Nov. 15, 2011
Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant
On the play of the defense...
I'm shocked by it a little bit. Teams are playing us five-out. We're going to see a lot of that certainly, but it just hinders our ability to guard one-on-one. They make one change of direction and we can't get it stopped. Our answer to that was either foul, rotate, and then (have) everybody else just kind of stand there. But we need to do a better job there is not question about it.
On what kept the game close...
We didn't shoot the ball very well. We went 10-for-22 from the free throw line. I think our mental focus was just not there. I didn't think we had a lot of fight in us out there, looked like we were just kind of going through the motions. They made their free throws and we didn't.
On the amount of 3-point attempts...
Well we were trying to get the ball inside. And the problem was the people who can shoot it for us, were really bad defensively. I kind of went with the lesser offensive players. I felt like at least the people that were out there were somewhat able to keep people in front of them, so that was kind of the answer.
On how to improve the perimeter defense...
Well to start our ability to play one-on-one defense. If we have to spend two hours on it, we'll spend two hours on it. There are a lot of things we can do, because we have to get better. I look at Taylor Alton, who is not the fastest person on our team, but she does a great job at staying in front of people for the most part. I think it's because she has a little bit more mental toughness, a little more want to. I felt like when she was on somebody one-on-one she had a little bit more ability.