Nov. 18, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Liz Shimek scored a career-high 26 points and No. 10 Michigan State beat UC Santa Barbara 86-55 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Lindsay Bowen added 16 points, Victoria Lucas-Perry 15 and Rene Haynes 14 for the Spartans, who took control with an opening 27-4 run in their first game since losing to Baylor in the NCAA championship game.
Jenna Green scored 17 points and Erin O'Bryan had 16 for UCSB, favored to win its 11th straight Big West title. It was the Gauchos' first loss in an opener since 1994, while O'Bryan's 14 three-point attempts were one-shy of the school record.
Michigan State dominated from the tip with alternating zone and pressure defenses and solid rebounding. But 11 of the Spartans' 19 turnovers helped UCSB draw within 40-30 in the last minute of the first half when O'Bryan buried a pair of three-pointers and freshman LaShay Fears drained another.
Another surge, keyed by 53.1-percent field-goal shooting to the Gauchos' 25 percent, put the game out of reach and gave Michigan State its seventh straight opening win.
The Spartans shot 52.5 percent from the field, and had a 44-32 rebound advantage. Shimek and Laura Hall lead Michigan State with seven rebounds each, while Kat Suderman had eight to lead UCSB.
The Gauchos will try to quickly regroup for their second straight road game against a 2005 Big Dance participant as they travel to Louisville for a Sunday, Nov. 20 game slated to begin at 12:00 p.m. EST/9:00 a.m. PST.