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Archive for Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spartans outlast Kentucky

March 21, 2006

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— After all the missed shots, Michigan State hung on.

The Spartans withstood a late-game scoring drought by holding Kentucky scoreless for more than five minutes and beat the Wildcats, 67-63, Monday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Fourth-seeded Michigan State, last season's national runner-up, plays the winner of today's Duke-Southern California game in the round of 16 in Bridgeport, Conn., on Sunday.

Aisha Jefferson led Michigan State with 16 points - 14 in the first half - and Liz Shimek scored 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting - after scoring 27 in the opening round against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Her basket with 4:20 left gave the Spartans the lead for good, 62-60.

Fifth-seeded Kentucky's drought ended when Carly Ormerod hit a three-pointer with 4.4 seconds left to cut Michigan State's lead to 66-63. She finished with a team-high 15 points.

Victoria Lucas-Perry scored 13 for Michigan State, hitting the tying three-pointer with just over five minutes left and converting 3-of-4 free throws in the final 16 seconds to wrap up the win.

Jenny Pfeiffer scored 12 for Kentucky.

Unlike Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which hung in for about 30 minutes before losing by 19 in the first round to Michigan State, Kentucky stayed with the Spartans the whole way.

The Wildcats weathered a 12-2 run that gave the Spartans a three-point lead midway through the second half and were ahead 60-57 after Eleia Roddy's putback with 5:25 left.

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