Post-Game Quotes
 
 
 

 

 
 

March 22, 2008

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On Kalisha Keane...
I thought that early on (in the season), she took some ill-advised shots. Now, when she takes a bad shot, she knows it. Tonight she did not take one bad shot; she did a great job on the boards for us and got a couple of key steals as well.

On the start of the second half...
Doubling and tripling Al (Alyssa DeHaan) is really nothing new to us. We haven't handled it as well as we could have in the past, so what our goal was in transition was to get it in as early as we can and then they really couldn't double and triple her as easily or as quickly. I saw a little of that when Lauren (Aitch) played. Lauren had really good numbers for her minutes played. We were really working on putting the ball on the floor and trying to create shots for other people and open up offensive rebound opportunities. On the flip side, when they went on their run, we were putting them at the foul line and they were hitting 3's as well. The one thing about Bowling Green is that they're never out of it, not when you have Kate Achter on your team, not when you have some of the freshmen talent that they have that can shoot the 3. They hit 3's and stopped the clock at the foul line and those were some of the things that we didn't want to have happen and they did a good job of hurting us off of the dribble drive and getting to the line.

On how the win feels to her...
Well, any win feels good, I can tell you that. It was our fault the way we played against Illinois in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. We beat ourselves and the one thing that we didn't want to happen tonight was to beat ourselves. We wanted to be focused, we wanted to be ready from the guards down to the post. We knew we were going to be in a fight with Bowling Green, they're a great team, and they were here a year ago. I think that our kids figured out how to fight a little bit and we had the same energy and enthusiasm and toughness that we had late in the season, which put us in a position to potentially be in the NCAA Tournament and/or postseason.

 

 

Bowling Green Head Coach Curt Miller

Opening statement...
It was a great game, and hats off to Michigan State for finding a way to win. Playing Suzy Merchant with green and white on reminded us a lot of our old battles. We've had a lot of great games between our teams in the past and tonight was just another one. It was a great tournament game. I think both programs will springboard from this into the future. I'm really proud of our kids; we never quit. We had them on the ropes in the first half and then gave up a 15-0 run. We righted the ship, but in the second half, they got the first big run. Just when you thought we would go away and be happy with our season, our kids dug deep and fought all the way to end. We were just a player too short, and we got beat on the boards a little bit down the stretch when we had a chance to get that rebound to get it to a single-digit game. We just came up a little bit short. I'm so proud of our kids and I think Kate Achter was the best player on the floor once again. She has allowed us to do what we've done over the last four years. Doing what we did with such a young team is a credit to Kate and her leadership. Tonight, it came down to an X-factor and I think that X-factor was Piechowski and Davidson combining for 20 points for Michigan State.

On his team getting backing into the game, but coming up just short in the end...
We dug ourselves a hole. In games at this level with two really good teams, it's one or two runs that can kill you, and they got two. They had a 15-0 run in the first half and another big one in the second. It was just too big of a deficit to come back from. We were one big stop or one big rebound away from putting all the pressure back on them. They lost in this building last year to end their year. It would've been fun if it would've three points or under down the stretch to see if we could put the pressure on them. We ran out of time and we ran out of rebounds. We couldn't get that one big rebound down the stretch.

On what he told his team after the game...
I told them how proud we were and how much pride that they bring the university. They're just an amazing group of women, even more so off the floor than anything you guys get to see. They're just an amazing group. I was proud of this season. We had 26 wins with seven freshmen, 10 underclassmen. It just defies logic that we had that good of a year. I told them it was because of our two senior leaders. Now the torch has been passed to our underclassmen to teach how hard it is to play at this level and how much pride we take in wearing the Bowling Green uniform. Now it's the underclassmen's charge to go do that with a new team. I can't thank Kate (Achter) and Whitney (Taylor) enough for the amazing ride we had this year. No one expected us to be here. We were in the Breslin Center playing for the right to go to a round of 16 again. It was an amazing experience and we were fortunate to come back here and give it that one last try.

On his coaching strategies during the game...
Our three balls and our ability to get to the foul line certainly kept us in the game. We did not shoot a very good percentage inside the arc. I thought if we kept attacking and kept attacking, we could get some kick-outs and we would have the ability to shoot threes. I was begging our kids to not shy away from those threes and Lauren (Prochaska) was the recipient of a lot of good kick-outs and she stepped up and made some shots. When they did go to a zone, I thought we attacked their zone very well. I thought we hurt them, I thought we really executed against their zone when they went to it. Lauren's a terrific scorer, she's scored more points as a freshman than anyone else in the history of a storied program here at Bowling Green.