MSU Spartans
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Women's Basketball
Michigan State 73, Stony Brook 42



Nov. 16, 2008

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Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On playing against the Stony Brook defense...
We anticipated that they were going to play the zone. What bothered me the most is that I felt like we had a pretty uninspired effort compared to what we have been doing. We practiced that way the day before and I felt like it carried on to the court. To me, improving every day is having mental toughness and I don't think that we had it. I think that they played extremely hard and they started to take it from us. I just don't think we played with a lot of emotion.

On the turnovers made by the Spartans...
Our goal is 14 or less and we have had back to back games now where we have had 23 or 24 turnovers. I realize that we are missing our starting point guard but it isn't coming from that position. It is coming from our off positions and our post players. It's poor decision-making and a lack of focus. We have been practicing that way and we have got to work on that. Our posts have to do a better job of being stronger down there and catch the ball, and our guards have to recognize when they are open and when they aren't.

On Aisha Jefferson...
Obviously it is good to have her on the floor. I think that she does bring emotion into action and I think that is a positive thing but we need her to step up. We need her to be stronger with the ball and we need her to rebound. I just think she's gifted enough to do it so I would like to see her battle a little bit harder.

On getting inspired in the game...
I think we have it. To me, it was how we practiced yesterday that carried over to how we played today. We were in a one-day prep situation and we kind of just went through the motions. We knew we weren't going to be able to go super hard so we walked through some things. It's just difficult to get them to realize sometimes that how they practice will carry over and I think that we have the leadership and ability to understand that.

On Courtney Schiffauer and Lykendra Johnson...
Courtney got into foul trouble twice now and she has to improve on that. I think her and Lykendra just play hard when the ball goes up. They really fight for it. Those two and Lauren Aitch are the three who continually get after it. I think we need more concerted effort. But I do think that Schiffauer and Lykendra do a good job as freshmen of getting down low, getting established positions, and keeping the ball alive.




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