MSU Spartans
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Women's Basketball
Minnesota 66, Michigan State 51
 
 
 

 

 
 

Feb. 26, 2009

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Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On what the team will have to improve on for an NCAA berth...
We just didn't put the ball in the basket. It's back up against the wall time. Everybody just has to respond. We are going to be at home in our gym so this will be a big game for us on Sunday.

I always look at how we did down the stretch and we were doing pretty well up until our little blunder at Wisconsin and, obviously, today. I just think that we have to not worry about the future and worry about the moment. I think that some of the people on this team played with a little bit of a panic in regards to that. We shouldn't be. Nothing is going to matter if you don't win the one in front of you. That is the intent that we have to have.

On the Spartan rebounding game...
I think they outworked us. They wanted it more. They got on the boards right from the tip. I thought our kids were slow at reacting. We have some kids on this team, especially our post players, that are very capable of being double-digit rebounders night in and night out. Some of their performances in the rebounding area were inexcusable.

On protecting the ball...
We know have back to back games where we have felt losing Brittney Thomas for sure. We have to have other people step up. That is just the bottom line. It is what it is. Some of our turnovers, I felt, were at inopportune times.

On the Spartan defense...
We had played them with some zone in the past. They just got beat at Northwestern who played them with nothing but zone. Obviously some of those guards said that enough is enough. Our zone is normally good but we were just flat. I don't know why but we certainly need to fix that.

Minnesota Head Coach Pam Borton

Opening Statement...
Well, I am very proud of our team tonight; they came in and battled with a very good Michigan State team. I thought we did a great job on the boards through the entire game and I thought we did a great job of keeping the ball out of the lane. Tonight was the first time in a while that some of our players and upperclassmen showed up to play. I thought Emily Fox and Katie Ohm really showed up and I am really proud of them. This was an important game for us and we really played Minnesota basketball, so I am happy to come out of here with a win.

On the 3-point shot early in the game...
We were wide open, but we had been missing wide open 3-pointers all season. Sometimes shooters can tend to get inside their own heads, so it is key for us to have an inside and an outside game down the stretch. The 3-point shots open up the lane for our low-post players and for us to have a balanced attack on the court is very important.

On their ability to rebound the basketball...
I think rebounding has been a focus of ours; for the last couple of days that is all that we have been practicing. To be honest, I thought rebounding is why we lost to Northwestern; their guards killed us on the boards. Our guards had 20 of the 43 rebounds tonight, so hopefully that message was sent and it looked like it was. We came out here and knew that we needed to rebound the basketball to win, and that is what we did.

On the team's physical play...
A lot of people say that we are a physical team, but I think that we are just an aggressive team. Defensively we are very aggressive; we like to get some of our offense from our defense so we put a lot of pressure on the ball. I thought we were very aggressive tonight and that was a key reason why we were able to pressure the basketball and get transition baskets.

On the team's ability to get wide-open shots in the first half...
I thought we had great ball reversal, we found the open player and made the extra pass all night. That is a lot of what that is, great ball reversal, great ball movement, great player movement and we did a great job using screens to get open. It was just great half-court execution.

 

 

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