1:00 PM ET, February 25, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Victoria Lucas-Perry knew it wasn't her team's best victory, but she said Michigan State will skip the blame game and concentrate on postseason challenges.The 20th-ranked Spartans (22-7, 13-3 Big Ten) were outhustled Sunday in a 57-50 win over Minnesota. That didn't affect their confidence or their No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. "There was a lot of positive emotion for Senior Day," Lucas-Perry said after leading her team with 13 points in her final regular-season home game. "But the two things we had to do -- rebound and take care of the ball -- didn't get done. We have to find a way to bring it now. And we will." The Golden Gophers (15-14, 7-9) were led by 6-foot freshman guard Korinne Campbell's career-high 17 rebounds and Emily Fox's 15 points. Minnesota also had a whopping 50-33 advantage in rebounds, but 30-percent shooting from the field in each half cost the Gophers an upset and a .500 league mark. "I was proud of our kids' desire and heart for 40 minutes," Minnesota coach Pam Borton said. "It came down to the last four minutes. You have to give Michigan State credit for going 8-for-8 at the foul line down the stretch. But we knew rebounding would be the key for us." When Campbell finished with as many rebounds as any three Spartans, the visitors had a chance. But their 1-for-11 3-point shooting and 19 turnovers let Michigan State escape. The Spartans trailed 35-31 before a Lucas-Perry 3-pointer triggered a 10-0 run midway through the second half. Alisa Wulff gave her team the lead with a breakaway layup before Aisha Jefferson hit a 19-foot jumper from the right corner and Mia Johnson added a 3 from roughly the same spot. "It was definitely a defensive battle, but I was appalled by our lack of rebounding," Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "Rebounding is all about heart and hustle. For that young lady, Miss Campbell, to have 17 rebounds, showed she had a lot more heart and hustle than anyone on our team." When the Gophers cut the deficit to 45-44 on a 3-pointer by Fox, the Spartans answered with a three-point drive by Johnson and protected that margin with free throws. "How can you play that way?" McCallie said. "You can when you don't have high goals for yourself and start to get satisfied. Actually, we played a lot better today than we did Thursday at Illinois, if you can picture that. But we have to play 40 minutes, whatever team we play." Allyssa DeHaan had eight points and eight blocked shots for Michigan State. The 6-foot-9 freshman has 129 blocks this season, seven shy of the Big Ten season mark. "I still look at us as the team that won at Purdue and Ohio State," senior Katrina Grantham said. "It's not that difficult to focus and bring your 'A' game now that it's one-and-done time. But to be satisfied in any game is a loser's mentality. All the games matter."