Dec. 16, 2007
OKLAHOMA HEAD COACH SHERRI COALE
"We feel very fortunate to get out of here with a win. Obviously, it's not a news flash to anyone that we played very poorly, and passively. We had no rhythm, no pop really on either end of the floor.
"The first five minutes of the second half completely changed the complexion of the game. I thought we played with great energy in the second half; we had a little more fun. We moved the ball better, and knocked out some shots finally.
"You know, you're sitting there at half time and you're going, 'We know we're down by 11 but we've shot zero percent from the free-throw line, 20 percent from the field, and 13 percent from the three. So surely if we make some shots this thing can look better.'
"So we let our defense generate our offense in the second half, and sort of got the lid off the basket. Then we were able to make a few shots, which always changes the complexion."
On differences from the first half to the second half:
"Well we've seen often what I think got us out of rhythm; we have a young point guard, a true freshman playing point. We really gave her the responsibility for reading the defense. Michigan State changed and went out of their match-up into their man, and we didn't recognize.
"We tried to run a zone-entry against a man, and a man entry against a zone. Suddenly everything just went to a screeching halt. We lost our confidence a little bit. So much confidence bubbles out of that point guard. And she looked a little hesitant, as to she didn't know what was going on. And so it simplified things in the second half and gave our guys a certain thing to do, regardless of what defense they were in. They didn't have to worry about any changes. There was a certain way we were going to play and a couple of options when we wanted to do that. That affected things obviously, and really it was our whole movement. But getting in a set that gave us some confidence enabled us to move the ball, which got us to get DeHaan away from the rim a little bit. That was huge, because she affected everything. Not only post shots, but guards penetrating, rebounders getting second shots. And so we pulled Courtney (Paris) up to the high post to get her away from the basket."
On the steals and defensive players of the game...
"We felt like that could be a strength coming into this game. Danielle (Robinson) can guard just about anybody in America. She's so quick and deceptively long. Even though she's not a big kid, she's got long arms. Jenna always flies around all over the place and always plays at full-tune.
"Amanda Thompson has great instincts; her steals were maybe the ones that put us over the edge. We're kind of accustomed to getting that from those two little guards up top, but AT (Thompson) was making decisions on the backside and in the zone. Whether it be knocking a rebound off someone's hand, or just getting a deflection in the middle of defensive possession changed the flavor of the game and gave us some juice, and we needed juice."