Arizona 60

(24-9, 14-4 Pac-12)

Michigan State 72

(22-8, 10-6 Big Ten)

    9:30 PM ET, March 21, 2004

    Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas

    1 2 T
    ARIZ 27 3360
    MSU 33 3972

    Top Performers

    Arizona: S. Polk 21 Pts, 7 Reb

    Michigan St: L. Bowen 16 Pts, 2 Reb

    Spartans will meet Texas on Tuesday

    AUSTIN (AP) -- Michigan State's coach Joanne McCallie was surprised by her team's offensive execution, but was more impressed with the rebounding.

    The Spartans grabbed 41 boards and held down Arizona 72-60 Sunday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

    "I think rebounding always seems to make a big difference," McCallie said. "Thirteen rebounds for Liz (Shimek) is pretty outstanding, so I think that's a critical statistic for us."

    Michigan State (22-8), the eighth seed in the West Regional, advances to the second round Tuesday against top-seeded Texas, which beat Southern 92-57.

    "We know how tough Texas is, and I know they'll be excited to play that game," McCallie said.

    In addition to Shimek's 13 rebounds she scored 16 for the Spartans, getting eight over the final six minutes to help hold off Arizona's late rally. Kristin Haynie added 12 points.

    Center Shawntinice Polk scored 23 points for Arizona (24-9), which otherwise struggled against the Spartans' tough matchup zone defense. Michigan State forced 18 Wildcats turnovers.

    "We knew we had to protect the paint," said Spartan center Kelli Roehrig, who defended Polk. "Polk is a good player and we had to step up and defend her. We knew she was going to get her points, so we just had to play defense."

    Arizona coach Joan Bonvinci said she knew the game would be physical.

    "Michigan State did a great job establishing its inside presence and they were able to break our stand. The big difference was the rebounding," she said.

    Bowen scored 10 in the first half and the Spartans threatened to take control early with a 31-20 lead on Haynie's jumper in the lane with 3:38 left. But the Wildcats closed the deficit to four with a 7-0 run sparked by three straight steals.

    The second half played much like the first. The Spartans would start to build a comfortable lead only to see the Wildcats fight back within striking distance.

    But Arizona couldn't grab the lead with an offense that found little success outside of Polk's dominating presence in the middle. Polk shot 9-of-15 from the field but accounted for nearly half of Arizona's 21 total field goals.

    "It was a physical game with exciting twists and turns which made it a lot of fun," McCallie said.

    Michigan State led by as much as 12 in the second and the Spartans were up 57-49 before Arizona closed it to 59-56. Polk scored five straight points in a 7-0 run.

    But Bowen ended the rally by hitting a runner in the lane and Shimek followed it with a layup. Shimek went 4-for-4 from the free throw line over the two minutes as Michigan State pulled away.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 60 72
    FG Made-Attempted 20-52 (.385) 28-54 (.519)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-13 (.385) 4-16 (.250)
    FT Made-Attempted 15-23 (.652) 12-16 (.750)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 15 (0/0)

    Game Leaders

    PointsS. Polk 21L. Bowen 16
    ReboundsS. Polk 7L. Shimek 9


    » Mar 21, 2004 @MSU 72, ARIZ 60Recap | Box Score