MSU Spartans
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Women's Basketball
Notre Dame 78, Michigan State 72



Nov. 29, 2008

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On the lack of balance today...
The issue was, up to this point, we have had a lot of people showing up at different times. Tonight we legitimately only had one player showing up. You're not going to win on the road, you are going to win in this environment with just a player and a half. We really needed other people to step up. I thought we had good looks, we just didn't knock them down.

On Aisha Jefferson...
A.J. can score. She is a battler. She is a competitor. She is our leader. She sat our a whole year and she has a lot of energy to get this thing accomplished. We beat Old Dominion at home and she didn't have her best performance, so I feel like she definitely came to play today.

On the rebounding...
We have really been focusing on that. The stuff that they run is hard to guard and we felt that when the shot went up, we didn't want to guard them again. They are just hard to guard because they have scorers everywhere, man or zone. We felt the best thing we could do was do our best to make them one and done.

Then offensively, we really felt we could get in there and make a difference. They really like to transition a little bit and we felt we could get two or three kids in there and get some good looks on offensive rebound put backs. I thought it was a good sign of kids battling and I always find that a true test of whether you come focused and ready to play and giving extra effort.

On Notre Dame...
I thought Notre Dame played a great game and you have to give them a lot of credit. They stayed with it and it was just a good college basketball game.

On the team's effort today...
I felt like we fought with them the whole game. We just had couple spurts where we didn't score and they went on a little run. I think a sign of any good team is not to cave in and fold. I thought we battled back and they answered. I am disappointed because I want to win the game and our kids feels the same way. We gave them a battle; a 10th ranked team in the country, on their floor. We have to take some positive from it, as well as the negatives, and get ready for the next one.



Redshirt junior Aisha Jefferson

On her focus entering the game...
My main focus was getting the win and competing hard with a top-10 team. I thought Notre Dame was a great team and I thought we went out there and fought until the end.

On the keys to her 34 points...
I think a lot of it was they had a lot of focus towards Allyssa (DeHaan) and she takes a lot of pressure off me, so I had an advantage there. Some people have on nights and some people don't, and I think tonight was just my night. I really would have just been satisfied if we got the win.

On what the team learned from today's game...
I think it really gives us a lot of confidence. We have a young team and we didn't have a lot of experience with ranked programs. When you get experience with these big teams, these top-10 teams, it really gives you experience for the long run and the NCAA Tournament. Today really felt like an NCAA tournament atmosphere and I think it's really beneficial to our young kids and our team as a whole, because we know we can compete with anyone in the country.


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