MSU Spartans
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Women's Basketball
Post-Game Quotes



Feb. 21, 2008

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On the commitment and actions of the players...
I think they have come together at both ends of the floor. There weren't a whole lot of adjustments; we've maybe stressed some things that we weren't doing early at the defensive end. As we are playing more kids, I think we are keeping equal pressure that we didn't do early in the season. I think that has made a difference for us. I think it allows for people to be much more effective. I think that our bench is a little extended now than it was earlier. From Taja [Wilson], she has really done a nice job coming into that post mix. I feel good about the fact that we are playing more kids and getting more production out of them. That was probably a big piece as well. I also think they are filling in gaps and trying to close things out. We can do things a lot of different ways which really causes some confusion. We can double the post. We can not double the post. We can pancake. So I feel like we have the ability to make some adjustments with confidence.

On whether or not the first half was a perfect half...
I thought we played well. I don't think we played as hard in this game as we have the past two games, to be honest. In terms of intensity and tenacity, I thought we played well and I think we are coming together and I thought we grew as a team today, but I don't think we had the tenacity that we have had the last couple of games, but I do feel like we made progress which is the most important thing right now.

On the confidence within the plays...
I think we are making extra passes. We have a better understanding of what plays we are running, who we are looking for, what we are looking for. I think our timing is a lot better and our offense is always about spacing and timing. I think we are doing a better job at that. I thought early in the year we were taking some pretty quick shots in transition or in our early offense which I think we've eliminated which is extremely helpful, obviously.



On wanting to start the season over within the last couple of weeks...
Well, I think every team has a time when it clicks or comes together, I've always believed that. You can't force it. You can just keep encouraging it. You can get on them. You can back off them. You can do it a lot of different ways, but I think when it comes right down to it, this time of year, I remember the Red Wings coach saying, "Right now, it's really not about skill, it's about will." And I think that is the truth for us. I think we had the skill but our will to come together as a group hasn't been there. Right now we are stepping up. I feel that we are putting up more of a fight, a little more focus. So would like to go back and change some of the games? Yeah I would, but it is what it is and we have to keep the streak going here and we have a tough game against Purdue coming up on Sunday on the road.

On shutting down Amy Jaeschke...
We talked a lot about taking them out. Those cousins really do a nice job. We watched a lot of their film and they do a great job of looking at the high roll. Amy scored 26 against us the first time and her cousin had 13 and that was their focal point. Every game since then, they've done a nice job of being their staple, inside and we really challenged our post. We were going one-on-one on the block early, and then we changed it to double and that is what got on top of the flow a little bit and caused some turnovers. I thought that was really effective.

Northwestern University Head Coach Beth Combs

On the difference in Michigan State from the time they saw them in Evanston to tonight...
They have really come into their own. As talented as a team as you have it is always difficult to kind of learn a new system under a new coaching staff. Coach Merchant and her staff have done an unbelievable job with this team. As we all talked about tonight, it's all in how you finish. I think this is a young team that Michigan State has and they have a lot of talent and they're starting to put it together at the right time when it counts.

On the difficulty of coming back after the Spartans jumped to a big lead at half...
We let ourselves get into that hole. [Allyssa] DeHaan came out very early and very quickly to score and Amy [Jaeschke] couldn't counter with her tonight. You got to keep fighting and you got to keep playing the game. In the second half, we got a little better with some things; we're going to just chalk this one up as one of those nights.

On Amy Jaeschke...
I think for Amy it was one of those nights. The first time in Evanston she played a very solid game against DeHaan. Tonight DeHann got the best of her and I think Amy got in a little bit of a funk. We'll just chalk that up to a freshman funk here tonight. It was bound to happen...Now it's out of her system and we can move forward to tomorrow morning.


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