Spartans Top North Carolina State, Advance to WNIT Championship Game

April 2, 2008

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Mia Johnson scored 17 points and Allyssa DeHaan had 15, including the game-winning putback, to help Michigan State beat North Carolina State 58-57 on Wednesday in a WNIT semifinal.

Johnson's 3-for-5 accuracy from 3-point range and 6-for-6 work at the foul line helped the Spartans (23-13) lead for most of the second half.

But it took DeHaan's rebound layup with 11 seconds left to keep Michigan State home for the championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Spartans will play Wednesday night's Marquette-Colorado winner.

DeHaan's backup, Lauren Aitch, added 12 points for the Spartans, who held off several Wolfpack challenges in the closing minutes.

The last two came on a 19-foot jumper by Tia Bell and a 12-foot leaner by Sharnise Beal that gave North Carolina State (21-13) a pair of one-point leads.

Nikitta Gartrell led the Wolfpack with 14 points, while Khadijah Washingson had 13 and Bell 12 on "Think Pink" night, in honor of visiting coach Kay Yow, a breast cancer survivor with 725 wins.

The Spartans scored the first nine points of the game, then watched the Wolfback claw back to take a 28-25 lead.

A 3-pointer from Johnson made it 28-28 at the break.