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First Half Cold Spell Dooms Michigan State

The Spartans' season ended with a 70-57 loss to Rutgers in the NCAA Tournament second round.

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Allyssa DeHaan surveys the floor during second round NCAA Tournament action against Rutgers. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

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First Half Cold Spell Dooms Michigan State
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March 20, 2007

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Kia Vaughn had 12 of her 16 points in the first half to help fourth-seeded Rutgers beat Michigan State 70-57 on its home court Tuesday night in the second round of the Greensboro Regional.

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 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, Michigan State woke up its fans by pulling within six, but Rutgers responded with five straight points.

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.

Victoria Lucas-Perry scored 17, Rene Haynes had 14 points and Aisha Jefferson added 13 for the Spartans (24-9).

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

Prince scored 10 of her 14 after halftime and other teammates seemed to make shots whenever Michigan State seemed to generate momentum.

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

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

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.