Feb. 7, 2010
Box Score |
Lady Lions vs. Ohio State
February 7, 2010
Q: Were you guys zoning them to try and take care of Lavender inside, allowing those threes to open up for them?
A: We wanted to protect the paint and keep the ball out of the paint from Jantel Lavender but also from [Samantha] Prahalis's penetration. They just shot a great percentage.
Q: Do you guys look at this game as a measuring stick and if so with the course of the game, what do you take from it?
A: I wouldn't say it is a measuring stick but I thought we played a great first half. We ran out of gas the last eight minutes of the game. We didn't have the energy down the stretch to make the plays that we needed to make on either end of the floor. For a player like Nikki [Greene], when you are battling a player like Lavender and the game is as physical as it was, I think that takes a toll on you, wears you down. The energy and the level of intensity that we were playing with the first 30 minutes of the game was hard to keep up. Like I said we just ran out of gas for the last eight minutes of the game.
Q: What changed for Alex [Bentley] in the second half? Did [Shavelle] Little frustrate her?
A: No, I think she ran out of gas. She is a high-energy player and she plays very fast and in some respects she might be hitting that freshman wall, where she just doesn't have the energy that she needs to have. It is more of a factor of her running out of gas, but that is not to take away from Shavelle Little, she has faced intense opponents and very good defenders before. She just ran out of gas in the second half.
Q: They shot 65% from the three-point line. Is there something you could have done better to prevent that?
A: We can be a little closer, rotate better, but that is just a ridiculous number. They had a great shooting night. Coming into the game their best three-point shooter was Brittany Johnson and she is shooting at a 49%, she is really good, but as a team they aren't usually shooting close to 70%. It was just one of those nights were they had a fantastic shooting night. We were still in position even with their hot shooting to win the game, we just ran out of gas. We needed to get closer to them and make it tougher for them.
Q: What needs to change or what do you think needs to happen to get this team back to where they were?
A: The thing that I know is that we have to get back to having a defensive focus and mindset. The first 19 games of the season we were a much tougher defensive team. Outside of Michigan State, the past four games we have scored enough points to win the game we just need to fight on defense. We need to dig down and find the grit and determination to defend better. I have liked the fight in the team, night in and night out. We are not an easy out by any stretch of the imagination. I am optimistic that we will continue to fight for the rest of the season but we have to have more determination and focus on the defensive end to stop teams from scoring as many points and as easy as they are scoring.
Q: Why has the defense struggled?
A: We are playing a lot of young kids. The simple answer is that it is the part of the season that wears on you. I don't think that is much of an excuse, but I will grant it some validity. It isn't much of an excuse because you have to defend and you have to make the choice to do so. I think that this point in the season you can get mentally fatigued as well as physically tired. It is that mental fatigue that we need to fight through.
Q: How demoralizing is it to have a team shoot that well from three-point range even when you're playing pretty good defense on Jantel Lavender?
A: I wouldn't say it's demoralizing. They shot the ball great today. They were, like you said, [shooting] 65%. But I wouldn't say it's demoralizing I just thought we needed to execute when we were doing better defensively. But they are a great three-point shooting team, they did very, very well today.
Q: Down the stretch, you made few free throws to put you up one and I think you had one basket after that. What went wrong for you offensively those last few minutes?
A: I think we just failed to execute on offense. We didn't finish what we were running and I felt like maybe if we would have executed a little better down the stretch, the game would have probably been a lot closer than it was.
Q: You guys shot pretty well from the free throw line but you only attempted 11. What can you do to get to the line more?
A: Just, we're not attacking very much. I feel like we maybe rely on the jumper maybe a little bit too much. I feel like we did attack the hoop a lot of great things happened. We were able to maybe dump it off to Nikki or get a shot or get a foul, so just making sure we attack the basket a lot more.
Q: What was it like playing against [Jantel] Lavender?
A: It was very tough. It was different than the other post players I've played against. She has the ability to play offense and I was trying to play her tough and trying to get her to go to her left-hand side. Every once and a while she would pin me really hard so I was just trying to play through all that.
Ohio State Head Coach Jim Foster
Q: How were you able to get so many open looks from three-point range?
A: I think when you play against us you have to sort of pick your poison with [Jantel] Lavender on the floor. You're either going to try to surround her or not. Especially in the second half, I thought we had terrific ball movement and stopped trying to force. We've got some real good three-point shooters. It's something we work on and are very comfortable.
Q: How did you cut back your turnovers in the second half?
A: We started throwing the ball to the red shirts [laughs]. In the first half we were throwing them to the white shirts. We were just forcing. Over penetration, just forcing the situation. [In the] second half, we took what they gave us instead of trying to make something happen. It's that simple.
Q: Were you impressed by Penn State's freshmen Nikki Greene and Alex Bentley?
A: Yeah. What's not to be? They're both really good players. They're very talented.
Q: What do you have to say about Alex Bentley?
A: Well we started to guard her in the second half. The first half, she was getting any shot that she wanted. In the second half it was more about us dictating what we wanted. I think it's that simple. [Nikki] Greene is long and it impacts the game a lot of different ways. They're both talented.
Q: How did your bench have an impact in the second half, especially Maria Moeller and Shavelle Little?
A: I think we're very fortunate that we have seniors that understand what their job is and what their role is. Both of those kids have started for us in the past. [Maria] Moeller as a freshman and [Shavelle] Little the next year. They both have learned how to impact the game from the bench. The value that it has to our team with them coming off the bench is something they buy in to. That makes us a good basketball team when we have seniors coming off of the bench that have been there.
Q: Did Shavelle Little's play disrupt Penn State's offense?
A: In the second half she started picking up half court. Shavelle [Little] has incredibly quick hands and incredibly slow legs sometimes. When she can pin a player to the side with that quickness and start bumping her legs like pistons and she's not going anywhere but she's sort of dominating the space. But, in transition full court she makes me want to play sometimes because I know I can go by her.
Q: What did Samantha Prahalis do to stop turning the ball over?
A: Just patience. She just, for whatever reason, you forget that she's so young. She's a sophomore and playing the toughest position. When you're talking about a football quarterback sophomore, you think `boy what's that player going to be like when they're a junior and senior.' I think four-year starters; you're sort of saying the same thing here. Live and learn. What I like about her is that she's a pretty quick study. She's volatile, she's explosive, she's passionate. I like all that stuff, at the appropriate time.
Q: Did her technical help her in a way in the second half?
A: It allowed me to calm her down and to talk to her. She's becoming a much better listener. I think that that's what age and experience starts to teach you. You can't do it by yourself.