No. 9 Michigan State 60, Gonzaga 45
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP)—This Michigan State team wasn’t about to let Gonzaga pull off an upset.
Victoria Lucas-Perry had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Liz Shimek added 13 second-half points as No. 9 Michigan State beat Gonzaga 60-45 in the Paradise Jam tournament on Saturday night.
The Spartans protected their No. 9 ranking just four days after the men’s teams from both schools met in the semifinals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational. In that game, No. 8 Gonzaga beat No. 12 Michigan State 109-106 in triple overtime.
Gonzaga stayed close through the first half of this game, with Katy Ridenour hitting a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to pull Gonzaga within 21-20 at the break.
Michigan State moved out to a 47-35 lead in the second half, before Gonzaga rallied, closing within six points.
“It was really good to see our team do what we can,” said Shimek, who also had six rebounds and four assists.
Rene Haynes hit a breakaway jumper and made a steal to protect the lead for the Spartans, who forced 23 turnovers.
“I thought they were really strong in the first 20 minutes,” Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “But anytime you hold a team to 45 points, that’s good.”
Stephanie Hawk led Gonzaga with 18 points and eight rebounds.
“Turnovers down the stretch hurt us,” Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said. “We’re definitely a team that’s going to get a lot better.”