Nov. 17, 2001
East Lansing, MI - UCLA fell short in its attempt to capture the Spartan Chevrolet Classic team title, falling to Michigan State, 67-63 in the championship game despite a 36-point game by Michelle Greco.
UCLA jumped out to an early nine-point lead, 17-8 at the 11:11 mark. However, the Spartans started to play some tenacious defense and slowly cut into Bruins' advantage. A 12-0 run by the Spartans gave MSU a three-point lead (20-17) with 3:28 to play.
A three-pointer by Cortne Ellis gave MSU a 23-17 advantage with just under two minutes to go in the first half. The Spartans held UCLA to just four points in the final 10 minutes of the first half. MSU entered the locker room at the half with a 25-21 advantage.
The second half was a completely different story. UCLA and MSU exchanged basket after basket as neither team could garner more than a six-point advantage. The Bruins held a six-point lead (53-49) with 6:18 to play. MSU went on a 6-3 run to knot the game at 56 all after a 3-point basket by Candice Jackson.
MSU sealed the victory with six straight free throws down the stretch, including four straight by freshman guard Kristin Haynie and a pair by junior guard/forward Syreeta Bromfield.
Greco, the Tournament Most Valuable Player, added a career-high 36 points for the Bruins and set a new school record with eight three-point shots. All-Tournament honoree Malika Leatham finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
In the Spartan Chevrolet Classic consolation game, Liberty posted a 59-40 victory over Buffalo. Liberty led by as many as 11 points in the first half in posting its first win of the season. The Bulls, under the direction of former Spartan assistant coach Cheryl Dozier, fall to 0-2 overall.
Spartan Chevrolet Classic All-Tournament Team
Julie Pagel, Michigan State
Kristin Haynie, Michigan State
Syreeta Bromfield, Michigan State
Malika Leatham, UCLA
Laura Rollyson, Liberty
Michelle Greco, UCLA (Most Valuable Player)