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Women's Basketball
Post-Game Quotes: Michigan State 91, Hampton 61



March 23, 2014

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Suzy Merchant, Michigan State Head Coach

Opening Statement
Well, it felt good I think in general just to play again. It's been about 14 days since we put a uniform on and played and so I was a little bit I wouldn't say apprehensive but excited to get back on the court. It had felt like it had been an eternity so I was really proud of what we accomplished in those 14 days in terms of certain things that had bothered us in the past. I thought our kids did a great job from the tip of having composure and making reads and moving the ball. Defensively I thought we did a really nice job on some of their key players.

On her team's performance during the second half...
I guess when I looked at, you don't complicate winning first and foremost. Second thing is that it was hard to put anything in against that because of the way they played. I mean they would run three people at the ball sometimes then nobody then they'd do it in the half court. So I mean it was really difficult to get into a flow but I understand that we turned it over. But we're better than that, I think when you're up by 40 you're probably...and maybe that's some of our youth. We played three freshmen, two of them start, play them a lot. I think that we probably got a little bit `soft' I guess that's the best way to say it. I think we've handled pressure way better than that. But that was just interesting you know. We've handled it where people have just come and doubled us across half court so we just spread them out. We didn't do a great job I understand that, but we're better than that. I know as we move forward that's a lesson we can learn from.

On Powers' aggressive performance today...
I think you can tell out the gate with her rebounding and stuff. The other thing too, she talked about yeah she did have three turnovers, but they were aggressive attacking turnovers and those are the ones I'll take. So I felt like she was feeling good. Another thing is that she was guarding #00 from their team and that kid is their leading scorer. That kid went 1 for 15, so really challenging Aerial to be aggressive defensively and do it without fouling was probably to me the thing the thing that I appreciated the most out of her game tonight."

Aerial Powers, Freshman Forward

On her motivation today...
It felt good out there. I tried to play within myself and not think too much when it came to taking shots or passing. Even though I started off pretty bad with three turnovers, I just tried to get into the flow a little bit.

On their defensive preparation for today's game...
It was more knowing the plays but we know they are really a 1-on-1 team, so it came down to 1-on-1 accountability and just being able to stay on your guy and box them out after the shot. So that's what we did, we worked on.

Annalise Pickrel, Senior Forward

On their defensive preparation for today's game...
Well we had about two weeks of rest to prepare for them so we knew their sets backwards and forwards, so plays and personnel. Obviously it's different when the players are all 1-on-1 players which they are so they really didn't run their sets as much as we expected them too. But I think we all did a really good job handling their 1-on-1 play and just being in gaps and helping each other out.

On being more motivated for today's game because she's a senior...
I mean when I think about it, yeah, but I don't really think about it. I try not to because that just takes you out of your game. So I think the actual motivation for today was just going out and making a statement and you know kind of showing the team that we can be and that we are. So I think that we really put a stamp on it so far and we will continue to do so.


David Six, Hampton Head Coach

Opening statement...
Tough, tough game. Michigan State played well. We certainly didn't play well in the first half. We weren't ready to go and I certainly have to take responsibility for that, but I can't take anything away from Michigan State. They were ready to go when they threw the ball up, and they put it to us in the first half.

On the downfalls of the game...
I think that we let our emotions get the best of us, a lot of one-on-one play at the beginning of the game. Not moving the ball from side-to-side. When we talk about student-athletes on our team I think their intentions are good when they're going one-on-one. `I want to do it myself. I want to do it so bad for the team.' But what happens is you wind up hurting the team because you're not moving the ball so they're not moving their feet. Once again, I thought the emotions got the best of them and `I want to do it so badly,' so the one-on-one play got us off to a slow start.

On Michigan State...
They got open looks and so they made shots that they were supposed to make, but offensively I think it was what we did that hurt us. Again, I don't think anybody intentionally does it but I think `I wanna be the one that helps us' ... I don't think we played together in the first half and it showed in one-on-one play. We make a bad play then they made a transition three. They made the shots that they had to make.

Kenia Cole, Junior Guard

On what to take away from this game for next season...
Preparation is key. We can't have slow starts against good teams like Michigan State because it catches up with us at the end.

Alyssa Bennett, Senior Forward

On the biggest difficulty during the game...
I would say missing in the first half. Michigan State, they were shooting threes pretty well. We were getting out slow so that's pretty much it.

On how Hampton played...
We got off to a slow start in the first half. If we would've started how we did in the second half, we would've been alright.

On the physicality of the game...
They were pretty physical, you know, they're a big team. It was physical so I had to box out.




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