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Post-Game Quotes: Wisconsin

Jan. 14, 2010

Recap |  Box Score

Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On scoring four points in the final 12 minutes of the game...
Good question, it was the same players and the same offense we were running in the first. I thought we had good looks that didn't go down for us, and then when we did get fouls we missed free throws. I think the momentum changed there and then we just never really got into a flow and nobody wanted it. We didn't get much performance off of our bench, some of our starters were offensively negligent. There's no reason to shoot 28 percent in your own gym, and shoot 46 percent in the second half from the free throw line, that's just inexcusable. I think it boiled down to me a little bit, for me to call that time out and get into them about their effort and their focus and go back out there and give up an offensive rebound on a free throw is just a team that right now isn't responding. Isn't responding in any kind of momentum change or adversity, and nobody wants to put this team on their back, and if somebody does, nobody wants to listen or follow. And that's the bottom line.

On making a change to the starting line up...
I'm going to make major changes at this point, it's just to the point where I think this team needs some fire and some toughness. I feel like it's a team that doesn't play, it's interesting, people will talk, but they don't do. They say all the right things, but then they don't perform it. And so I think there is a lack of communication there, and then if someone is performing and wants to lead and the other people aren't playing well then they don't want to listen. It's just a fight, and it's a struggle. I just think it's a lack of leadership and a lack of their ability to have a doer out there at this point. It's just inconsistent.

On what happened in the second half...
I think it was a situation again where nobody wants the ball, nobody wanted it, and nobody wanted to stop the bleeding basically. I think nobody wants to put the team on their back.



On making major changes...
Our bench hasn't been productive, we have starters that one game are there and the next game it's like they've never played before, it's frustrating. One game they have the fire going and they're the best player that's ever played, and then the next game it's like nothing. They're flat, disinterested, won't communicate, don't respond to their teammates and coaches, it's frustrating. I'm going to keep fighting, I know that.

On this being a low point for the team...
I think this is the lowest point, and if they don't feel that then there is a problem. To have 45 rebounds in a game and 45 points is inexcusable for this team. To shoot 29 percent is inexcusable.

On what she said to the team after the game...
Just what I told you. I think it's a team that wants to talk and not do, I think it's a team that we don't have anyone that's willing to put this team on their back and they want to say all of the right things, but they're not doing the right things right now. This is a game where you have to make plays, you have to be a warrior and you have to be consistent.

Wisconsin Head Coach Lisa Stone

Opening statement...
What a great game. A great game against a very, very good opponent. I give Michigan State a ton of credit, they are very physical. They've got great players with inside and outside game, penetrators, rebounders, Allyssa DeHaan with her two threes in the first half. They're very good.

I'm happy with our team that we came in here down 14 in the second half and held them to one field goal in the last 12:15 of the game. You look at how low scoring it was, but it was a grind, a grind from both teams possession by possession.

I thought Teah Gant really attacked the basket in the second half. She had 10 total points and I think they all came at one time it appeared when she started to attack the basket. Without Taylor Wurtz's offensive production in the first half it may have been a little bit more of a dooming situation for us.

But our defense is what we hang our hat on and we hang our hat on the fact that we will be in a position to be successful if we continue to stay with our defensive principles. That is noted by the fact that we held them to one field goal over the last 12 minutes. And that's a really good team, Michigan State is a very, very good team and Suzy's a great coach. The fact that we were able to find ways to contest shots, rebounding the basketball better than we did in the first half is a credit to our players. I thought our players showed an unbelievable amount of toughness tonight.

On the role her seniors played in the long run of this game...
We thought we could penetrate tonight and we didn't look for that as much as we should have in the first half. Teah [Gant] is a senior, she's been here for four years and not won at Michigan State. The fact that your leader, one of your leaders and captains and seniors, showed the wherewithal to understand that she had an opportunity to get to the lane. She had a tough pull-up jumper in the lane to get her started and then all the way to the rim, [those plays] were big for us, they really opened some things up. They had Wurtz and [Alyssa] Karel and some of our other guards just pasted on the wing and it opened up driving lanes for Teah. She finished well, scored from the free throw line and showed a lot of toughness as well as great leadership.

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