Michigan State rides second-half surge past Florida State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant loves scrappy play. She really loved it Wednesday night.

Kalisha Keane scored 20 of her 22 points in the second half to lead a ferocious comeback that carried the 25th-ranked Spartans to a 72-64 victory over Florida State (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge game.

Porsche Poole came off the bench to add 18 points and Brittney Thomas had 14 for the Spartans, who made 19-of-23 free throws and shot 9-of-21 from 3-point range.

The ball-hawking Spartans had 19 steals, including nine by Lykendra Johnson, who also chipped in with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

"Scrappiness," Merchant said about the comeback. "We used our quickness."

The Spartans capitalized on their defense to score 28 points off Florida State turnovers.

The Seminoles (6-1) went scoreless for nearly seven minutes midway through the game as the Spartans went on a 19-0 run to grab a 37-30 lead.

"Our goal was to keep moving," Merchant said.

And did they ever, wiping out an early 16-point deficit on the road against a ranked opponent.

"If you want to get where you want to get you've got to play good teams," Merchant said. "We felt like getting a signature win here might help us down the road."

Florida State coach Sue Semrau said the loss might help her team, which won a school-record 29 games last season and advanced to the Elite Eight before being eliminated by UConn.

"Michigan State's a good team and deserved to win," Semrau said. "They outplayed us."

Florida State had the first big spurt, but as it turned out not the biggest. Alexa Deluzio's jumper with 8:39 left in the first half capped a 15-0 run that gave the Seminoles a 23-7 lead.

But Michigan State (6-1) chipped away. Jasmine Thomas scored the last five points before halftime to get the Spartans within 30-25 despite 31 percent shooting in the half.

Keane hit a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to tie the game at 30 with 1:31 left.

Courtney Ward had 15 points, Deluzio 14 and freshman Natasha Howard 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead Florida State.

Ward's 3-pointer with 3:26 remaining in the half gave Florida State a 30-18 lead, but the Seminoles didn't score again until Deluzio's layup with 16:24 left.

Florida State's leading scorer, Cierra Bravard, struggled in the first half -- getting only one basket while committing four turnovers. She finished with nine points on 3-of-11 shooting.

Despite a 45-29 rebounding advantage, the Seminoles couldn't offset their mistakes and cold shooting.

Michigan State shot 40.7 percent to Florida State's 36.5.