Spartans Overcome 14-Point Deficit, Beat Eastern Michigan, 60-59 in Overtime
Dec. 3, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - After a stagnant first 28 minutes, the Michigan State women's basketball team picked up the intensity down the stretch, erasing a 14-point deficit to force overtime and eventually hold on to beat Eastern Michigan, 60-59 on Saturday afternoon at the Breslin Center. Junior Jasmine Thomas scored MSU's final five points in the last 31 seconds of regulation, including a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, to bring the game to extra time.
Senior Lykendra Johnson, Thomas and freshman Kiana Johnson each scored in double-figures to lead the Spartan comeback. L. Johnson posted her third double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Thomas also had 13 points, a season-high, and four steals, while K. Johnson chipped in 10 points, four assists and three steals.
Michigan State has won an impressive 15-straight overtime games, dating back to the 2003-04 seasons.
The Spartans (6-3) trailed 42-28 with 11:50 to go in regulation, but after a media timeout, MSU ran off seven-straight points to get within seven. The margin remained in that range, as Eastern Michigan (5-2) held a 50-44 lead with 1:44 to go.
L. Johnson was fouled on an offensive rebound putback with 1:19 left, making the first but missing the second. Thomas grabbed another offensive board, setting up a K. Johnson layup to move the score to 50-47. A defensive stop on one end and a streaking layup by Thomas on the other end, brought the score to 50-49 with 31 seconds left. A quick foul put Tavelyn James to the line, who made both, setting up Thomas' dramatics. With the clock winding down, she took the ball on the wing, deep behind the line, and drilled a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to the delight of the crowd.
In overtime, the two teams matched baskets early but a layup by K. Johnson and two free throws by L. Johnson gave the Spartans a 60-57 lead with 1:26 left. MSU withheld a last ditch attempt by James and the Eagles, holding on for a 60-59 victory.
The Spartans shot only 22.2% in the first half, including 1-10 from behind the arc, but responded in the second half and overtime to shoot 50.0% in the final 25 minutes.
Michigan State has another quick turnaround, facing Detroit on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Breslin Center.
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