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Women's Basketball
Post-Game Quotes: IPFW



Dec. 1, 2013

Recap |  Box Score

Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On lack of intensity…
Well, that’s on me. I mean, certainly, I’ll take responsibility for that. It’s been frustrating all year. It doesn’t matter what we’re in, there’s just not a sense of urgency. On the defensive end, we just struggle and we work on it every day, every single day. You have to give them a lot of credit - they shot it extremely, extremely well. They shot it the way they had to to win here. Thirteen threes is shooting it really well. I thought they did a great job of hustling, playing with more intensity and energy. You know, that has to come from our leadership and our veterans group and it just seems like they’re a very flat core right now. There’s not a lot of toughness there right now and that has to come out. It’s disappointing. I thought we were prepared for the game. I thought we were flat in warm ups, brought it up and talked to certain groups of people to get them focused and ready, but it just seemed like we we were real flat.

On how the team grows from a loss like this with the Florida State game quickly approaching...
Well it’s not going to get any easier, that’s for sure. It’s something we have to learn from. We’ve been talking about it for a while now – it’s not like it is new news. We just did not play with the intensity and aggressiveness that we need to play. It just seems like we’re slow and somewhat disinterested. People who have been our defensive players in the past, our defensive stoppers , it just doesn’t seem to be a priority anymore and there is no sense of urgency. We have to do a better job with that. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and go to work. You can’t cry about it or complain about I,  it’s over and we need to learn from it and move on.



On Kiana Johnson’s effort…
She was probably the most demonstrative at half time and you appreciate that, but if someone is doing that and no one is coming with them, it doesn’t help. I mean, I kind of felt for her a little bit. She’s a commanding presence at point guard, but at the same time, there’s other parts to what is going on and I think she needs to step up a little bit more, not just defense and calling plays and things, but people just kind of play right through her, too. She got more aggressive down the stretch when she had to be. We can’t play four on five and I thought, for some of the night, we did that. That’s not why we lost. I just feel like it is all defense right now and we just didn’t guard anybody. It just seemed like there was no urgency and when somebody got going, there just wasn’t someone to bring them together. I think it’s more lack of leadership and defense than it is anything else. Kiana [Johnson] showed she was upset and almost got t-ed up on that play there. It’s not really good if you’re leading and nobody is following.

On an injury update for Madison Williams and Jasmine Hines…
Well, Madison Williams and Jasmine Hines sure would have made a difference tonight. It is just so frustrating not to have that power, inside game where you can just turn and shoot over people, but what are you going to do about that. Her [Madison Williams] MRI was fine. It came back clear and there was no damage or any issues there. We have to wait and talk to the doctors; they want to kind of wait and hold her out for a bit. There is a little bit of swelling in there, but they thought it was probably more scar tissue than anything else, which happens when you have a lot of ACL repairs. You tweak your knee and you always think something bad, so she tweaked her knee in the forty-five seconds she played and she came right out. She didn’t feel good about it, so I’m glad the MRI is at least a little more of a positive thing and she’s still with us.

Jasmine Hines, I don’t know. She still has headaches and stuff. We thought maybe we’d play her a minute or two tonight, but it just didn’t really work into the game plan. She’s got to get in shape; that’s one of the problems. She has gone two months without doing anything, but hopefully we’re building her back into some kind of ability to contribute. I think she could have made a big difference in there by powering it up and being aggressive inside. To me, the defensive end is what is the most troubling. We have to get this group to get after it a little bit more. They go through motions and sometimes it can be a little bit too late. If our offense is there, it’s great. Seventy-six points is enough to win a game, but not when you’re not defending somebody and letting them shoot fifty-four percent in your own gym. 

On how to get them to start playing with intensity…
You practice; you keep working at it in practice. Show them film and work at it. We do it every day. I know it doesn’t look like it, but when they get in practice I feel like their intent is way better. They get into a game and it’s kind of like deer in headlights. It’s very passive for some reason, so we have to do a better job of that. We’re trying to do different things to stimulate us a little bit, some pressure stuff, and I thought that was good. At the end of the day, you still have to guard in the quarter court at some point. It’s not like you are going to get thirty 10-second backcourt violations. You have to be able to roll up your sleeves and go to work in the quarter court, whether it’s zone or man. We just didn’t do a very good job. I’ll take responsibility for that. We’ll be better; we’ll get better.

IPFW head coach Chris Paul

Opening statements…
Obviously, I’m pretty proud of our basketball team right now. We started 0-4. We had a really, really tough schedule. We started in the preseason NIT. We lost three tough games on the road and then a tough game against Indiana where we felt like we had them beat. They’ve stuck together and they’ve bought into what we’re doing, we’re playing as a unit and we came out there and shot the ball really, really well. I’m just really proud of what they did. I’ve been doing this for a while now at IPFW and I’m just proud of the team effort; I really, really am.

On his team’s overall play…
Anybody who’s followed us for long enough knows we like to shoot the basketball. We shoot the ball and we shoot with confidence. Our guards know the only way to really get in trouble with me is don’t shoot it when you’re open, because I don’t want them to play like robots. One of the things we’ve talked about is we play those tough schedules - at Wichita State, in the preseason NIT, and Indiana - so that you come out here and it’s just another game and just to play. Forget that it’s Michigan State, just go out and play and treat it like a home game. Our kids just came out with that mentality. I will tell you it helped that we had won three in a row coming into it, because you all know what confidence does in sports. We believed in what we were doing, we came out and knocked some shots down. We got a little shaky at the end, but I’ve got to give coach Merchant,  her staff and her group credit because it looked there like we had the chance to really stretch it out and they made a great run, but I was proud of our kids for the way they handled it.

On where the win ranks in program history…
Obviously, it’s got to go down as the biggest win because it’s the first time IPFW’s ever beat a Big Ten opponent and a ranked opponent. It is the biggest win we’ve ever had. We’ve come close; we came close two years ago up here. Obviously, we came close against Indiana earlier in the year, but it’s the biggest one. What we’ve got to do now, as I just told them, is we’ve got to keep working on getting better. We can’t just say, ‘OK, now we won four straight, we beat Michigan State, let’s just stop.’ We’ve got to keep getting better because we’ve got a very, very good Evansville team on the road in the middle of the week and then on Sunday, we’ve got to go down to West Lafayette to play Purdue. We’ll build on it, but it’s obviously a huge confidence builder for our program right now.

On fighting back after Michigan State made a run to take the lead…
We made big shots. They made the run and took the lead, and then we made big shots. Obviously, we go as Amanda Hines goes. I think everybody is starting to realize how good of a player she is. I see 23 tonight, but I also see seven assists; she does a lot of things out there on the floor. They stepped up and made big shots when they had to and that’s the thing I’m probably most proud about. We’ve never beaten a Big Ten opponent. We play three every year. We always put ourselves in this position, and teams of the past from IPFW would have the lead and lost it. It would have snowballed the wrong way, but here we answered. Once we took that lead again, it kind of snowballed the other way and our kids felt like we were going to score every time. We started getting some stops. I had great contributions off the bench. I sit here and look at five players in double figures and another player with eight so that’s a very, very good team effort from a lot of different people.


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