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ELITE SPARTANS.....MICHIGAN STATE 59, Northern Iowa 52, F 3/26/10
Posted on: 03-26-2010

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>>caption:  MSU's DELVON ROE


    Michigan State staged a 2nd-H
rally to beat Northern Iowa 59-52
and advance to the NCAA-D1 men's
basketball "Elite 8" for the seventh time since 1999.
    Guts, determination and halftime adjustments carried the bruised and battered
Spartans to the halfway point of the tournament while injured point guard Kalin
Lucas (torn Achilles tendon) watched from the bench.  
    Northern Iowa started the game on a 7-0 run and led by that same margin
29-22 at the half when the Spartans managed just one field goal during the
final 9:18 of the opening stanza.
     After intermission, MSU battled ahead 36-34 on a quick 14-5 surge, Draymond
Green feeding Raymar Morgan underneath for the go-ahead hoop.
    It was back and forth from there. State got up by as many as six at 43-37 on
Green's layup. The Panthers went ahead 46-44 off a 9-1 run when Kwadzo Ahelegbe
sank a pair of free throws with 7:47 left. Durrell Summers responded 20-sec later
with a 3-ball and MSU did not trail again.
    Northern Iowa went without a field goal for the game's final 10:20 and made just
five buckets after halftime.
    Adam Koch twice made a pair of field goals to give the Panthers a 51-all tie, the
seventh of the game, with 2:51 to go. Morgan battled in the lane for the go-ahead
basket, Korie Lucious hit a twisting jumper and Chris Allen launched off his sore right
foot to jam a put-back for a 57-51 lead with a half minute remaining before foul shots
finished it.    
    Defense contributed to both teams' sub-par shooting with the Panthers
sinking only 38.6% (17-of-44) from the field and MSU 43.2% (19-of-44). There
were precious few second chance points with State grabbing only six offensive
rebounds and Northern Iowa four.
    Summers had game-highs of 19-P and 7-RB. Lucious scored 10-P with a co--game-high
4-A. Green had 8-P, 5-RB and a co-game-high 4-A. Morgan scored 7-P, sore-kneed Delvon
Roe 6-P, Allen 5-P and Garrick Sherman 4-P (on back-to-back baskets that gave MSU its
first lead at 14-12).    
    Koch scored 13-P and Ahelegbe 12-P for Northern Iowa. Jordan Eglseder and Ali
Frojhmanesh had 9-P each.
    The Panthers, who upset #1 seed Kansas in the second round, finished their season
    Michigan State is now 27-8 and advanced to face Tennessee Sunday afternoon at
2:20pm/ET. The Volunteers beat Ohio State Friday evening in round three.


MSU H-COACH TOM IZZO:   "I can't say enough about the character of these guys and I'm
proud of them...I knew it would be just a gut-it-out game. I'm sure everybody predicted it.
That's kind of enjoyable, to find a way. It's somewhat more rewarding than the last two
[wins in this tourney]...The second half, we went inside more and it created a lot more
opportunities for us...Let me tell you something -- that's a good team."

MSU G/F DURRELL SUMMERS:   "I think my teammates had confidence in me that, if it had the
look, to take the shot. I think my teammates found me in the right spots and I was able to
make shots and make aggressive plays."

MSU GD KORIE LUCIOUS:   "It's just been a great experience for me. It's something new,
stepping in and playing 39 minutes and trying to lead my team as a point guard."

MSU FWD DRAYMOND GREEN:   "It feels great...We've still got bigger dreams, but you've
got to take it one game at a time."

No IOWA H-COACH BEN JACOBSON:   "We knew this was going to be a tremendous challenge
and they played exactly how we thought they were going to. I'm obviously very proud of
our guys."


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