Senior guard/tri-captain Ashley Barlow, a BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll selection on Monday, is averaging a team-high 13.7 points per game as the #5/6 Irish head to the Virgin Islands for their first appearance in the Paradise Jam, beginning Thursday at 3:15 p.m. (ET) vs. #23 San Diego State.

Notre Dame Escapes Michigan State, 68-67

Nov. 19, 2009

Box Score Get Acrobat Reader | Box Score | AP Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif | Postgame Press Conference Audio

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Thanks to Ashley Barlow, Notre Dame withstood a tough test on the road.

Barlow scored 18 points and hit a tiebreaking free throw with 10 seconds left, lifting the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish to a 68-67 victory over No. 21 Michigan State on Thursday night.

The Spartans had a chance to win after Barlow’s late foul shot, but Aisha Jefferson missed a jumper from the lane with 4 seconds to go.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw wasn’t happy with ill-timed turnovers, sketchy shot selection and occasional lapses on defense. But she liked her team’s character at crunch time.

“I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping our poise down the stretch,” McGraw said.

Allyssa DeHaan led Michigan State (1-2) with 20 points.

Michigan State trailed 45-35 when DeHaan, a 6-foot-9 senior, limped off the court with an apparent ankle injury early in the second half. The Spartans, sparked by their defense and forcing turnovers, went on a 15-2 tear immediately afterward to grab a 50-47 lead with 11:52 remaining.

DeHaan returned and increased Michigan State’s lead to 56-51 with a basket with about 10 minutes to go.

“She showed a lot of heart to come back,” coach Suzy Merchant said.

But the Irish (2-0) regained the lead with an 8-0 run capped by Erica Williamson’s layup with 8:41 left.

Michigan State tied the score at 67 on a free throw by Porsche Poole with 55 seconds left.

A foul by Michigan State after a missed free throw by the Irish put Notre Dame in the double bonus. Barlow missed her first free throw with 10 seconds left, but sank her second opportunity to put the Irish in front.

“I was confident I was going to make the first one, and it didn’t go in,” Barlow said. “But I didn’t hang my head.”

Lindsay Schrader had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Notre Dame.

Lykendra Johnson had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Michigan State.

Michigan State started the season ranked 10th in The Associated Press poll. The Spartans fell after losing their season opener at Dayton.

Michigan State bounced back to win at Detroit on Sunday. But on Tuesday, the Spartans lost sophomore forward Courtney Schiffauer for the season with a right knee injury sustained in practice.

Schiffauer started one of the first two games this season for the Spartans, leading the team in scoring (16.5 points per game) and rebounds (7.5 per game).

Notre Dame opened its season Sunday with a 102-57 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

— ND —

POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame picks up its first win over a ranked opponent since Feb. 8, 2009, when the Fighting Irish defeated visiting No. 25 DePaul, 62-59 at the former Joyce Center … it’s also the first road win for Notre Dame at a ranked team since Dec. 30, 2008, when the Fighting Irish capped a school-record 18-point comeback for a 59-57 win at No. 20/19 Vanderbilt … Notre Dame earns its first win at Michigan State since Dec. 21, 1998, when the Fighting Irish defeated the Spartans, 75-64 at the Breslin Center … Notre Dame claims its second consecutive win over MSU and trims the Spartans’ all-time series lead to 8-6 (Michigan State’s record books add one more MSU win to the total in a game that was played before Notre Dame’s program achieved varsity status in 1977-78) … eight of the 14 series games between the Fighting Irish and Spartans have been decided by single digits, including a pair of overtime contests (both MSU wins) … Notre Dame improves to 21-9 (.700) in its last 30 true road games, dating back to the start of the 2007-08 season … the Fighting Irish have won 12 of their last 18 games against Big Ten Conference opponents, and are 39-48 (.448) all-time against that league … Notre Dame moves to 53-20 (.726) all-time against Michigan schools, with a 33-8 (.805) record in the 23-year Muffet McGraw era … the Fighting Irish are 165-17 (.907) in the past decade (2000-01 to present) when owning the lead at halftime, with wins in 93 of their last 104 such contests … fifth-year senior guard Lindsay Schrader logged her 12th career double-double, tying current assistant coach Niele Ivey’s school record for career double-doubles by a guard set from 1996-2001 … Schrader’s 14 rebounds were one off her career of 15 boards, set on Jan. 31, 2009 in a win over Cincinnati at the former Joyce Center … senior guard Ashley Barlow now is just 16 rebounds away from joining former teammate Charel Allen (2004-08) as the only Fighting Irish players with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 200 steals in their careers … McGraw collects her 498th win as Notre Dame’s head coach (498-197, .717), putting her two victories away from becoming the fourth Fighting Irish coach (in any sport) to record 500 career wins while coaching at Notre Dame — the only current members of this group are former fencing coaches Mike DeCicco and Yves Auriol, and former baseball coach Jake Kline.