Spartan Women Advance To Sweet Sixteen

Michigan State was able to hang on and beat Kentucky to advance to the Sweet Sixteen in Women's NCAA Basketball action.

OKEMOS,MI-No.4 seed MSU advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament in women's basketball by defeating No.6 seed Kentucky by the score of 67-63.

MSU stars Liz Shimek and Lindsay Bowen struggled early and for most of the game, but the Spartans supporting cast of Aisha Jefferson and Laura Hall kept the game close in the first half against the young Wildcats.

Jefferson scored 14 of her team high 16 points in the first half, and Hall started 3 of 3 down low, as Shimek and Bowen were neutralized. Despite an off game for MSU's stars, the Spartans only trailed 34-33 at the half.

The second half started no better for the Spartan women as they committed three turnovers in the first couple of minutes, and Kentucky raced to a 43-34 lead, as Kentucky got into a transition game with MSU, and at one time had a 36-15 scoring advantage from it's backcourt.

MSU then went on a 12-2 run of their own to give them the lead. However, the Wildcats fought back in a game that featured several lead changes and ties.

However it was MSU's match-up zone that held Kentucky scoreless on nine of their last 11 possessions over a 5 minute time period.

Shimek finally made her presence felt after getting a pep talk from Coach Joanne P. McCallie.

What did Coach 'P' say? "I told the seniors to let it loose and go for it," said McCallie. "We did some nice things in the second half."

In the final moments she had a wrap-around lay-up to give MSU a 62-60 lead, and took a charge with 37 seconds to contribute to the victory.

MSU will now play the winner of the Duke-USC game.

MSU runs its record to 24-9 overall, and to 4-3 on a neutral floor.

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