to seal it for the Spartans before the comeback.
Iowa State missed its first six shots of the game, extending the run of misses against Michigan State's defense to 23 straight. The Spartans forced top-seeded Duke to miss its final 17 shots in a 63-49 loss in the second round Tuesday.
But the Cyclones overcame an early nine-point deficit by going on a 15-6 run behind 10 points from Lacey and took a 38-36 halftime lead.
Amanda Nisleit scored 17 points and Ezell added 14 for Iowa State.
Mia Johnson had 13 and Jefferson scored 10 for the Spartans.