1:05 PM ET, January 9, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Victoria Lucas-Perry energized Michigan State, and the Spartans' pressure defense finished off Iowa.Lucas-Perry scored seven points during a 19-0 run late in the first half that helped the No. 6 Spartans avoid consecutive Big Ten losses with a 68-56 win over Iowa (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) on Sunday.The Spartans trailed 15-12 before Lucas-Perry got them going on both ends. Michigan State forced 20 turnovers and Lucas-Perry had four of the Spartans' 15 steals. She finished with 13 points."Getting the steals led to fast breaks and rattled them a little bit," Lucas-Perry said. "We tried to take advantage of that and pick up the pressure even more. You don't plan on spurts like that. But it was very important not to have back-to-back losses."Lindsay Bowen had 17 points and Liz Shimek added 16 points and 10 rebounds.Before 8,512 fans, the fourth-largest home crowd in the program's history, the Spartans (13-2, 2-1 Big Ten) outshot and outscrapped the Hawkeyes (13-2, 2-2) for most of the final 32 minutes."I think we really set the tempo," Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "But the crowd today made such a difference. Our team would surge, and the crowd would go crazy.""I enjoy watching them play," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said of the Spartans. "They got probably 80 percent of the loose balls out there and worked so hard. I love their balance. And they were on top of my list at the beginning of the year, as far as Big Ten predictions."The Hawkeyes were led by Jamie Cavey, who returned to the game after suffering a bloody nose. Cavey finished with a season-high 21 points before fouling out with 4:02 left.The win was Michigan State's fourth in five matchups with ranked opponents and prevented an 0-2 week, following a 68-54 loss at No. 9 Ohio State on Thursday."We weren't going to let that happen again," Bowen said. "We wanted to get in their faces and shorts, jump the passing lanes and play real tough defense. There was never a doubt that we'd be ready to play Iowa."The Hawkeyes, who entered the game with their best start in 17 years, have lost two straight.The Spartans outshot Iowa in every department and hit 46.7 percent of their 3-point tries, with Bowen 3-for-6 and Shimek 2-for-2 from long range."I guess the key was being in attack mode the whole game," Shimek said. "(Cavey) is a great post player, but she ended up on the floor a few times. And when a team doesn't score for 10 minutes, you want to keep that going as long as you can."