Nov. 17, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Allyssa DeHaan knew she needed to be more aggressive, but she only disappointed herself.
DeHaan scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in her first collegiate game to lift Michigan State past Bucknell 68-51 on Friday night.
DeHaan, a 6-foot-9 freshman, was 7-for-14 from the field and blocked three shots for the 17th-ranked Spartans (1-0).
"I couldn't give myself a grade, but I know I need to improve a lot," DeHaan said. "I have to be more aggressive, look to score and block out. I'm slowly working my way up to mean."
Rene Haynes added 12 points, seven rebounds and six steals for Michigan State, which led 35-25 at halftime and quickly built the margin to 18.
"I think our steals reflect our intensity," Haynes said. "Now, we have to take it to another level. It's all about ball pressure and energy. When people say we're not going to be the same team, they're right. Our four seniors bring something different."
Lindsey Hollobaugh led the Bison (2-2) with 12 points. Kesha Champion added 10 points and eight rebounds. Hope Foster, Bucknell's tallest player at 6-2, had 10 rebounds and a school-record 11 blocks.
"I was happy with the effort, not with the outcome," Bison coach Kathy Fedorjaka said. "Our goal wasn't to compete. It was to come out on top. But 11 blocks from Hope was a tremendous effort."
Michigan State pulled away, despite shooting 26.5 percent from the field in the second half. The Spartans had a 29-19 rebound advantage in the last 20 minutes.
"It was a solid effort for a start," Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "This was definitely better than our last (exhibition) game. I hope it continues every time we hit the floor."
Bucknell saw what could happen if DeHaan progresses and approaches her potential as the tallest player in the Big Ten.
"She's tough," Fedorjaka said. "We didn't have any film of her from their scrimmages. We knew she put up some numbers. But until you see her live, you don't know how her ability to shoot from the foul line creates things. She had a great game."
McCallie was happy with DeHaan's debut and just as pleased with Haynes' senior leadership and her team's 10 turnovers.
"I loved Rene's game," McCallie said. "That's the best she has played this year. Allyssa was just really confident. She's a special player. I know what she's capable of being if she keeps attacking. I liked her poise."
Fifteen steals, including 12 from Haynes, Lucas-Perry and Johnson on the perimeter, showed what the Spartans are capable of doing when their defense matures.
"Those three bring tremendous athleticism," McCallie said. "When they all learn to play with each other, we'll get more steals than that."