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Michigan State 74, Saginaw Valley State 35

Nov. 1, 2012

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Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On dealing with the adversity the team has faced recently...
It's definitely hard. We are trying to do what we can with the core six or seven kids that we have. I know it's not pretty but I think you have to give the kids credit. I think they are trying and we are going to get better. I think we will get better quicker if we can get the same kind of poise and presence we saw from Jasmine Thomas out there tonight. I thought that was a really solid floor game and had a commanding presence. She only had one turnover and I thought she created a couple shots for others. I thought that was one of her better performances and we feed off of that. Your point guard is your catalyst, so it was nice to see that out of her. We didn't shoot the ball particularly well but I'm not worried about it in the future. I think we do a good job of finding open shots but we were just a little anxious early on.

On the play of Jasmine Thomas...
She is athletic and is a very good rebounder. I think from a defensive standpoint she plays a lot bigger than she is with her athleticism, which was nice to see. I thought she got us going there in the first half when she had a couple steals that led to easy breakaways.

On the roles of Becca Mills and Jasmine Hines changing with the lineup...
We almost have to play one for the other a little bit there because we are so limited. They have to play off of each other but I will play them together at times depending on matchups, which you saw some of tonight. Even Courtney Schiffauer has to be in the mix there. She played 28 minutes and played the 2, 3, 4, and 5 positions. We just have to piece them together for a little while. I think the positive thing is that they know they are going to play so I'm hoping they can build their confidence. I think in some ways it's a positive start for them. It's only been five days since we received the news about the injuries, and have only had one practice without both Madison Williams and Aerial Powers.

On what she is hoping to get out of the final exhibition on Sunday...
Just consistency of who our go to people are. I think any good team knows who their best player is. You can always have a unified approach where you love everybody to be part of it, but I don't know who I would draw the last play up for right now. We lost a couple of people that I would have thought about, so now it's about people performing and stepping up. Committee scoring is good but the best teams have somebody that is there night in and night out. We are trying to find out who that person will be for us. I like the offense aggressiveness from our team though. We had five kids shoot more than 10 times, so the ball is moving around a bit.

On Annalise Pickrel's performance coming off her injury...
She is a really good rebounder and she just can't go in there right now. You're looking at a kid who can do some things for us for sure, and her confidence will come. I thought she did pretty well for someone who isn't even supposed to be playing at this point given her surgery date. I think it says a lot about her character and toughness.



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