|Spartans Pull Away To Advance To Finals|
|Written by mark|
|Friday, 27 March 2009 19:33|
Never Give Up
Indianapolis,Ind - Goran Suton had 20 points and nine rebounds and Michigan State was steady from the foul line, rallying to defeat defending NCAA champion Kansas 67-62 Friday night in the Midwest Regional semifinals.
Kalin Lucas added 18 points for the second-seeded Spartans (29-6). He shot just 5-for-15 from the field, but made all five of his free throws in the final minute. Overall, Michigan State went 16 of 17 from the line.
Michigan State overcame a 13-point deficit in the first half and advanced to play Louisville on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four. The top-seeded Cardinals defeated Arizona 103-64 earlier in the night.
``Kansas is a very, very good team. I'm very proud of how our guys fought back,'' Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
Sherron Collins scored 20 points and Cole Aldrich had 17 points and 14 rebounds for Kansas (27-7).
Kansas led 60-57 when Michigan State's Durrell Summers was fouled. He made the first of two free throws, and the Spartans came up with the offensive rebound when he missed the second. Raymar Morgan, who hadn't made a basket the entire game, dunked to tie it at 60 with 1:46 to play.
On Michigan State's next possession, Lucas spun, pump-faked in the lane, drew contact from Collins, then dropped in a shot. He made the free throw to put the Spartans ahead 63-60 with 48 seconds left.
Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor made two free throws with 32 seconds left, then Lucas came back with two at the other end to make it 65-62.
Collins was fouled with 20 seconds to play. He missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Michigan State came up with the ball. Lucas made two more free throws with 14.4 seconds left to seal the game.
Kansas led 36-29 at halftime, but Michigan State started strong after the break. Draymond Green scored from in close and was fouled, and his 3-point play cut Kansas' lead to 40-39 just three minutes into the second half. Suton tied the game at 42 on a 3-pointer with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Aldrich scored twice during a 6-0 run to put the Jayhawks up 48-42, but their lead didn't last. A pull-up jumper in the lane by Travis Walton gave Michigan State a 51-49 edge, the Spartans' first advantage since the early minutes of the game.
Michigan State defeated Kansas 75-62 on Jan. 10 in East Lansing, Mich., after the young Jayhawks fell behind 37-18 at halftime.
This time, Kansas got off to the quick start. The Jayhawks took a 9-2 lead in the opening minutes, highlighted by a 3-pointer and a layup by Collins.
A dunk by Brady Morningstar, the final basket during an 11-0 run over a four-minute span, gave Kansas a 26-16 lead.
The Jayhawks pushed their lead to 32-19 before the Spartans rallied late in the half. Michigan State chopped the lead to 34-27 before Aldrich hit a long 2-pointer from the top of the key with 18 seconds left in the half.
Suton appeared to make a long jumper as time expired in the first half, but the officials waved it off. After review, he was awarded the basket.
Posted: 3/28/09 12:30AM ET