WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Big Ten player of the year Kalisha Keane scored 17 points, Taylor Alton added 14 and fourth-seeded Michigan State maintained its run of success in first-round NCAA tournament games, beating Northern Iowa 69-66 on Sunday.
Michigan State (27-5) is 9-1 in first-round NCAA games, with its only loss coming in 2003. The Spartans will play fifth-seeded Wisconsin-Green Bay in a second-round game Tuesday.
Northern Iowa (27-6) entered with a 19-game winning streak and hung close all the way, but Michigan State’s size and length proved to be too much for the Panthers.
Michigan State didn’t score in the final 1:53, and Northern Iowa’s Erin Brocka missed a 3-point attempt in the final seconds that would have tied the game.
Jacqui Kalin scored 21 points for Northern Iowa, which won the Missouri Valley Conference title.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)