Feb. 11, 2007
Michigan State Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie
Obviously, it was a very physical game, a very competitive game. It was a much better second half for us than first half. It's funny we had 20 turnovers, which isn't a great stat, but the stat that really sticks out to me is the 47 rebounds. This team found a way to be scrappy and tough despite the fact that things weren't going our direction, like shooting percentage and things of that nature. I just loved our composure down the stretch. I loved the momentum that we had created driving down the floor and the heads up nature of Mia (Johnson) to demand the ball and get to an open shot. I thought it was a total team effort. The double-double by Aisha Jefferson is significant. Twelve rebounds, that's absolutely huge. To have a guard get 11 rebounds in Victoria (Lucas-Perry), it was absolutely huge.
On Laura Hall playing seven minutes and getting two points, her first in over a month...
Laura Hall's minutes were absolutely huge. This is a young woman who's fought so much injury that it was amazing to see what she put out there on the line.
On the difference in the first half to the second...
I thought the play at the end of the half by Rene Haynes, to score like she did, that was very significant for our team because that was ending a very bad half on a very positive note. I thought it showed a fighting spirit. That put us down 12, and in the second half, I felt really good about the team from beginning to end. In terms of focus, everybody was doing their thing out there. Everybody was playing together. You could see it. It was very, very different from the first half and it was everybody. To hold any team to 17 second-half points is quite an accomplishment and something we need to build off.
On why the team didn't call timeout when Jefferson took the ball down the court with 10 seconds left...
I was just watching them. Again, a timeout is an opportunity for the other team as well and when Aisha (Jefferson) got that ball and went down the floor, I was ready. I was trying to figure out what she was going to do with it in the middle of the floor. Then it was sort of an incredible clarity because as she came down the floor and I'm about to call timeout, I saw Mia (Johnson) step in there. I felt my hands pull away because you could see it developing. I guess my point is, players make plays and coaches have to be careful not to get in the way of them.