Nov. 22, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State offense came to life in the overtime period, as the Spartans' women's basketball team outscored Dartmouth in the extra period, 12-4, to take home a 60-52 win. MSU, who improves to 4-0, advances to the championship game of the TD Banknorth Classic and will face Quinnipiac on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Sophomore Kalisha Keane was clutch in the overtime, tallying seven of her team-high 20 points, to help the Spartans escape with the win. Redshirt senior Mia Johnson began the extra five minutes with a 3-pointer 12 seconds in. After a pair of Dartmouth free throws, Keane knocked down a long range shot of her own, putting MSU up four points a minute into the overtime. After a run of 2:20 where neither team scored, Keane knocked two free throws at 1:34. to move the MSU advantage to six points. Koren Schram laid in the only basket for Dartmouth with just under a minute left, getting within four. However, Keane sunk a jumper and redshirt freshman Lykendra Johnson hit two free throws in the final minute to hold on for the win. The Spartan defense held the Big Green to 1-of-11 shooting in overtime, while they made 3-of-4 attempts.
Michigan State has now won nine straight overtime games.
Keane had 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc. She also grabbed four rebounds and tied a career high with four steals. Redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson posted 17 points and had four rebounds. Mia Johnson added nine points on three 3-pointers, while also having six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Sophomore Brittney Thomas, playing 36 minutes off the bench, led the team with four assists, and chipped in five rebounds and four steals.
The Spartan defense held their opponent under 30-percent from the field for the fourth time in as many games this season. Dartmouth shot 28.6% (16-of-56) and MSU forced them into 22 turnovers.
Dartmouth started fast, taking the first nine points, putting MSU behind for the first time all season. The Spartans would not score until a layup by Thomas put them on the board with 15:36 left in the first half. With just under 12 minutes to go in the half, the Big Green held a 14-7 lead, but Michigan State would go on a 17-3 run over the next nine minutes to open up a 24-17 lead with four minutes on the clock. Dartmouth got back within three, but a 3-pointer by Mia Johnson with a second left, pushed the Spartans' halftime lead to 31-25.
The second half started with a three-point play by Jefferson to move the MSU lead up to nine, but Dartmouth would go on an elongated 15-3 run over a 10-and-a-half minute stretch to regain the lead. The Big Green was up three, 42-39, with seven minutes left, but five quick MSU points within 30 seconds but them back ahead with 5:50 left in regulation. However, the Spartans were held scoreless for the next 3:30, seeing Dartmouth take a 47-44 edge. Jefferson took over again hitting a layup and two free throws to put MSU back up at 48-47 with 1:31 to go. Dartmouth's Brittney Smith hit one of two free throws with 1:18 which would end up being the final scoring of the second half.
Koren Schram had 24 points, including six 3-pointers in the loss.
Michigan State faces Quinnipiac for the first time in school history in tomorrow's championship game.
NOTES: MSU improved to 4-0 for the eighth time in program history ... Jefferson has now scored in double-figures in six consecutive games ... Schram was just the third opponent to score in double-figures against MSU this season ... Five players played 30 or more minutes (entering today, no Spartan had played more than 28 minutes in a game).