EAST LANSING, Mich. - Adrianne McNally scored a game-high 21 points to lead four players in double-figures for FGCU, but No. 21/24 Michigan State shot lights-out from the field and overwhelmed the Eagles, as the Spartans defeated the Blue and Green, 94-71, in front of 4,234 fans at the Breslin Center.
“Our strategy of packing it in and forcing them out on the perimeter obviously didn’t work,” head coach Karl Smesko said after his team’s three-game winning streak was snapped. “Kids who haven’t made many 3s this year come right out of the gate and start hitting 3s and then everybody’s feeling good and hitting 3s. They really buried us and shocked us early.”
MSU (7-3) shot a blistering 71 percent from the field as they built a 57-27 halftime lead and never looked back.
The Eagles (4-3, 1-0 in the Atlantic Sun) fought back in the second half as they outscored The Spartans 44-37 in the second.
FGCU was scoreless until 17:09 in the first half when a Layup from McNally (Howell, Mich.) cut the Spartans lead to 13-2. The Blue and Green would remain in the single digits until another McNally bucket at 8:15 (36-10).
Michigan State would make 13 3-pointers in just 19 attempts, including making 9-of-12 in the first half as they took a 57-27 halftime lead.
FGCU fell behind by as many as 33 points in the second half before it began its comeback. The Eagles went on a 20-2 run that cut MSU’s lead to 69-54 with just over ten minutes remaining thanks in part to 3-pointers from sophomore guard Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla.) and sophomore guard Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn.). The Spartans lead at halftime proved to be too much for the Blue and Green to overcome as FGCU fell 94-71.
McNally’s 21 points and five rebounds led the Eagles. Griffin finished the game with 14 points to go along with Jacobson’s 12.
Senior forward Chelsea Lyles (Colorado Springs, Col.) was also in double figures for FGCU with 12 points. Junior guard Shavonne Butler (New Orleans, La.) added seven points in just ten minutes on 3-of-3 shooting.
Brittany Thomas led the Spartans with 13 points, Kalisha Keane finished with 12, and Allyssa DeHaan had 11 points.
After shooting only 30 percent from the field in the first half, FGCU shot just under 49 percent in the final 20 minutes of the game. The Blue and Green shot 40.0 percent (26-of-64) from the floor, hitting 13-of-31 (41.9-percent) three-pointers, while Michigan State shot 64.9 percent (37-of-57) from the floor and 68.4 percent (13-of-19) from outside the arc.
FGCU finished with more assists (16) than turnovers (10) and ended the game with seven steals.
The Eagles are back in action this Saturday, December 19 when they host USC Upstate in an Atlantic Sun conference game at Alico Arena at 7:05 p.m. The Eagles are 3-0 at home this season.