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Penn State Women's Basketball
Vs. Michigan State
February 4, 2018
Coquese Washington | Penn State head coach
Q: Even though you guys shot well for the day. There were periods where you weren't having that much success offensively at the beginning of the fourth quarter. In that case you want to stay on attack, get to the line a lot. You guys were 24/29 at the line tonight. Is that something you just told your team in the huddle if the shots aren't falling just get to the easy ones?
CW: No, I told them to make the shots that didn't work. I thought to start the fourth quarter I thought we had good ball movement. I thought when we went into our drought part of the reason was we weren't making the best decision in terms of which shots to take. They switched and started to press a little bit more to start the fourth quarter. They started to play their zone a little bit more and so when teams switch defense like that sometimes it can throw you off rhythm. It takes some possession to get into the zone attack or the press attack. The one thing we did was we kept being aggressive when we got to the free-throw line. Even though we weren't necessarily scoring, our defense stayed strong. We weren't scoring but they weren't scoring either so it was kind of a wash at that point.
Q: What can you say about your defensive end?
CW: I thought our defensive effort was exactly what we needed it to be. Michigan State's strength is its post play. They pound it inside and they're aggressive trying to get the ball into their post. We knew we had to work really hard to keep them out of rhythm. I thought we did that at the beginning of the game and we just competed on the defensive end. As the girls said that led to some transition opportunities for us. In particular in the first half and we were able to get going and get some confidence there.
Q: You outscored them 14-3 in those transition points was that with emphasis knowing that Michigan State is a bigger team and they like to play a slower pace game. Did you want to upset their tempo by enforcing the quick pace you like to play at?
CW: You're absolutely right on with that. We definitely wanted to use our speed to our advantage. Either size is going to win or speed is going to win. That's what we talked about this week and we definitely couldn't outsize them. So we had to outrun them and we really emphasized that. I thought the team did a really good job at executing that part of the game.
Q: Those fast break plays, were they part of the game plan, because those are just kind of out of nowhere. How much can you practice that or is that basketball instincts?
CW: No, it's not instinctive. It's a learned skill but we practice it a lot. It's one of the things we've been inconsistent with this year. We want to play fast and there's been times during other games in the season where we played fast. I thought today was a day where it really sunk in that we needed to do it. I think when you have early success with something it's easier to stick with. We had some success in the first quarter and that got our endorphins going.
Q: Jaida [Travascio-Green] had a pretty big first half, knocked down a couple of threes, she's really evolved from being just a 3- point threat to a more well-rounded player this year. From your perspective how has she progressed and how has that helped your team?
CW: I think she's progressed in she's got a lot of confidence. Getting the ball and putting it in and driving to basket. She's tougher defensively and her length in the zone is really big. Sometimes even if she's not making shots on the offensive end what she's gives us on the defensive end with her length and quickness to rotate on defense is really important.
Q: What can you say about the energy Siyeh [Frazier] brings to the team?
CW: That's what she does for us it's kind of an x factor. She's got tremendous speed. She's got tremendous quickness. She can get out and transition and she knows how to finish. She gives us extra possessions in a number of different ways. Especially when she's rebounding and getting some deflections. She doesn't always get to steal but sometimes she makes the ball handler make an errant pass, get a deflection or teammate can pick it up. She's a great compliment to Teniya [Page] and Amari [Carter], who play differently. All three of them are different types of defenders. She's a great compliment to those two.
Q: Coach, you doubled up Michigan State in bench points today is that something you thought might've happened coming into the game or was it a nice surprise?
CW: I didn't really think about whether we can double up there bench or not. I know we talk about every single person on our team. When you get on the floor make an impact. Sometimes that impact is statistical and sometimes it's not. Sometimes it can just be in your rotation and your communication. It could be in you testing shots. It's really nice when it's a statistical impact like it was today. I thought our bench was really really good.
Siyeh Frazier | G | Sophomore
Q: Siyeh, you tied your season-high with 14 points today. What was working for you on the offensive end today?
SF: Mainly just getting out and running fast in transition like my coaches and teammates tell me to.
Q: You girls were clearly running a lot today, and trying to get those points in transition. What do you think was working so well there, and was that a focus for you coming in?
Q: Siyeh, you were very aggressive every time you touched the ball tonight. Is that part of your normal game plan or was it just something that was working for you today?
SF: Yeah, that's what's best for me. Basically, staying aggressive to the basket and not being passive.
Amari Carter | G | Sophomore
Q: Defensively, you both are very active getting a lot of steals and forcing a lot of turnovers. I think as a team you forced 20 turnovers today, what does that do for your energy when you can get those steals?
AC: I think being active on the defensive end helps us get out in transition and get those easy points especially for Siyeh [Frazier], who really gets out on the run. Active hands, getting into passing lanes, making them make bad passes, forcing tough shots, getting the rebound and getting out on the break really helps us as a team.