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.
-Michigan State improves to 16-3 all-time against EMU, and has won 13 of the last 14 meetings. MSU is 10-1 against the Eagles in East Lansing. It was Coach Merchant's first meeting against her former program.
- Over the past 10 seasons, MSU is now 31-1 against in-state opponents.
- MSU has now won 11-straight games after a loss, and has not lost back-to-back games since Jan. 2010.
- The Spartans have outrebounded all nine opponents this season, and 32 of its last 35 opponents.
- MSU has won 24 of its last 26 games in the Breslin Center, and is 231-80 all-time in the building.
- Under Coach Merchant, the Spartans are now 78-8 when holding their opponent to 60 points or less.
- Lykendra Johnson moved into seventh all-time at MSU with 832 career rebounds.
-With her 13 points, L. Johnson moved up to 24th on the MSU career points list and is only 18 points away from becoming the 22nd 1,000-point scorer in school history.
- L. Johnson started her 93rd game as a Spartan, tying for the 13th most in Spartan history.
- Jasmine Thomas played a season-high 37 minutes, her previous high was 31 vs. Purdue last season.
- Thomas had a season-high four rebounds, all on the offensive end.
- Porsche Poole had a stretch of 18-straight free throws made snapped in overtime today.
- Poole grabbed a career-high six rebounds.
- Kiana Johnson tied her season highs with three steals and three rebounds.
- MSU held Eastern Michigan's leading scorer Tavelyn James to 19 points on 7-for-26 shooting, after coming in averaging 25.0 points.