Lacey Holsworth, the eight-year girl that became famous for her friendship with Michigan State center Adreian Payne, has passed away after losing her battle with cancer.
She was eight years old.
“Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory,” her family posted on her Instagram account. “She now dances among angels.”
Lacey and Payne’s friendship started when Payne visited a local children’s hospital, and the two became so close that Lacey was Payne’s escort on Senior Night. She cut down a piece of the net after the Spartans won the Big Ten title, she traveled with the team to New York for the East Regionals and she watched Payne perform in the college dunk contest on Thursday night in Dallas.
Here is Payne’s statement, released Wednesday afternoon: “Words can’t express how much I already miss Lacey. She is my sister, and will always be a part of my life. She taught me how to fight through everything with a smile on my face even when things were going wrong. I’m a better man because of her. She said she first liked me because of my smile, but it’s her smile that made America fall in love with her. I know she’s smiling and dancing in heaven right now. My princess is now an angel.”
Lacey was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in December of 2011.
VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.