MSU Spartans
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Women's Basketball
Michigan State 52, Michigan 27



Feb. 19, 2009

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Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On the Spartan defense...
There are a lot of different ways that you have to think about defending Michigan because of how they play and because of the shooters that they have; any of them can heat up at any time. We felt like no matter what we did, we had to do it well by having high hands and being there on the catch. I thought that our kids put a premium effort on that tonight.

I thought that we did a good job of covering ground. One of the things we try to do is to not create mismatch opportunities. We elected to use a defense that hopefully wouldn't allow that to happen. I just thought that our kids played excellent. I thought that our half-court trap was effective in terms of taking time off of the clock and creating some anxiety for them. They just didn't have as much time to get good looks at the basket.

On Allyssa DeHaan and Aisha Jefferson combining for only seven points...
What I have figured out about this team is that somebody will step up. It has been frustrating at times with the injuries that we've had, but I think that our kids are resilient and our bench is spectacular. I guess if you would have told me that was going to happen about a month ago, I would have been worried. But I am not worried now because there are different people doing the job up and stepping up at different times.

On getting the win over Michigan...
It's always good to beat Michigan because it's such a big rivalry. I am sure they would feel the same way if it was the other way around. I also think that we are playing for something this time of year and that adds a little fuel to the fire and added a little extra incentive tonight.

On coming together as a team...
I felt that when we put the people in from off the bench tonight, it showed that if it's not somebody's night, it's somebody else's night. The last couple of games, DeHaan has been really solid for us. Tonight wasn't her night, but other kids stepped up. It's just nice that we have the ability to spread some things out a little bit.

Michigan Head Coach Kevin Borseth

On the team's game plan coming in...
I thought we had a good plan going in. It started off good - scored nine points in the first couple minutes - then nothing after that. We tried everything, maybe too much. I was frustrated, they were frustrated. It was a two-three zone, cmon. Last time we shot 30-some three's, didn't make any, so we thought we'd try a different plan.

On if MSU is a different team from the last meeting...
They are good, they are very good. They have big, strong kids and we weren't able to get around them. We can't get next to the basket. We can't get a shot off. It's tough when you can't shoot the ball around the basket. We tried to get it around there, tried to shoot it around there, but we just got bumped off track, got blocked or got deterred.

On the team's effort...
Defensively, I thought we played aggressively. I thought we played smart. They caught us with a couple lobs early that we had trouble with. They probably scored 10 points in that stretch when we threw the ball away against that zone and they went down and laid it in. The frustrations were really on the offensive end of the court. I thought that's where our frustrations were. I thought we were trying to hustle. I thought our kids were out there hustling the whole game.




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