Spartans Unable to Overtake No. 25/24 Texas, Fall 61-53
Dec. 10, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - The Michigan State women's basketball team was unable to overcome foul trouble and poor shooting in the second half, falling at No. 25/24 Texas, 61-53 on Saturday afternoon at the Frank Erwin Center. Early in the first half, senior Lykendra Johnson became the 22nd Spartan to surpass 1,000 career points.
The Spartans jumped out to a 13-5 lead in the first five minutes, behind seven points from freshman Becca Mills and six from L. Johnson. However both starting post players managed only 18 combined minutes in the first half, after picking up two fouls apiece.
Texas put together an 18-5 run over a nine minute span to take the lead at 23-18 with 5:54 to go in the first half. The Spartans scored the next four points to get within on, but the Longhorns followed with an 11-3 spurt to get up by nine, 34-25 with just over a minute to go until intermission. MSU did not fold, scoring five of the last six points, capped by a layup by senior Porsche Poole as time expired, for a 35-30 halftime deficit.
It took two minutes for the first points of the second half, as Texas' Ashleigh Fontenette knocked down a jumper to put the Longhorns up seven. Seven unanswered points by the Spartans tied the game at 37 for the first time since midway through the first half.
The game stayed close for the next four minutes, eventually ending up tied at 43 with 12:17 left. Texas however went on a 13-3 run, including a six minute scoreless drought for the Spartans, to match its largest lead of the night at 56-46 with 3:48 left. A L. Johnson 3-pointer would cap a 7-0 Spartan run to cut the UT advantage to three (56-53) with 1:15 left. The would be as close as MSU got, as Texas went 5-of-6 from the line in the final minute for the 61-53 final.
After shooting 6-of-12 (50.0%) from behind the arc in the first half, the Spartans couldn't knock down a shot in the final 20 minutes, going 1-for-15 (6.7%). Overall, MSU shot only 28.1% in the second half.
Poole led MSU with 13 points, the lone Spartan in double-figures. L. Johnson and Mills each chipped in nine points, as L. Johnson also added 11 rebounds and three blocks. Freshman Kiana Johnson dished out four assists and senior Taylor Alton grabbed a career-high four steals.
The Spartans take 10 days off from competition during finals week, and return to action on Dec. 20-12 for the Caribbean Classic in Cancun, Mexico.
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