EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Kia Vaughn had 12 of her 16 points in the first half to help fourth-seeded Rutgers beat Michigan State 70-57 on its home court Tuesday night in the second round of the Greensboro Regional.Â
Rutgers snatched command of the game with a 13-2 run in the first half while holding the Spartans without a field goal for nearly eight minutes.Â
That stretch put the Scarlet Knights up 22-16 midway through the first half, and they maintained the lead with relentless defense and clutch shooting.Â
After trailing by 13 early in the second half, Michigan State woke up its fans by pulling within six, but Rutgers responded with five straight points.Â
Big Ten freshman of the year Allyssa DeHaan was held scoreless until the 12:42 mark of the second half, and she finished with six points - less than half of her average.Â
Rutgers' Essence Carson had 15 points and freshman Epiphanny Prince scored 14.Â
Prince scored 10 of her 14 after halftime and other teammates seemed to make shots whenever Michigan State seemed to generate momentum.Â
In the second half, Vaughn made both of the shots she attempted and finished with seven rebounds, six blocks and four steals.Â
It was a performance that didn't surprise Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie, who coached Vaughn last summer on USA Basketball's under-20 national team.Â
Rutgers earned a spot in the regional semifinals for the third straight year.Â
Michigan State, which advanced to the 2005 national championship game, fell to 2-5 in second-round games.
Freshman Allyssa DeHaan finished the game with one blocked shot, giving her 145 on the season, a Big Ten single-season record and a Division I freshman record ... She finished the season with the seventh-most rejections in NCAA history.Â
Seniors Victoria Lucas-Perry and Rene Haynes finished their careers with 1, 184 and 1,183 points respectively, the 11th and 12th-best marks in school history ... Lucas-Perry had a team-high 17 points and Haynes had 14.Â
Senior Rene Haynes hit her first four shots of the game, including two field goals and two free throws, accounting for six points before missing a layup with 9:41 left in the first half.Â
Senior Myisha Bannister finished with one blocked shot ... She has four blocked shots during the Spartans' two NCAA Tournament games this year, the second-best total in school history, three behind freshman Allyssa DeHaan's seven.Â
After being outrebounded 42-23 to Rutgers in the teams' match on Jan. 28, Michigan State outrebounded the Scarlet Knights, 22-16, in the first half, despite playing the last 10:29 without DeHaan, who was on the bench with two fouls ... It was only the second time in 19 games this season that the Spartans won the rebounding war and lost (70-60 loss to Purdue on Jan. 14).
DeHaan, after being held scoreless for the first 27 minutes, scored four in a row on a turnaround jumper in the lane and two free throws, cutting Rutgers' lead to nine. Haynes added a free throw and a fast break layup to cap the Spartans' 7-0 run.Â
After fouling out with 1:57 left, senior Rene Haynes received a standing ovation from the crowd ... She finished with 14 points, three rebounds and an assist.Â
Michigan State is now 2-5 all-time in NCAA Tournament Second Round games.Â
The crowd of 8,056 is the 16th-largest to witness a women's basketball game at the Breslin Center.Â
Michigan State Head Coach Joanne P. McCallieÂ
"I am very proud of our team on the way we fought. Proud of the intensity, proud of how they were always fighting, never giving up. I am extremely proud of the two women to my left (Rene Haynes and Victoria Lucas-Perry) for how they have led this program from the moment they got here. Talk about low maintenance people, and getting it from the beginning. It has been remarkable to see what these women have done here throughout their career at Michigan State University. Of course this includes Katrina Grantham and Myisha Bannister as well. It was a great basketball game, I am very proud of the community and the support shown to our team, to have over 8,000 fans present. It was amazing to see our community come out and support our team. I congratulate Rutgers-they were a fine team, very good team, and shot a little too well from the three point line in the second half. We want them to win it all. It is always kind of sudden at this time of year if you do not keep marching on."Â
On Allyssa DeHaan's struggle...
"I felt bad for Allyssa, she played aggressive, she had to sit a while in the first half which was too bad. That was a tremendous disadvantage. I thought Allyssa played aggressive. It was unfortunate."Â
On Rutgers' tournament potential...
"I think Rutgers, if they set their mind to it, can do whatever they want to do. You look at Maryland going down to Ole Miss, the women's game is becoming a lot more like the men's game. You see Marist having fun going to the sweet sixteen. I do not think rankings matter. I think it is how you play on a given night. I think Rutgers can play better, certainly, but they did play very well. They shot the ball extremely well in the second half. It is not only that they made their shots, but when they hit them. They hit four three-point shots with three seconds left on the shot clock. That is like hitting a five point shot because you play great defense, are right there to get the stop and then do not. So they hit some critical three-point shots given the shot clock timing."
Michigan State Freshman CenterAllyssa DeHaanÂ
On her play tonight...
"I just didn't play very well. I didn't do what I was supposed to do. I wasn't as focused. I got in foul trouble again. I didn't convert when I needed too. There was a lot of things that I didn't do and I wish I could take it back but it's done with."Â
On being aggressive while in foul trouble...
"Well, when you have two fouls, when you have three fouls, you obviously can't be as aggressive. You have to tone it down a little bit. You can't go after everything just to stay out of foul trouble. But, that still doesn't mean you're strong and do what you have to do to get it done. You just have to tone it down a little bit."Â
Michigan State Sophomore Guard Mia JohnsonÂ
"They made big shots. It's March. They just came down and hit their shots. Overall there are no excuses, I think we could have contested a little bit better. But at the same time they came up and made some big plays. The fouls were key for them, their off-guards were great. No. 15 was able to get in there and get the garbage baskets, put backs. We may have fouled too much. I honestly think the biggest thing is they stepped up and made big shots."Â
On the home crowd...
"A crowd is always a booster. They help you with your momentum when you do well and when you're not doing so well they can still cheer. They are there for you. We definitely outnumbered them in fans and it helped a lot."Â
Michigan State Senior Rene HaynesÂ
On 103 career wins At Michigan State...
"I love being a Spartan, I've shared that with some wonderful people."Â
Michigan State Senior Victoria Lucas-PerryÂ
On rebounding advantage and outcome of game...
"We knew that we had to get on the glass, and it showed in our rebounding. The outcome, they played a better game tonight."Â
On effect of Rutgers strategy for Allyssa DeHaan...
"They definitely were pushing her up the lane, Alllyssa was fighting back, she's is a strong player. Kia is a great post player and she did a good job of being physical with her, but you'll see a lot of Allyssa."Â
On Rutgers play on MSU's home court...
"Everyone's been talking about how it's a home court advantage, but at this point in the season, everyone is a good team, everyone has played in different environments."
Props to Joe Gustina, the MSU SID.Â