Wildcats Fall To Michigan State In NCAA First Round

March 22, 2004

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AP Sports Writer

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Lindsay Bowen scored 18 points and Michigan State useda strong defensive effort to beat Arizona 72-60 Sunday night in the first roundof the NCAA tournament.

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

Liz Shimek grabbed 13 rebounds and had 16 points for the Spartans, scoringeight over the final six minutes to help hold off Arizona's late rally. KristinHaynie added 12 points.

Center Shawntinice Polk scored 23 points for Arizona (24-9), which otherwisestruggled against the Spartans' tough matchup zone defense. Michigan State wonthe rebounding 41-31 and forced 18 Wildcats turnovers.

Bowen scored 10 in the first half and the Spartans threatened to takecontrol 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 threestraight steals.

Danielle Adefesco defends Michigan State forward Liz Shemek during the first half of their NCAA West Regional first round game.

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

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

Michigan State led by as much as 12 in the second and the Spartans were up57-49 before Arizona closed it to 59-56. Polk scored five straight points in a7-0 run.

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

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