MSU Spartans
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Women's Basketball
Michigan State 67, Purdue 52 OT
 
 
 

 

 
 

Feb. 19, 2012

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Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On the significance of this win...
Well, it was important. I think in the scheme of things, I think there is a lot that can happen in the Big Ten race, certainly. Every one matters as they say. This last week was really imperative, including this game we had three games left and two of them were at home. We really needed to elevate our game enough. We certainly had a redemption opportunity. We played the worst game of our season at Purdue. It was nice to see our team come out with a victory.

On the fast start and the strong finish...
I think I was more proud of the fact, and I think it shows a little more character to the youth of our team, that maybe things didn't quite go our way but we still found to put ourselves in position to be successful.

On the message before to the team before overtime...
That's what I talked to them about, was that we have to kind of put the pedal to the medal there. We felt like with (Alex) Guyton being out that that was advantageous for us, we knew that No. 40 (Chelsea Jones) wasn't feeling very well. She had the flu or something was going on. So she wasn't at her best tonight. We felt it very important that with them being down that key post player that we really stay aggressive. And I thought we were. It seemed like everyone really elevated their game. I thought Klarissa Bell's three was as big of a shot; it seemed like of the game. She passed up a dozen of them and a dozen opportunities to score the ball but took that one and thankfully it went in.

On the play of Becca Mills...
She was really the sole, consistent offensive player for us. I really felt like she was doing everything that she could. She scored a lot of different ways. But certainly her game is; to be able to knock down jumpers, and come off screens and knock those down. With her size it allows us also to have her defend their post player. I thought we had good matchup situations there. And I thought playing her and LJ (Lykendra Johnson) together really helped us. We almost had to; even the first time we played them. Because they are so big in their 4 and five spots, they aren't face-up 4's they are power 4's. So we knew coming into the game that those kids would have to play quite a bit. It was nice to see Becca respond.

On the play of Kiana Johnson...
I thought she directed things. The biggest thing that I have seen out of her since the conversation we had going into Wisconsin was just you've got to have someone directing this team and being a leader and you really need to take hold and everyone needs to understand that you're in charge. She really did a great job at Wisconsin of that and I thought she did a good job tonight. We have to have her at the point just because of her decision making and her ability to direct the team and she handles the ball pretty well. She will make a mistake here or there, obviously everyone does. I feel confident with her at the point and running the show, making sure that we are getting into where we need to. She has been really, really big for us here in the last couple of victories for sure.

Purdue Head Coach Sharon Versyp

On the play of the game...
I just think that it was more adjusting to Michigan State, playing us for from the drive than playing out on us or hedging. I don't think it was a line up issue like Chantel (Poston) said. We have different line ups all of the time. Now, we did have four kids practice the last two days, so sometimes getting their wind back or their lungs back is a little different. So, you're depleted as in practice time, and Courtney (Moses) was gone and her grandfather passed away. Mentally it's tough for a kid like that. And then our other issues that we had with the flu going around, and injuries, but that's part of the game. I think we just adjusted better as the game went on. How we were playing defense, they had to adjust to how we were playing.

On the fouling situations at the beginning of overtime...
When you're down by nine, sometimes you're trying to disrupt and they had a couple of free throw shooters shooting 50 percent. You just play the odds. The odds didn't work in our favor. I think the biggest thing is both teams had some looks and we had two lay ups and we missed them. If you have that all of the sudden you get a little bit more energy; it kind of changes things when you miss those and it's a little bit draining. We had some good looks and we just really struggled scoring after that because then you feel a little bit pressured. They still executed some things but our shots weren't falling in.

On views of Michigan State as a team...
Well, they're playing good basketball. They've got players that have stepped up here and there to knock down shots for them. I think collectively they've grown as a team. Since our game, Porsche Poole has really stepped up and has really carried them scoring wise, and maybe on the leadership side as well. At this time, you should be getting better if you're injury free. I think they're solid defensively and obviously offensively, so right now I think they're playing good basketball.

On the last play with 3.3 seconds...
They did a good job. They kind of knew what play we were going to run. We said if this doesn't happen, then you need to look for this option or this option, and so we got a good look. We could have done a lot for Sam Ostarello, or Chantel (Poston), but if that was going to be taken away we needed to at least have a good shot. We got the ball to Sam O. and she got it to KK (Houser), and it was a great look. It looked like it was going to go in.

 

 

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