8:00 PM ET, January 19, 2005
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Michigan State's potent offense had managed just 25 points in the first half against Illinois, leaving Spartans coach Joanne P. McCallie perplexed."We really were a little flighty, to say the least, in the first half in terms of execution," McCallie said. "We didn't execute anything."Except on the boards.Kelli Roehrig had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and the Spartans thoroughly dominated on the glass to beat the Illini 62-42 on Wednesday night.Michigan State had 11 offensive rebounds, eight during a poor-shooting first half, and outrebounded Illinois 42-24.The Spartans (16-2, 5-1 Big Ten), who were averaging 72 points per game, missed their first seven shots. But they also held Illinois (11-5, 3-3) to just two points during the drought and grabbed the lead for good with a 12-4 run that put them up 16-9 with 9:48 to go in the first half."I thought the first half was one of the best defensive halves we've played in a long time," Illini coach Theresa Grentz said.But Michigan State extended its 25-20 halftime lead with a 17-6 run to start the second half and the Spartans won their fourth straight game. A basket by Victoria Lucas-Perry with 3:55 to go gave the Spartans their biggest lead, 58-33."In the second half, we did a better job of attacking and getting to the foul line," said Kristin Haynie, who finished with 10 points and six assists to set a new Michigan State career record with 466. "Our defense never let down in the second half. We just held a great penetrating team to 42 points."Illinois had a horrible night offensively, hitting only 35 percent from the field. Michigan State's defense held Angelina Williams, who entered the game second in scoring in the Big Ten at 19.3 points per game, to only 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting.Tiffanie Guthrie, Illinois' other main scoring threat, also scored 12 points, hitting 5-of-12."You can't stop Williams and Guthrie, but I think our team did a good job collectively of slowing them so they couldn't play the kind of dominant games they do play sometimes," McCallie said.And beyond Williams and Guthrie, Illinois' scoring punch falls off dramatically. Collectively, their teammates were 5-of-16 from the floor."We take shots in games that I've never seen," Grentz said. "I don't know if it's because we're afraid or scared or panicking. I don't know what it is, but they're bad shots, and that just puts more pressure on two kids who can score."Illinois also had 21 turnovers that led to 23 Michigan State points.Lindsay Bowen added 11 points for Michigan State. Haynie's new assist record breaks the mark of 460 set by Chris Powers from 1992-95.
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