Feb. 22, 2012
No. 6/6 Michigan State (23-5, 12-3 Big Ten) 66, Minnesota (17-11, 5-10 Big Ten) 61
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minn.
Feb. 22, 2012
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
“It’s disappointing that we played so well for 30-plus minutes and we came out with a loss.
“We needed to take care of the ball better down the stretch.”
On turnovers late in the game:
“We looked nervous. Michigan State got more physical and more aggressive and we just folded under pressure.”
Ralph Sampon III
“We were up on them the whole time. But I think at the end of the game it just came to execution. We got a little jittery at the end. The circumstances of the game, playing a team that is ranked No. 6..., and the closing seconds--things got a little out of control for us.”
On running down the clock at the end of the game:
“We really wanted to get a good shot, try to get a good open shot at the rim, try to draw a foul, or be in a good position for us to score. ...In that situation, yeah, you want to run as much time off the clock as possible. You are up by how ever many you are, and you just want to get the game over.”
On being a senior:
“As a senior you start to look at things a little differently, start to look at the team you are leaving behind. You look at the body of work you have put into the team, and into the season and you know the team that we have. We are still young, still learning. I am still learning. The day you stop learning, I think, marks your decline. So everybody is still learning on the team. I think this team is strong, needs a little more maturity and a little more work and this team is going to be great. The team that I am leaving behind, we are going to do good things.”
On struggling with turnovers at the end of the game, after the team turned it over 19 times at Northwestern:
“Northwestern was the worst game we had in terms of turnovers, so that was something we really concentrated on in practice--it was taking care of the ball, to execute. We had a few turnovers at the end of the game that really hurt us, so we will just go back to practice.”
On if the Gophers anticipated the Spartan run at the end:
“That is in any game. No team is going to just give up on you. That is where you really have to execute and take care of the ball, be smart on the floor. Every team is going to try to come back fighting, cause they don’t want to lose. Everyone wants to win.”
“No, fatigue kinda just goes out the window. When you are out there and in the zone of the game, the game was winding down and it is just a matter of playing D, executing on offense, you are not thinking about fatigue.”
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo
“It was a game where we got outplayed most of the game. It is a tough game. (Minnesota) played real hard and they faltered at the end. I feel for them. Looking at my team, I thought the effort-related things just were not there. They out-rebounded us, got to loose balls, and out-drove us. I would give my team credit. When you are on a championship run you have to steal a game somewhere. We went to the guys we needed to down the stretch, but we did play undisciplined. I feel very fortunate to win it and yet, I am proud of our guys.”
On Keith Appling being big late in the game:
“That shows good heart on his part. I was not too happy with him with his defensive mistakes. To have enough courage to step to the line and knock down a couple of free throws says a lot about him. We went away from Draymond (Green) at the end of the game, and that is my fault.“
On Branden Wood’s aggressiveness:
“In the second half he had more aggression because in the first half he did not. That was one of the things we talked about at half time. I thought (Austin) Thornton was not ready to shoot the ball, so Wood played more. (Wood) turned himself around defensively, and then his offense started to pick it up.”
On the Gophers’ play:
“The problem is when you have a young team. Our team is young too, but we have Draymond (Green). He is unbelievable. When you do not have that, and I do not know if they do, it is tough. They just played their tail off. They are a little up and down too because of youth, more than anything. I thought Sampson III played well tonight. Anytime you come up here and play Tubby’s team it is dangerous.”
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