MSU Spartans
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Women's Basketball
Michigan State 70, Penn State 59



Jan. 18, 2009

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Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On the Spartan offense...
We really came together tonight offensively. We made an effort to pass and get the inside. We have been working at it in practice and we really felt that there were a lot of girls that had a hand in getting the ball inside.

On Kalisha Keane...
She is in our four spot. That was the spot that she was really successful at last year. She led us in assists at that spot. That is what makes (Kalisha Keane) very talented. She is a tough post-up. We played her at the guard as well tonight for a little bit. She just allows us to play a lot of different ways. She did a great job defensively, she had steals, and she was just a great catalyst for us.

On the game as a whole...
I think that in coaching, you never want to get too high or too low. You are really only as good as the next one. It is a long season and a long grind. I thought that we shared the ball as well as we have all year. I liked our energy at the offensive end and I thought defensively we focused well. I think that it is an opportunity for us to grow our basketball team, to mature and play our best basketball. Tonight was a nice win for us at home.

On Aisha Jefferson...
She has been struggling a little bit with a stomach bug so she has really been gutting it out for us. It is nice tonight that other people stepped up. It showed our depth a little bit. Last year, when we didn't have (Aisha Jefferson), we may have struggled a little bit. I really felt that, given the circumstances, it is nice to see a leader step up and push through some things.

On Brittney Thomas...
I think she did a nice job. We have been working really hard with our guards, especially her, on creating shots for other people. When she does penetrate, she has a nice pull-up jumper. The nice thing about Brittney (Thomas) is that her fitness level is so high that, late in the game, she has a couple of pull-up jumpers that are key. She does a good job for us defensively as well, and she is as good as any player in the league.

Penn State Head Coach Coquese Washington

On Michigan State forward Kalisha Keane...
I thought that she played with a lot of energy and she got going early in the first half with her 3-point shot. We didn't do a good job of finding her. I think she is a high-energy player for State and when I saw she wasn't starting, I thought to myself, `that is the kind of thing that gets someone like her fired up.'

On MSU's defense and Penn State guard Tyra Grant...
I thought they defended her very well, Lykendra Johnson in particular. I thought she was very physical with her. Tyra (Grant) is a good scorer and she is struggling a little bit with the groin injury, but I thought it was more of a credit to Michigan State.




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