9:30 PM ET, March 23, 2004
Frank Erwin Special Events Center, Austin, TX
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Jamie Carey was gutsy and gritty and top-seeded Texas is moving on in the West Regional.Carey shook off a ferocious collision in the first half to score 20 points for the Longhorns in a bruising 80-61 win over Michigan State on Tuesday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.She had to leave the court for several minutes in the first half after getting picked off running into a Michigan State screen but returned to score all of her points, hitting five 3-pointers."I turned, hit the pick and I was on the ground," Carey said. "That's part of basketball."Still, it was a scary moment for the home crowd of 8,105. Carey transferred to Texas in 2002 from Stanford after sitting out two seasons because of recurring symptoms from multiple concussions."Anytime there's a collision, there's going to be concern," said Texas coach Jody Conradt. "And we all know Jamie's history."Heather Schreiber added 23 points for Texas (30-4). The top seed in the West Regional has won 36 in a row at home but now must go to Seattle, where the Longhorns will play Louisiana State.The Longhorns have reached the round of 16 in each of the last three seasons.Kelli Roehrig scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead eighth-seeded Michigan State (22-9), which has never advanced past the second round in five NCAA tournaments.The Spartans' bruising play twice cut the Texas lead to four points in the second half before the Longhorns pulled away over the final 10 minutes.While Texas' boisterous home crowd will get much of the credit for helping its team advance out of the first two rounds, it was Carey who nearly single-handedly picked up the Longhorns in this one.The crowd went silent when she crumpled to the floor after the Spartans ran her into a screen set by burly forward Julie Pagel. Carey grimaced in pain and stayed down for several minutes before walking to the locker room under her own power.Texas led 21-14 with 7:08 left in the half when she departed and stretched it to 26-16 on Schreiber's third 3-pointer."When you play on a team, it's pretty much like family," said Texas senior All-American center Stacy Stephens. "When Jamie went down I tried my best to keep the team together, that we have to keep playing through this."I said to them `Jamie's the toughest person on the team, she's going to be back out there.' "Carey returned three minutes later to a standing ovation and immediately began mixing it up with the Spartans, drawing a hard foul on a drive and diving to the floor to force a turnover."When she came back I called a play for her," Conradt said. "I wanted her to know I had the confidence in her. I knew she would be mad that she didn't get to play when she was in the locker room so I knew she would knock it down."Carey scored eight points after returning, including two 3-pointers to give the Longhorns a 34-23 lead at halftime."I knew it was time to get down and time to get to work," Carey said."Carey is a great leader for them," said Michigan State coach Joanne McCallie. "She's like a coach out there. She plays that way and it can go a long way in the tournament."Michigan State rallied to make it 39-35 on Lindsay Bowen's free throws early in the second half before Carey lifted Texas again. She scored nine points in an 11-0 run that built the lead to 50-35 with 13:18 to play.She hit a fallaway jumper, converted a rare four-point play and swished another 3 from the left wing to put Texas in control."We didn't stay together," Bowen said. "They grabbed momentum and ran with it. They had the energy."That's when the Longhorns turned it into rout.Schreiber hit her fourth 3-pointer, Carey followed it with another and Schreiber converted a fast-break layup on a sharp pass from Nina Norman to give Texas a 67-44 lead.
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