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Michigan State 55, Marist 47

March 23, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

First Round • #5 Michigan State vs. #12 Marist
Comcast Center • College Park, Md.
Saturday, March 23, 2013

Suzy Merchant, Michigan State Head Coach

Opening Statement...
I think for everyone in the field, when you see your name come up and Marist come up after it you think that you pulled the unlucky number because they are a very good team. The stuff they run is extremely hard to guard. You also know their history because of how well-coached they are, and the style that they play really makes it difficult to get victories. I am really proud of our group because we had to adjust some things and play less of our bigs and less of our guards, do a little bit less face-up on the defensive side. I was really proud of our team and think that it was our defense that allowed us to win the game today.

On Annalise Pickrel...
We knew that we were going to have to play her and get some more offense out of her, mainly because she is capable. We can play her and have played her at multiple positions this year. The way that they run their offense we knew that we would probably be down a man in the guard rotation because we would use Annalise at the four more this game. To her credit we have a handful of things that we run with her at the four and she was able to get open. She mentioned it but I think our team did a good job of reversing the basketball and working it inside and out and making the extra pass where she had a direct look at it.

On Klarissa Bell struggling to score...
We would love for her to give us more offense but she was also guarding one of their better shooters [Leanne Ockenden], who can really stroke it, and she limited her to six points. She also did a really good job rebounding. She did a really good job of doing some other things for us. She took care of the ball and had a couple of steals. She had a couple monumental rebounds that kept it in our favor down the stretch. I'm not too worried about it. Someone else stepped up this time. It would be nice to get her going. I know she wants it and is going to work hard at it and defend. I can live a little bit on the offensive end if it isn't going for you as long as you defend. That's where it matters the most.

On Marist's second half run...
I wasn't frustrated because I think their style is hard to play against. I never got too uptight about our offense or defense. The only time I was disappointed was when they went on that run. I called a timeout and it wasn't more flairs that we weren't getting over, we just had our hands down. They hit three threes with our hands down. It was an easy fix I thought in the timeout, a little bit more ball pressure. I don't know how much of a chess match you can do against their team because they are going to do what they are going to do.

Jasmine Thomas, Michigan State Senior

On Marist's second half run...
We definitely were expecting it. They are a good team and can get it going. We just had to stay poised and calm on both offense and defense and try to step it up. They were hitting 3s right in our face without our hands up. It was just minor things that we had to fix to get back into it.

On playing the entire game...
You don't want to come out this time of year. You want to stay out there and give all that you can. Did I expect it? I don't think it was an expectation. I was just out there trying to do what I could.

Annalise Pickrel, Michigan State Junior

On the team's mindset...
In the Big Ten Tournament I didn't really come out and do a lot for my team. It was discouraging to me. I tried to change my mindset, starting with defense for this tournament. Just to relax more with my shot and not focus as much on offense. That was my mindset.

On her increased scoring load today...
I felt pretty confident at that point. I felt like I could pick up some of the slack that was happening. It was a credit to my teammates for finding me with good passes on flairs. That all goes into a shooters ability to make shots, credit to them.

On using a smaller lineup...
I think it gave us the ability to guard their five guards. Jasmine [Hines] and Becca [Mills], they do a good job out there too. I think the seven or six of us that were in rotation to guard their lineup was more effective because of their quickness and ability to shoot long range.

Kiana Johnson, Michigan State Sophomore

On Marist's run in the second half...
Basketball is a game of runs. We knew that they were going to make a run eventually. We just had to get our focus back and once we did that we were alright.

On playing the entire game...
I didn't want to come out. I kind of expected it because of Marist's lineup. They are all guards and their bigs just guard the bigs but play on the perimeter. We knew that we were going to have to play a lot of minutes, and we were just ready.



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