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>>caption: MORGAN (#2) & SUTON
(M) BATTLE JAYHAWKERS FOR A
@ INDIANAPOLIS, IN:
Michigan State used the 3-headed
monster of Goran Suton, Tom Izzo
and Kalin Lucas to beat Kansas 67-62
Suton led all scorers with 13-P in the 1st-H to keep State from being blown
out early, Izzo made his customary intermission adjustments and called
critical plays down the stretch during a series of well-timed timeouts and
Lucas executed at both ends of the floor at crunch time while scoring a
dozen points following the break.
The Spartans advanced to the NCAA-D1 Elite 8 by ousting the defending
national champion Jayhawks, beating KU for the second time this season. MSU's
reward is to face #1-seed Louisville in Sunday's Midwest Region Final (2:20pmET
Winning close games in the closing moments has been a trademark of this
Spartan team since Big Ten Conference play began. They did it again Friday
in a game where both teams fought hard on defense.
After trailing by as many as 13-P in the 1st-H and after being down 60-55
with just 3:04 to play, Michigan State closed the game on a 12-2 run.
Cold-shooting at the start, another MSU pattern this season, found State
trailing 9-2 when they began just 1-of-8 from the field. MSU responded with an 8-0
burst to briefly go ahead 10-9 on a Durrell Summers 3-pointer. Each team followed
with 6-0 surges and the Spartans gained another brief 16-15 lead on a Suton jumper.
However, a Sherron Collins 3-ball began an 11-0 Jayhawks run and shortly thereafter
a Cole Aldrich dunk gave KU its biggest bulge of 32-19 with 3:26 remaining before
halftime. Suton launched a controlled jumper at the buzzer and replay overruled the
referees by confirming the ball left Suton's fingernails a fraction of a second before
the clock read zero to get MSU back to within 36-29 at the half.
Michigan State came out of the locker room with a 13-6 spurt where Draymond Green
scored five consecutive points before Suton's triple tied the game 42-all just 4:43 into
the second stanza. Aldrich made a pair of baskets sandwiched around a Collins layup to
put Kansas back up 48-42. State then went on a 9-1 run capped by Travis Walton's
jumper (his only basket of the game) for a 51-49 MSU edge. Back-&-forth followed until
Tyrel Reed swished a 3-pointer from the right corner (his only hoop) to give Kansas a
56-53 lead and Collins made a layup for a 58-53 margin with 4:12 to play.
Suton of MSU and Collins of KU exchanged baskets for the 60-55 Jayhawks lead with
3:26 on the clock. Summers made a put-back and seconds later he sank his first of two
foul shots to get State within 60-58. Izzo called a T-O when Summers grabbed his charity
toss miss and set up a Lucas to Raymar Morgan dunk to deadlock the game 60-all with
1:50 to play.
Collins turned the ball over at the other end. Again Izzo called timeout. Lucas
followed with a 3-point play off a pump fake in the lane to give Michigan State the lead
for good at 63-60 with 48-sec remaining. Freshman Tayshaun Taylor made two pressure
free throws to get Kansas within 63-62 with 32-sec left. Lucas then made four foul shots
to close out the contest.
Michigan State was 16-of-17 at the line including a perfect 7-of-7 for Lucas.
State used 11 players to just eight for Kansas and once more used their depth to
defeat a tired foe in the late stages.
Suton with 20-P and Lucas with 18-P (although just 5-of-15 shooting) were the only
Spartans scoring in double figures. Suton had a team-high 9-RB and Lucas a game-high
7-A. Summers had 9-P and Chris Allen & Green 7-P each.
KU's Collins matched Suton's game-high 20-P. Aldrich scored 17-P and grabbed a
game-high 14-RB. Taylor had 8-P. The rest of the Jayhawks could score only a combined
Led by Aldrich, Kansas out-rebounded usually board-dominant MSU 37-31. However,
State countered that with a 13-7 edge in steals with Suton getting a game-high five
and Lucas adding four more.
Michigan State improved to 29-6. Kansas ended its season 27-7.
MSU H-COACH TOM IZZO: "This year I've gone by feel. And sometimes I just feel sick,
and it seems to work out...Kansas is a very, very good team. I'm very proud of how
our guys fought back."
MSU GD KALIN LUCAS: "One thing (on his go-ahead 3-pt play), the shot clock was
going down. That's all I tried to do, tried to create. I just got lucky and I got him
with the bump and I scored."
MSU GD TRAVIS WALTON: "You know, I think the type of person Kalin is, when he gets
another big-time guard (like KU's Collins), he wants to kind of prove himself to the nation.
Today, I think he took it personal."
KU CEN CEN COLE ALDRICH: "It's not just everybody in the locker room, it's everybody
that puts on a KU shirt. Everybody is hit hard because we had our chances and we didn't
capitalize on them."
KU H-COACH BILL SELF: "You know, we gave them a run. We just didn't finish the game
...If you look at that (late MSU go-ahead) possession...they let Lucas take the ball and
try and create something in the middle."
The Michigan State women's basketball team plays Iowa State in the NCAAW Sweet 16
Saturday night at Cal-Berkley (9pmET on ESPN).
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