MSU Spartans
Rotating image
Women's Basketball
Michigan State 62, Wisconsin 43
 
 
 

 

 
 

Jan. 6, 2011

Recap |  Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On the push from Klarissa Bell and Porsche Poole...
I thought K Bell (Klarissa Bell) defiantly in the first half and Porsche (Poole) more in the second half. I think Klarissa (Bell) was big for us, I have been challenging he. She can play and she can do some things. I have always been on her about her defense, just because I think she is very capable defensively. She is a good rebounder, she has length, quickness, and she can guard big guards and quick guards. I kind of want to build her into Cetera (Washington), who is a good defensive stopper for us. I have been challenging her, and I thought as much as you saw her score offensively, I thought she played really good defense actually. I was pretty pleased with her performance tonight on the defensive end, and I hadn't been prior to that at times.

On the slow tempo in the beginning of the game...
They did the same exact thing to Penn State, and beat Penn State. We totally anticipated that happening. Our focus was that we have to get into some passing lanes and create some tempo with our defense. I thought there were times when we did that, and I even thought that in the second half I saw them get a little bit tired I think, maybe not 100%. But I thought there were a few kids that maybe have been playing minutes due to (Lin) Zastrow being out that hadn't played the extended minutes that maybe she wouldn't have been in that same mold. I thought we were able to get some opportunities, Porsche (Poole) got away from them a little bit in the second half, and I thought that was a positive for us.

On their abilities on the defensive side of the ball...
We can't do to them what they do to us. I mean they are just the most physical defensive team. And I think one of the best defensive teams in the league in terms of their concepts and what they try to do, and how they try to take things away from you. It is just that pack line, they double the post, and they keep you out of the post for the most part. They will give up offensive rebounds to make sure they never give you a layup, kind of mentality. It is hard, they are one of the most physical teams in the league and we struggled with them. So I don't think we are built as physical as they are. I just think that we have a different way that we play. And I don't think I can compare defensively to be honest with you.

On the spark the team received midway through the first half...
Well I think Klarissa Bell was part of that, I think we stopped just shooting jump shots and I thought Kal (Kalisha Keane) started to be more of a playmaker. We ran our offense better and we rebounded the ball better. There was a time there in the beginning where I was like what team is that. We jacked up a shot and everybody stood there. And we weren't even getting back defensively, so it wasn't like we had a game plan to get back. I was really disappointed in our first 10 minutes because I felt like we were just not the team that I had seen at that point. But to their credit, I thought we kind of gathered ourselves. I think it was that third timeout actually with eight minutes to go and we kind of rallied the troops and got all of us back on the same page. Quit jacking up shots, bad shots, with no rebounding coverage.

On the play of junior forward Lykendra Johnson...
She is really starting to figure that position out a little bit and is really becoming very effective for us. Because she can use her speed, quickness, and athleticism down there still. We have played her at the 3 the last couple of years and it makes it harder to defensive rebound and block shots because you are out there on the perimeter. I think she has really done a nice job understanding leverage, getting around people, and not letting them pin and seal her. And I think because of that she is in pretty good position on the weak side to take anybody that comes down the lane. She has done a nice job; I mean I wish she wouldn't always get in foul trouble. I was a little disappointed with her and Brit (Brittney Thomas) because both of Brittney's fouls were Lykendra Johnson disease as I call it, where you swipe at the ball every time. You can't do it every time. So Brittney had to sit down there. I was proud of our team because when Britt went down, I thought uh oh. Because who is going to guard Alyssa Karel? And I felt that Cetera (Washington) was a little slower tonight for some reason, she wasn't herself. So I was a little concerned about that. That is when K Bell (Klarissa Bell) came in and really sparked us. I just think that Lykendra (Johnson) is starting to learn and know what her skill set can do down there.

Wisconsin Head Coach Lisa Stone

Opening Statement...
First of all credit Michigan State they played very well. They were very physical. At the end of the first half were up 20-10 with six minutes to go playing great defense even though we weren't scoring, we were stuck at 20 for some time. We still kept getting stops and they upped their pressure on the perimeter, they upped their pressure inside, got real physical with us and we didn't respond. They finished with an 11-0 run to finish the half and it carried over to the second half. We shot poorly from the perimeter and the free throw line, but even with that said we had a season low in turnovers took decent care of the ball; but we got hammered on the glass and couldn't stop them from scoring in the second half. I just told my team that we are a defensive team regardless of how many shots go in or not, so I'm less concerned with shooting percentage than with us getting stops. I think it was 38 points in the paint, a lot of those were layups, we weren't staying down on fakes, they got the ball inside, that's unacceptable for us. They're a really good team I'll take nothing away from them, they're very good they're physical, they rebound the ball hard they get to the rim really well, with Kalisha Keane and Lykendra Johnson playing the post this year they're doing a good job inside. We were without Lin Zastrow, it's a big loss for us for tonight's game but you got to go to the next player in. Unfortunately for us that wasn't good enough, we're hoping the return trip to Madison is different and we sure some things up.

On the defense played by Michigan State...
They played a little bit of zone the last couple games but the past is the past. You can make all you can about us and Michigan State, we've had success against them in the past. They played a zone against us and they were very physical in their man to man defense today. They made Alyssa Karel work hard for shots, denied her hard. Our screen setting was poor, but again they hustled for balls, they got second chance opportunities, they got it out in transition. I thought we did a good job getting back but they disrupted us offensively.

On the tempo factor...
I think the turning point in the first half is when Kalisha Keane got a rhythm shot, it was her first bucket of the game. I saw it right in front of me, she knocked down a three that gave her some confidence she didn't shoot the ball real well in the first half. That rhythm three kind of broke the drought for them. We wanted to make them put it on the floor, drive and kick it, but they were able to drive and keep driving we weren't able to shut down the lane. The tempo control was a huge goal of ours for the game I thought we did a great job in the opening part but then it stopped. For whatever reason I think the cause of that, not scoring on offense had an effect on our defense. Their defense and their pressure on us made us sputter and again without Lin Zastrow inside we were very perimeter oriented tonight and that's something we haven't done. We usually touch the post, our post shoot about 60% inside and we didn't get a lot of post touches.

On Kalisha Keane's play...
She's emotional, too. She's a delightful person off the floor. She's one of the leaders this year, she has to be, she and Lykendra Johnson have to be leaders for that team, and they are. They're playing with tremendous chemistry, she's got the green light to score weather it's the three-point or driving it. She's really good with the shot fake. Defensively they're doing a good job of staying out of foul trouble, that's key for them because those two are going to play a lot of minutes for them, they already have. 50% of the scoring is going to come from those two players. Kalisha Keane is having her best year so far in my opinion, she's playing within herself, letting the offense come to her not forcing it. If she gets going she's very dangerous. She's an emotional player, and I love that, she's got a zest for the game and she plays at a very high level.

 

 

SHOP NOW

at the official
Online Store