Jan. 29, 2009
Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant
On the Spartan offense...
We are playing better together. I think it starts there. I thought that in the second half our transition game started to take hold. We had some good looks. We felt like we just had to keep running. We have some depth to our bench and we knew their bench wasn't as deep as ours. We felt like it would be an advantage for us to keep the pace up and to keep running. I really thought that contributed to our shot selection.
I think that it just took us a little time so this team could play with each other a little bit better. I think that some of that comes from transition. I was disappointed that we were kind of throwing it all over the place in the first half. I was a little disappointed with that but I certainly felt that we would get better over time. We just have to keep the pace up. I do think that maybe the combinations that we are playing flow a little bit better. I think that we are doing a better job of reading that post-play defender and making decisions accordingly. I think it starts there. We aren't really looking for the first shot available. We are looking for the best shot. I think that there is a difference and I think that we are starting to figure that out.
On Cetera Washington...
Her minutes have just been really spectacular for us this year. She is defending, communicating and rebounding. I think, offensively, she has a good understanding of what is going on and what her role is. She kept the ball alive. She has great offensive rebounds. It's great to see her confidence growing and she has earned every minute. I also thought that she was very instrumental defensively for us tonight by getting to those 3-point shooters.
On Kalisha Keane...
She has really been instrumental to us. I keep talking about how moving her back into that four-spot has been really great. She's done an excellent job for us. I think one of the things she really does for us is take people off the dribble a little bit and create shots for other people. You can really see how effective that's been. She has just been very instrumental for us in this stretch of wins. There's no doubt about it.
Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder
On Michigan State's transition game...
According to the stat sheet, they only scored six points off of fast break, so I don't think that was the story of the game. Points off of turnovers is the area that I thought we struggled in. They had 25 points off of turnovers and we had 18 turnovers; 10 in the first half. Those led to a lot of high percentage shots. So I thought that our inability to take care of the basketball hurt us more than our fast-break defense.
On the physical play of Michigan State...
I think the physical game hurt us more than anything. Kamille Wahlin was not even with us at shoot-around because she had the flu all day today and all of last night, so we were very under-staffed. JoAnn Hamlin is our muscle and we needed her out there, but she couldn't go due to injury. We needed some muscle and an enforcer out there. Michigan State is a big, physical team and we just didn't have anyone that could match that kind of play.
On the play of the Spartan bench...
They are very deep; they had 27 points off of the bench tonight. They are a very deep basketball team as well as a very big basketball team, and that makes them a very good basketball team.