No. 7 Michigan State Wins Big Ten Tourney
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Michigan State stopped Minnesota’s strong inside tandem, and Liz Shimek scored 15 points in a 55-49 victory Monday that gave the seventh-ranked Spartans their first Big Ten tournament title.
The Spartans (28-3) set a school record by winning their 12th straight game and got an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by taking the lowest-scoring championship game in conference history. The combined 104 points, eclipsed the 108 scored in 1998, when Purdue beat Penn State 59-49.
Michigan State, which used a closing 13-2 run to ensure the outcome, got its sixth straight victory over No. 12 Minnesota (24-7), and did so in uncharacteristic fashion.
Janel McCarville, one of the Big Ten’s most dominant players, was a dismal 1-for-17 and finished with just two points. Jamie Broback led Minnesota with 18 points _ all in the second half. Broback (26 points) and McCarville (21.5) entered the game as the tournament’s top scorers.
The Spartans shut out both players in the first half but could not pull away after scoring just seven points in the final 11:47.
Broback got the Gophers started in the second half by scoring all eight points in an opening 8-3 surge and seven points in a 9-0 run that gave Minnesota a 39-34 lead with 11:46 to go.
But the Spartans rallied, tying the score at 49 on Shimek’s 15-footer with 3:52 to go, taking the lead on another 15-footer by Shimek and shutting out Minnesota for the last 4:17.
Michigan State’s Kristin Haynie was chosen as the tournament’s most outstanding player after averaging 12 points in three victories. She had six points, five rebounds and two assists against the Gophers.
McCarville had 12 rebounds.