The MSU women’s basketball team won’t be returning from Sin City empty-handed. The Spartans claimed the 2012 South Point Holiday Hoops Classic championship in Las Vegas Thursday evening after beating Texas Tech 50-48 in overtime.
On Wednesday, the first day of the two-game tournament, MSU (11-1 overall) knocked off Oregon State, 49-35, with a dominating defensive effort.
With six minutes left in the game, the Spartans held a 38-31 lead, before Texas Tech (8-2) came storming back and cut the MSU lead to one with less than two minutes to play.
Sophomore guard Kiana Johnson, who made her first appearance for MSU this season on Sunday following a nine-game suspension to start the season, came up clutch for the Spartans in the tournament final. She hit two free throws with 36.5 seconds left to put MSU up 44-41.
The Red Raiders’ Monique Smalls forced overtime with her 3-pointer with 10.3 seconds on the clock.
Texas Tech got out to a fast start in overtime by scoring the first four points. From there, however, MSU held the Red Raiders scoreless for the final 2:56.
Johnson was the only player to score for the Spartans in overtime, with six points to seal the game — the last of which was a pull-up jumper with 8.3 seconds left. Her 11 points on the night tied the team-high with senior guard Jasmine Thomas, who added three assists and three steals.
Sophomore center Jasmine Hines was named to the all-tournament team, while Thomas was named Most Outstanding Player as MSU improved to 77-42 all-time in regular season tournaments.
The Spartans return to action at noon on Dec. 29 as they take on Temple.
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