Merchant wins in Spartans coaching debut

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Allyssa DeHaan scored 18 points and had seven blocked shots to help Michigan State (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) beat IUPUI 65-35 on Friday night in Suzy Merchant's Spartan coaching debut.

Canadian freshman Kalisha Keane, added 12 points in her first college game, a first-round matchup in the Preseason WNIT.

Replacing Joanne P. McCallie, who left for Duke, Merchant's first win in her dream job was never in question. Michigan State roared to a 12-0 lead and forced eight turnovers before allowing a point.

DeHaan, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, had five of the first seven points and was too much for the Jaguars to handle at both ends of the court.

Keane helped the Spartans overcome the loss of standout forward Aisha Jefferson, who was lost for the season Sunday with a knee injury.

The Spartans led 37-22 at halftime, then pulled away in the last 20 minutes, when IUPUI hit just 13.8 percent of its shots from the field.

Julia Whitted, a burly 6-5 center, battled to keep the Jaguars competitive and had 10 points when she fouled out with just under six minutes left.

IUPUI's Jernisha Cann led all rebounders with 13, but was just 1-for-13 from the field.