DeHaan Back, Spartans Win

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Allyssa DeHaan didn't mind having three freshmen around her and a new head coach on the Michigan State bench.
DeHaan's 18 points and seven blocked shots were just what Suzy Merchant ordered in her first game as the No. 17 Spartans' leader, a 65-35 win over IUPUI on Friday night.
"I'm just really pleased to get the first one out of the way," McCallie said after moving from Eastern Michigan to replace new Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie. "But I'm always a little nervous no matter where I coach. I always have a pit in my stomach."
Another newcomer, Canadian freshman Kalisha Keane, added 12 points in her first college game, a first-round matchup in the Preseason WNIT.
"I can't feel like a freshman," Keane said. "Coach Merchant won't let us. She challenged us all to come out with a lot of energy and not be a second-half team. I think that's what we did."
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 game's first seven points and was too much for the Jaguars to handle at either end 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.
"Our freshmen are going to play a lot," Merchant said. "When Aisha went down, I told our players, `The freshmen aren't freshmen any more. And the sophomores aren't sophomores."'
Her point wasn't lost on DeHaan, who set the Big Ten record for blocks with 145 a season ago.
"It was a little different without Aisha," DeHaan said. "Her situation is very sad. But it's an opportunity for everyone else. And if everyone gives as much as Aisha did, this team can do great things."
The Spartans led 37-22 at halftime and 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 before fouling out with 5:47 left.
IUPUI's Jernisha Cann led all rebounders with 13 but was just 1-for-13 from the field.
"Both teams have a lot of work to do," Jaguars coach Shann Hart said. "I thought they came out and were very aggressive. And DeHaan did what DeHaan does."
Michigan State will host Evansville in WNIT second-round play at 2 p.m. Sunday.


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