Spartans Advance In Big Ten Tournament

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Michigan State freshman Allyssa DeHaan had 27 points and eight rebounds to lead the No. 22 Spartans to a 77-68 victory over Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals Friday.
The 6-foot-9 DeHaan was unstoppable, dominating the middle against the Golden Gophers. Despite spending seven minutes on the bench, DeHaan finished 12-of-14 from the field, had six blocks, five assists and only two turnovers.
The Spartans (23-7) won for the eighth time in nine games and earned their fourth straight tournament semifinal appearance. They'll face No. 15 Purdue (26-5) on Sunday after the teams split the regular-season series, each winning on the road.
Sixth-seeded Minnesota (16-15) was led by Emily Fox with 21 points and Kelly Roysland with 18, not nearly enough to avoid a seventh loss in 10 games and doom any chance of making a late impression on the NCAA tournament selection committee.
DeHaan did it all, freeing herself up for shots, sliding off defenders and routinely finding open teammates. When she wasn't hurting Minnesota on offense, she was intimidating it on defense.
The combination was too much for the Gophers, who also lost the regular-season finale to Michigan State -- a game that included eight blocks by DeHaan.
Michigan State quickly built a 13-4 lead and extended the margin to 32-17 late in the first half. The Gophers closed to 34-27 at halftime, when DeHaan was on the bench, but the freshman sparked a second-half surge that helped the Spartans take a 17-point lead.
Minnesota charged back late, getting within five several times, but the Spartans sealed the outcome with an 8-1 run in the closing minutes.
The Gophers also endured the ignominy of letting Michigan State break the Big Ten's single-season record for blocked shots. The Spartans finished with 10, giving them 191 this season to break Penn State's mark of 184 in 2001-02.
Minnesota's struggles in Indianapolis continued. The Gophers have made only one semifinal appearance in 13 seasons -- in 2005, when they lost the championship game to Michigan State. They are now 5-13 all-time in tournament play.

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