Scores

Final

Michigan State 57

(24-9, 14-4 Big Ten)

Rutgers 70

(24-8, 12-4 Big East)

    7:00 PM ET, March 20, 2007

    1 2 T
    MSU 25 3257
    RUTG 32 3870

    Top Performers

    Michigan St: V. Lucas-Perry 17 Pts, 10 Reb

    Rutgers: K. Vaughn 16 Pts, 7 Reb

    Rutgers dominates early, rolls over Michigan St.

    Associated Press

    EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Playing at home is no advantage when facing Rutgers.

    The fourth-seeded Scarlet Knights beat Michigan State 70-57 Tuesday night on its court in the second round of the Greensboro Regional.

    "Since we were the higher seed, we just listened to the fans and thought they were cheering for us," Rutgers guard Dee Dee Jernigan.

    The impressive victory came two weeks after winning at Connecticut in the Big East conference tournament final.

    Rutgers is playing so well on the road, it probably won't mind doing it again later this week.

    The Scarlet Knights (24-8) play the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils (32-1) Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. -- about 50 miles from their campus.

    "We have an opportunity to find out how good we really are," Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said.

    Duke won at Rutgers 85-45 on Dec. 4, in what was "a really embarrassing blowout," Stringer recalled.

    "I remember being totally stunned, like we had been run over by a tractor trailer at our own place and the whole world saw it," she said. "It was 40, but it could've been 60."

    Against Michigan State (24-9), Kia Vaughn had 12 of her 16 points in the first half and her teammates made all five of their 3-pointers after halftime.

    "It's always kind of sudden this time of year, if you don't keep marching on," said coach Joanne P. McCallie, whose future at Michigan State is in doubt.

    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.

    That dominating stretch put the Scarlet Knights up 22-16 midway through the first half, and they maintained the lead with relentless defense and clutch shooting.

    After trailing by 13 early in the second half, fifth-seeded Michigan State woke up its fans by pulling within six, but Rutgers responded with five straight points to quiet the crowd.

    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.

    Trying to guard Vaughn, DeHaan had two fouls in the first half and played just six minutes.

    "Kia got the big girl in foul trouble right away," Rutgers guard Matee Ajavon said.

    Victoria Lucas-Perry scored 17, Rene Haynes had 14 points and Aisha Jefferson added 13 for the Spartans.

    Rutgers' Essence Carson had 15 points and freshman Epiphanny Prince scored 14.

    Vaughn did more than just score in the first half.

    The 6-foot-4 center grabbed four rebounds, blocked four shots, had two steals. She also used strength and aggressiveness to make the 6-9 DeHaan uncomfortable, pushing her out of comfortable spots on the block.

    "She's a physical player and used that to her advantage," said DeHaan, who was sobbing uncontrollably in the locker room. "This hurts real bad."

    DeHaan set an NCAA freshman record with 145 blocks, but tied a season low with one against Rutgers.

    Vaughn didn't score as much in the second half, but didn't have to because Prince scored 10 of her 14 after halftime and other teammates made shots whenever Michigan State seemed to generate momentum.

    "It's not only that they made shots, but when they made their shots," McCallie said.

    In the second half, Vaughn made both of the shots she attempted and finished with seven rebounds, six blocks and four steals.

    Vaughn swatted a shot in the lane on one possession, then blocked a 3-point attempt on Michigan State's next possession.

    "My mind-set was defense the whole game," she said.

    It was a performance that didn't surprise McCallie, who coached Vaughn last summer on USA Basketball's under-20 national team.

    "She's only a sophomore, but she really looked older," McCallie said.

    Rutgers earned a spot in the regional semifinals for the third straight year.

    Michigan State, which advanced to the 2005 national championship game, fell to 2-5 in second-round games.

    McCallie has turned the Spartans into one of the better programs in the country, but she has been linked to openings at Florida, LSU and Texas.

    After the game, McCallie was asked if she expected to be back next season.

    "I'm not going to address any of those questions in this forum," she said.

    Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon appeared to be waiting to speak with McCallie after her news conference, but the coach did not stop to chat on her way to her office.

    "She's obviously been a great asset for the university," Simon said. "But like any coach, she will meet with the AD after the season like every coach does every year."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    MSU
    RUTG
    Points 57 70
    FG Made-Attempted 17-52 (.327) 19-45 (.422)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-12 (.333) 8-15 (.533)
    FT Made-Attempted 19-22 (.864) 24-29 (.828)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 5 18

    Game Leaders

     
    MSU
    RUTG
    PointsV. Lucas-Perry 17K. Vaughn 16
    ReboundsV. Lucas-Perry 10E. Carson 8

    Series

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Mar 20, 2007 @RUTG 70, MSU 57Recap | Box Score