MSU Spartans
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Women's Basketball
Michigan State 67, Indiana 47
 
 
 

 

 
 

Jan. 12, 2012

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Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

Opening remarks...
Well, I am glad we ended the Indiana Hoosier streak of coming in here and beating us. I didn't feel we played a Michigan State type of basketball tonight. I thought we were sloppy and a little bit soft, especially in the first half. But, I did think our defense did turn it up a notch in the second half so I was happy to see that.

On the importance of turnovers ...
Well it's big; I think they had 25 turnovers we needed to score some offense from our defense. There is no question our offense wasn't the best. I'll take it, I mean last year and even earlier this year, I felt we had a bad offensive night and we are getting to 50 points, and a bad offensive night is around 70 points, I'll take that. I will take that because it was not spectacular, I thought it was a struggle a little bit. It was probably painful to watch at times, some of our traveling and turnovers. I thought that broke up the flow a little bit too when we got it to eight or 10 and then we just let it get to six, then we pushed it back to 10. We couldn't blow it open because we kept giving it back to them by turning it over again. I am happy we got the win; it was an ugly win as they say but we will take it.

On the play of freshman guard Kiana Johnson and her ball pressure...
I thought that rattled them a little bit. She has done that for us in the past where she has ignited our defense by putting so much pressure on their point guard and causing havoc. So you are absolutely right it made it difficult for them to use the ball screen, where in the first half they were using it when they wanted to use it. They had to get a little higher; I thought she did a great job fighting over them as we adjusted our ball screen defense in the second half.

On the importance of big plays by Kiana Johnson and Porsche Poole...
I think when you are struggling it is nice to have a little bit of that flair, and that kind of fun out there. Maybe relieve some of the pressure they were feeling trying to do everything you're supposed to do textbook. That's the one thing about Kiana she is a play maker, and the one thing about Porsche she is a scorer, she finds a way to get things done. It was big with 3.5 seconds to go, and Kiana pushed it. It was a good change from the Michigan game where she had that charge in the time score possession with 36 seconds left to making a really positive play with 3.5 seconds remaining. I credit her for understanding time score possession and getting that shot off.

Indiana Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack

Opening statement...
Great opportunity to be back here at Michigan State, it is unchartered territory. One thing that I learned from Coach P (Joanne P. McCallie) when she was the head coach here and I was her assistant coach, is we don't lose here. It still feels weird even though I am in Indiana gear, feels weird losing here at Michigan State. Some of the people here; I just always want to make the Spartan family proud. I thought our kids played hard. I thought we played a good 32 minutes. The score is not indicative of the outcome, but the score is still the score. Right now, tonight, the best team won.

On challenges of playing MSU twice in the span of two weeks...
It is not what they do, we're very young. A very young team and on top of that we have a very young history. We are battling. I think we have gotten better this time, even though the score is 20 this time and it was only 14 in the other. I thought that at the four minute mark of that last game we faltered. This particular game we fell at around 2:40, we let the can of three pointers come out and were unsuccessful. They do what they do, they ball pressure and we handled it well at practice and we just have to continue to handle it on the court. We are such a young team, the battles are continuing.

On the defensive play throughout the game...
Their guards were very strong and our post was very strong. We had to find a way to get the ball in to them. When we got it inside, we had some wide open shots and we missed about four layups that really could have solidified our comeback. When you miss wide open layups it kind of zaps your energy a little bit. We are going to go back and continue to figure out how to get better with that.

On the differences between the first and second half...
We started playing Michigan State instead of people in just another uniform. Sometimes winning breeds winning and Michigan State knows how to win. They have been winning for years. We kind of pulled back a little bit and we tried to figure out how to win. We are going to get better, our talent is in our freshman and I think the talent here (at MSU) is in your seniors and a great point guard. We are going to continue to grow Indiana and try to help our conference continue to get better.

 

 

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