March 30, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Kalisha Keane scored 15 points and Michigan State advanced to the WNIT semifinals with a 45-40 overtime victory over Michigan on Sunday.
The Spartans (22-13) will play North Carolina State (21-12) in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Breslin Center.
Michigan (19-14) led most of the game and had a 32-22 advantage with 12:53 left to play. But Michigan State went on a late 15-5 run capped by Keane's game-tying 3-pointer with 1:35 remaining.
"We were laughing about the shot after the game," said Keane. "Alisa (Wulff) had tripped over Allyssa (DeHaan) and threw the ball to me. I put up a shot and it went in. It wasn't the prettiest play, but it went down, and so we'll take it."
Michigan State's defense was the key. The Spartans' zone defense, with the 6-foot-9 DeHaan in the paint, kept Michigan on the perimeter and the Wolverines couldn't adjust.
"No question, that was key to the game," Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said of the Spartans' second-half defense. "Sometimes we couldn't even get a shot off. We seemed to pass the ball around near half-court most of the time. I don't even remember us getting a very good shot."
Michigan (19-14) led most of the game while Michigan State struggled on offense early, committing 12 first-half turnovers.
"It wasn't the prettiest game," Spartan coach Suzy Merchant said. "Both teams came to play defense. We were getting shots, but we just couldn't make them."
DeHaan, who finished with 13 points, hit two free throws for a 39-37 Spartans lead in overtime. Michigan State went 8-for-10 from the line in overtime while Michigan was 3-for-4.
"This is a real valuable lesson for a young team," Merchant said. "It's survive-and-advance here, just like the NCAA Tournament."
The Spartans shot just 29 percent for the game but the Wolverines hit only 21 percent, including 4-of-33 3-pointers.
Jessica Minnfield led Michigan with 12 points and Ashley Jones added 11. Janelle Cooper had 11 rebounds for the Wolverines.