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Michigan State 72, Northwestern 58

Feb. 9, 2012

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Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On the style of the game from both teams ...
I think that's the style of the play they play, puts it in a survive and advance. I think maybe theirs isn't that Princeton, back-cut, methodical offense that their men's team runs, but they use the clock, they run a lot of inside-out, they swing the ball, they use the possession a long time and they play a lot of zone. It's kind of a passive, pressure back to zone, and they obviously play man to man on misses. We scored 72 points, so I guess that's good and I didn't think we played very good basketball today; just good enough.

On your frustration during the first half...
I was frustrated. (Lykendra Johnson) said, `My legs won't even go.' I felt like she kind of did the same thing at Michigan where she was kind of sluggish basically and then came to life in the second half. She did the same thing here. We have to get both halves out of her and I think when she's like that, that's kind of how the whole team is. I thought we settled for some jump shots early, too, which made us feel a little bit less aggressive, I think. I just didn't think defensively we did that great of a job. So, those are my concerns.

On settling on jump shots and how to get the ball to the post ...
Some of it was that we didn't have a post down there yet. That was our problem. You can't start a play through a post that isn't on the block. That's kind of why I was a little frustrated. We were running and transitioning, a certain thing we do, and (Lykendra Johnson) was not on the right block, so it made it hard to attack. I thought to her credit--I talked to her about it and she said, `Yeah, I was not good. You know, I need to turn it up.' The only good thing about it is that it's two games in a row she hasn't even had a foul in the first half. So, I guess maybe if she's a little bit slow out there and not feeling 100 percent, at least she's not fouling people. That was a little concerning that we couldn't get her going in the first half. And I think that was attributed a little bit to my frustration.

On carrying the momentum from the first half to the second...
I thought we survived the first half, really. I didn't think we played great basketball, but I thought we survived it. We made a couple of adjustments on their diagonal back screens, that I thought helped us, so they couldn't take advantage of some mismatched situations. We just kind of stuck with two basic offenses to see if we could get a little more flow going on the offensive end. Whether they were in man, we were in this, if they were in zone, we were in that--just kept it simple. I do think we carried that over.



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