Women's Basketball

    Hoosiers Fall in OT to No. 18/19 Michigan State

    Go Hoosiers! Nikki Smith's 16 points led the Hoosiers in an overtime loss to the Spartans on Thursday, Jan. 4.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Nikki Smith's 16 points led the Hoosiers in an overtime loss to the Spartans on Thursday, Jan. 4.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Jan. 4, 2007

    Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Three scored in double figures as the Indiana women's basketball team fell short in overtime, losing to No. 18/19 Michigan State, 64-56, on Branch McCracken Court in Assembly Hall on Jan. 4.

    Junior Nikki Smith led IU with 16 points, while sophomore Kim Roberson netted 13 and freshman Jamie Braun added 11 in the effort.

    With 12 seconds remaining in regulation, Michigan State's Rene Haynes sank a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime with the score knotted at 54-54. The Spartans (12-2, 3-0) outscored the Hoosiers (12-4, 1-2), 10-2, in OT for the 64-56 win.

    A jumper by Allyssa DeHaan gave the Spartans a 13-4 lead with 13:55 on the clock in the first half, but a 3-pointer by Smith sparked a 5-0 Hoosier run that cut Michigan State's lead to four, 13-9, with 12:53 to go in the half. A 3-pointer by Haynes put a halt to IU's run, but a layup from Braun with 12:11 on the clock and a jumper by Michelle Carr put the Hoosiers within three, 16-13, with 10:53 remaining in the half. Victoria Lucas-Perry sank a jumper and a layup to put Michigan State up by seven, 20-13. A pair of free throws by Carr at the 7:08 mark sparked a 13-5 run, which included back-to-back 3-pointers by Braun, that sent Indiana into the break with a 26-25 lead.

    Indiana increased its lead to three, 28-25, on a Roberson layup within the first minute of the second half ,only to see Michigan State answer with a 3-pointer by Mia Johnson to tie the game at 28 with 18:25 to go in the game. The Spartans took a one-point advantage as Aisha Jefferson sank one of two free throws, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Smith and Roberson gave the Hoosiers a five-point lead, 34-29, at the 16:31 mark. A pair of shots by DeHaan brought the Spartans within one, 34-33, and a pair of free throws from Haynes put the Spartans back up by one, 35-34, with 12:23 remaining in the second half. The two teams went on to trade the lead over the next five minutes before a layup from Roberson put the Hoosiers up by two, 45-43, with 5:58 to go in regulation. The Hoosiers were able to maintain at least a one-point lead before Haynes hit her 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime.

    Michigan State outshot Indiana, 34.5 percent (20-of-58) to 32.8 percent (19-of-58) from the field, but the Hoosiers held the advantage at the line, sinking 91.7 percent (11-of-12) of their free throws to the Spartans 77.3 percent (17-of-22). MSU also dominated the boards, outrebounding IU, 47-31. The Hoosiers forced the Spartans into committing 22 turnovers while registering 15 steals on the game.

    Smith hit 5-of-15 from the field, including four 3-pointers, and went 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Roberson shot 5-of-12 from the floor and tallied a game-high five steals. Braun was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including a pair of 3s, and added two steals. Sophomore Whitney Thomas recorded a career-high seven assists.

    Johnson scored a game-high 17 points, while Haynes added 15 points and Lucas-Perry netted 14 in the win. Jefferson led all players with 11 boards.

    The Hoosiers get back into action this weekend when they travel to Illinois on Sunday, Jan. 7. Tip off against the Fighting Illini is at 3 p.m. EST.

    Postgame Quotes
    Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack
    Opening statement:
    "What a great game to watch, what a great game to be a part of, what a great game to coach in. When you see players playing relentless basketball, not relinquishing anything, it's great. Free throw shooting was fantastic. We fell short a little bit on the rebounding, but we didn't fall short, not even one half of a millimeter, in the heart category. I'm really proud of our team. Michigan State is a great team, and our team is growing and getting better every single day."

    On if the team was ready for this situation:
    "We're battle ready. We went down to Kentucky and played in a hostile environment and came away with the victory and we went up to Notre Dame in front of 9,500 people, competed and were successful. We're battle ready. It wasn't about us not being in situations; our kids stepped up to the battle and they fought. However, we fell short and that's what it's all about - getting that loose rebound and sometimes you need a little luck. Down the stretch we didn't get the luck that I thought we deserved. We're going to take a step back, learn the lessons like we do with victories, and we are going to continue to get better. We have kids on this team that don't know how to quit, I don't think they even know how to spell the word."

    On the difference between this game and the previous one at Michigan State:
    "We played Indiana basketball. When we were down at Michigan State, there was a lot of emotion involved on my part, a lot of focus on the opponent, which is not normal for our team. A young coach lost her focus and I take responsibility for that. Tonight, we left it about our team and our program and what we are here to do and the legacy that we are trying to leave. Our kids are really serious about leaving the future of Indiana women's basketball in good shape."

    On what the team did differently with Allyssa DeHaan in this game:
    "We were smart enough to realize that she wasn't going to shrink through the game. We pulled her to the outside and tried to challenge her to see if she could go back inside quickly. We felt that they had the height advantage and a strong bench, but we had our quickness. As long as our kids' legs were sharp, we would have an opportunity to compete."

    Sophomore forward Kim Roberson
    On her offensive surge in the second half of play:
    "We stand for defense, so we just pressured the ball. Whitney (Thomas) and Nikki (Smith) got the feel and looked up and gave me easy baskets. We try to play the same defense all the time and pressure the guards, so it's a bonus for easy offensive baskets."

    Junior guard Nikki Smith:
    On the game:
    "I just think it shows a lot about our team, coming from a game where we got beat by 25 points the last time we played them. To come out and just go after them and not look at them as Michigan State and play our kind of basketball, that was important. I think last time we were in their environment, but today and for the rest of the year, it is so important that we just go out there and don't care what it says on their jerseys. They are just five individuals and we are a team. We're going to go out there and bring the energy and passion that we bring every single night."




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