March 18, 2012
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2012 NCAA Women's Basketball
Postgame News Conference Quotes
University of Louisville
March 17 (First Round)
Head Coach Jeff Walz
"I'd first like to start off by congratulating Michigan State. I thought they played a very hard game. Suzy [Merchant] had her kids ready to play. We're fortunate enough to get [Lykendra Johnson] in some early foul trouble which really took away a lot of what I think they wanted to do. It was a hard fought game. I was really excited for our players. I thought we executed extremely well for 35 minutes of the game. I think with five minutes to go we had three or four turnovers at that point in time which was a season low for us. It's always nice to get a win in the first round."
On his team's rebounding:
"That's what we have to do. I've been really pleased with the way we rebounded the ball for the past month. We have to outwork people. We're not the biggest, but our kids have got a lot of heart and in order for us to continue to advance we're going to have to come out and continue to play hard continue to play smart."
On the play of Shoni Schimmel:
"I think it was really important. I thought Shoni played a very good game today. I thought she did a very good job on the defensive end of the floor. I thought she made some great passes out there. She's got a lot of responsibility. The ball is in her hands a lot and there's a lot of wear and tear on her. She came up with some big shots for us. She hit a shot out of the timeout and had two or three great passes out of inbound plays. It takes a high basketball IQ to be able to people the ball in the right spots. She threw an unbelievable pass to Shawnta' [Dyer] on the break which gave her an and-one. Her scoring is the least of my worries because I know what she can do."
On playing Maryland:
"We'll have to start watching film. I haven't really had a chance to watch any of Maryland. I watched them play today. They're very big, they play extremely hard and we're going to have our hands full. It's a game I'm not sure anyone will really expect us to win, but we'll come out here and at least try to play hard and see what we can do. We'll show up."
Freshman Forward Shawnta' Dyer
On taking advantage of Lykendra Johnson being in foul trouble:
"First off, [Lyknendra Johnson] didn't really have chance to guard me so I didn't really know how she would play me. Coach [Walz] always tells us to watch the floor and see how they're playing so you're able to maneuver and do things well. I pretty much think that it definitely helped us in the long run because it limited [Michigan State's] size and we were able to take it at them so that was really good for us."
Sophomore guard Shoni Schimmel
On her team's big first half run:
"It felt great for us to get out there take advantage of what we could and continue to score and that's what we did for the most part. We kept going at them and it turned out good for us."
Michigan State University Women's Basketball
Press Conference Quotes
March 17, 2012
Coach Suzy Merchant
"Obviously we are disappointed with the outcome. Certainly I think we need to give Louisville a lot of credit. I thought they really rattled us in the first half. We couldn't get into an offensive play and that put us into a little hole going into halftime. I liked our fight in the second half. I thought we did a much better job playing our game and doing some things, but we just couldn't get over that hump. It was a tough battle and I feel bad for our seniors. I'm not sure it was their best performances and that's never how you want that to go, but we are really proud of what they accomplished this season. They certainly helped us get to a place where we need to be."
On Lykendra Johnson's early foul trouble:
"It was a problem for us. I think she was playing really well in terms of putting pressure on people on the block. She does some special things out there. As a captain and a leader you need that. She is the glue to the team and she went down so early. The way she got her last foul was also really avoidable. She just had a frustrated moment, which I think has put us at a disadvantage sometimes. I did think Jasmine Hines came in and did some pretty good things in her place, especially when we needed some inside play. That definitely hurt us though. We played on our heels a little bit from that time on."
On possibly putting Lykendra Johnson into the game earlier:
"She seemed a little different to me. Because I have coached her for as long as I have, I just thought she was a little frustrated and would have gone into the game and got her third [foul] right away and we couldn't afford that. I did think about [putting her in the game earlier] and letting her play, but I felt like she had a little edge to her while watching her play and was a little disgruntled. You could see her frustration level was pretty high, so when you put her into those situations they usually don't equal no foul. They usually equal situations where she is on the bench for even longer, and that wasn't what we needed."
On Louisville's fast breaks and losing control:
"I felt like [Louisville's fast breaks] were the issue in the first half. When Lykendra got the ball on the baseline and had an open layup and missed it. I swear if she made that shot that press would have been done because that is Louisville's M.O. As soon as you start scoring off their press they will take it off. We felt like we really need to be aggressive and attack it and score off of it. We had opportunities early, but we missed some of them, so I think they stayed with it. To their credit, they were coming after our freshman point guard and they were trapping some ball screens. I don't know if we handled those well, but we were ready for it. We just didn't do as good of a job taking advantage of it."
Senior Guard Taylor Alton
On her emotions after the game:
"I obviously feel disappointment. I don't think we went out how we wanted to. Things didn't really fall our way tonight and I think some of us let it get into our heads a little bit. When we get to that point we have to find any other way or pull someone along who is scoring. Clearly, I feel disappointment about the loss, but we definitely fought back strong in the second half. I think we just have that trend. We just didn't put two halves together."
On Klarissa Bell's play:
"She was a huge spark for us. I think the biggest thing is we were just trying to get someone to go along with her. She did a great job. It was definitely what we needed from her today."
Sophomore Guard Klarissa Bell
On her well-rounded game:
"Coach Merchant looked at me during the first half when I was on the bench and told me I can't be passive if I want to be out on the court. So I went out there during the second half and started scoring. It wasn't good enough, obviously, because we didn't win. You can have a great game, but if you lose the game it doesn't matter."