Postgame quotes against Nebraska – Michigan State University Athletics

The Head Coach Merchant Suzy

On the victory over an undefeated team …
I think you have to understand what we were up against. We were down to two and a half guards. The other keeper we played can play the fourth. We had a team full of postal players and Nia (Clouden) and Matilda (Ekh) then Jayla (James) were able to play both places for us. If you understand what we had to do for the last day and a half … we put a three-way game in the middle of the floor, it affected everything not to have Deedee (Hagemann), Lo (Laurel Jacqmain), (and Mo (Moira Carpenter). We’re down six perimeter players, that’s a lot. One or two is bad, but six people and they’re all veterans. I’m really proud … it was less about Nebraska. I just wanted to see us be brave, fight, not give in, find a way to scratch and claw and do our best. And I thought they did it today.

On the performance of first-year students …
We just needed them to play a big role, your minutes count. I mean it’s usually something we haven’t had to rely on for them. Tai (Taiyier Parks) does not play 30 minutes, I said on the radio, that was not his MO. She had to fight against a certain fatigue. I was kidding, but if I told Tai she had to play 30 minutes, her heart might explode, she would say “Oh my god I can’t do this”. But she can do it. And she found a way to do it. What I liked was that I saw children who had to dig a little deeper and who were playing. And I saw kids who didn’t play, who came in and understood what we expected of them and did their best during the minutes they played, whether it was bouncing, defending or whatever. .

At Nia clouden in trouble…
I said to Nia, ‘Not playing yourself a quarter and a half is not an option, so can you do it?’ She said, ‘Coach, I won’t do anything wrong. I promise.’ I thought she was doing a great job. She had a few possessions to take away, but I think she did a great job defending. We tried to change her game, we put her more on number 0 (Ashley Scoggin), if we could. The problem was when we miss the ball they are in transition defense and their main guard brings it in and Nia has to stop the ball so she ended up being on a downhill guard more than we wanted. But it can’t be anyone else. If we were without her, we would have a hard time scoring the ball. She’s a catalyst, whether it’s getting people ready or scoring the ball herself.

On the impact of the crowd …
It felt good to hear them. It’s been about a month, since Illinois in early December. We had some heartache… that Florida Gulf Coast game, we could have won that one, he went to double overtime. We have lowered the guard, we have to go on that day after a double game in overtime. So they got thrown at each other, like, “Wow, come on, basketball gods, give us some breathing space here.” So when we were at home today and knowing who we were up against, I knew the game was staying close that that crowd and that energy would propel us into the home stretch, and I thought they had done a good job. I love our fans here, and I know our players have really appreciated them over time.


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