KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the same day the Michigan State men's basketball team earned a berth in the NCAA Final Four, the Spartan women moved one game from doing the same thing with a 76-64 victory over Vanderbilt Sunday in the Kansas City Regional semifinal.
A 27-7 run to open the second half took top-seeded Michigan State (31-3) from a 37-30 deficit to 57-44 lead, and the fifth-seeded Commodores (24-8) weren't able to recover.
Michigan State senior guard Kristin Haynie recorded a triple-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Senior center Kelli Roehrig led Michigan State with 18 points and was one of four Spartans in double figures.
Vanderbilt sophomore forward Carla Thomas led all scorers with 22 but had only six points in the second half.
Michigan State struggled early, falling behind, 22-11, in the first 10 minutes. The Spartans were successful only on the inside; their first five field goals were layups. Thomas (16 points) wasn't having any trouble against Roehrig, scoring as easily from 15 feet as from inside the lane. Roehrig did have 10 points in the half, but all of her points came from within two feet of the basket.
While the players were venting in the locker room, Michigan State Coach Joanne P. McCallie was not interested in yelling.
"We just had to remain patient," McCallie said. "I don't think it's 'one' person you can stop because Vanderbilt is very balanced. We had things to shore up defensively, but it was important to stay patient."