UW Health Sports Medicine 

Postgame Quotes: Wisconsin vs. Michigan State



Feb. 20, 2014

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes

Wisconsin vs. Michigan State
Postgame Quotes 
Feb. 20, 2014 
Kohl Center – Madison, Wis.

UW Head Coach Bobby Kelsey

Opening statement:
“We hung with them there, but they have some big, strong posts in there. Those kids are huge. (Jasmine) Hines is huge and (Becca) Mills is a big girl as well. I thought for the most part we tried to make adjustments as we were in the game. We tried to put Malayna (Johnson) in there for a little more size, but we hung tough. It just wasn’t enough.”

On whether or not always starting the second half strong is encouraging:
“It is. I mean, the good thing about these kids is that they don’t give up, they don’t hang their heads, they keep playing hard. I’m just sad for them because we’re trying everything and we’re just not getting results. But it’s not for lack of effort or passion or want. Just for whatever reason we just can’t get that one little push back. We just have to keep trying.”

On whether or not shot selection or the shots just falling contributed to 50 percent team shooting:
“Probably a little bit of both. You’ve got to take good ones and you’ve got to take high percentage shots. We didn’t take as many threes, I thought that was helpful when they’re not just standing out there jacking it up. We try to open it up for them and try to get them going to the basket. We’re just trying everything we can to help them. And they’re trying hard as well, just a shot here or a box out there and it’ll be a different story. I mean, we gave up 16 O-boards and we work on boxing out every day.

”You come to our practice, we’re doing a box out drill every day. So we have to do it in the game. It can’t be we practice it and then we don’t execute it in the game. It’s gotten better, but again, it didn’t help us because they did score off of some of those second-chance points. I think they got most of their points off of our turnovers. So we need to look at how we’re turning the ball over.”

On what they tried defensively
“Well, we tried some different things. We tried to go to our zone. It worked for a little bit and then one or two of them got loose. And then we went to player but, they just have some great athletes over there. There’s a reason why they’re ranked in the country. Not just some fly-by-night team just walking in here. They have history, that program’s been to a Final Four. They’re going to attract kids that want to try to do that. It’s been a while, but they’ve still gone.

“We’re trying to build here. It’s not going to happen overnight. I don’t want to have excuses, but when you’ve got Hines and Mills in there, we don’t have that kind of punch to hold them off. Now we’ve got some people on the bench, we’ve got (Michaela Crall) over there but she can’t play right now. Once we get everybody healthy, and of course we’re counting on Cassie (Rochel) to kind of be out there, but her situation didn’t warrant that. Because she can alter shots and get rebounds and things of that nature like she did last year. But we’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves, we’re just going to put our shoulders back and we’ll get a breakthrough. I’m believing it.”

Taylor Wurtz

On whether or not she felt things opened up for her in the lane tonight
“Yeah, definitely. I feel like I had open lanes. Like coach said, we went to sort of a five-out and I saw opportunities to drive.”

On playing even with teams but failing to close things out
“I think we can play with any team in this conference. We just have to figure out a way to close it and like coach said, we’ll just get back into practice and just pay attention to details like boxing out. I know I missed box outs that I shouldn’t have and it’s just those little things that we’re just not executing. But we’ll figure it out. We just have to get back into practice and keep working hard.”

Michala Johnson

On whether or not she switched anything in the second half and MSU’s post players
“It really wasn’t just their bigs that were stopping me from scoring. They were double teaming me. They had a guard on the backside. In the first half, I was maybe a little hesitant, I wasn’t getting the ball as much or I wasn’t scoring as much. So in the second half I just had to turn it up a notch and I couldn’t do the same thing I did in the first half.”

Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant

On Michigan State’s success on offense:
“I thought we did a better job of attacking inside early, whether it be off the drive or obviously inside. I thought our bigs did a nice job of really being aggressive inside and trying to take it at them a little bit. I thought that was good, but then we got a little jump-shot happy in the first half and they were able to come back a little bit. I think it was a little bit of everything. I felt like they changed their defenses multiple times and we just kept having an attack mentality and really tried to play more inside out. I thought that overall from first half to second half was the theme that helped us.”

On successful offensive rebounding:
“We needed them because there were times when we weren’t really scoring that well. It wasn’t one of our better offensive nights and I give credit to Wisconsin because they keep people off balance and they can do a lot of things really well from a defensive standpoint. We needed to do a good job. What I’m disappointed in is our defensive rebounding. It’s great to get offensive rebounds, but I just didn’t think we were very good at the defensive end finishing plays, especially in the second half.”

On capitalizing on turnovers:
“I think we tried to re-open our gaps a little bit more because they’re a really good driving team, so I thought that we got some tips and opportunities there. Michala Johnson just absolutely killed us at our place, so we tried to have a little more of a swarming mentality against her, not that it worked tremendously well. I think that it allowed us to get some hands on the ball around drivers and post players and I think that helped us to certainly do a better job, because they did such a good job of driving it right at you and it makes it difficult because they have shooters around. But we felt like we needed to take that chance because they’re so good at taking it off the bounce. Trying to reopen our gaps and swarm the post were our ideas to try to create some opportunities and offense from our defense.”

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