Q. You kind of came here to change the face of Indiana basketball, and you guys are doing so. Indiana hasn't won in this tournament very often. What's your thought, or do you even allow yourself to think in those terms, like changing the whole arc of Indiana basketball?
AMANDA CAHILL: I mean, that was our goal coming in. We wanted to try to make a difference, and I think we've been trying to do that with just working hard and being on the court, being in the film room and just really trying our best.
Q. Amanda, was there a little bit extra motivation knowing if you guys lost this could potentially be your last game here?
AMANDA CAHILL: Yes, definitely. We've been talking a lot during the week of just like kind of making the season count the most, making it count and just working together. That was just something we've really been emphasizing.
Q. What was going through your mind when you stepped up to the free-throw line in those final seconds?
AMANDA CAHILL: Just I was focusing on it going in. I didn't want to think any negative thoughts, and I was just thinking that we needed those buckets.
Q. What were you talking about in the huddle after single overtime when you thought maybe you had lost the game and they were doing the clock review?
AMANDA CAHILL: Yeah, I was on the floor so I didn't see it, but a couple of my teammates were saying the clock stopped, the clock stopped, and I think all of us were kind of like: Are you sure? Just kind of like sending up some prayers and really hoping. We were trying to read the ref's lips and see what he was trying to say, but it was pretty fortunate.
Q. Have you ever been through such an emotional game like this?
AMANDA CAHILL: Yeah, that was definitely up there. Four overtimes is pretty crazy, especially senior year. A lot is on the line for us, and it was definitely emotional, yeah.
Q. Your reaction on your bench waiting to see if that apparent game-winning shot by Michigan State counted or not, both before and after the review.
TYRA BUSS: Before, I'm not really sure, because I thought we had lost. I didn't know they had stopped the clock. So I was just down on the baseline thinking that we just lost and we're done. But I went back, and they said they were pretty -- Coach Rhet said he was 90 percent sure that they had stopped the clock because I was like: Are you sure? Are you 100 percent sure? Because I wanted to know.
But he definitely thought it was for sure, so he didn't know if they put time back on the clock, but he was thinking that they'd just go straight to double overtime, and they did, so that was huge.
Q. You've elaborated on this before, but it must be gratifying -- you're from Illinois, Amanda from Ohio, you come in together and really changed the face of IU basketball because IU hasn't won very many games in this tournament.
TYRA BUSS: Yeah, absolutely, especially the past couple years we've gotten that double bye and we haven't won a tournament game --
Q. You won one in Illinois when you were freshmen?
TYRA BUSS: Yeah, we won the first game. Yeah, we won the very first game, but we were the bottom four seed, so we played on the very first day. So this was really important for us, to have that momentum, and now we're settled in and we know what it takes, and we're ready for tomorrow.
Q. You were about 60 minutes into a game when you took that three. How did your legs feel at that point?
TYRA BUSS: I wasn't really thinking about how my legs felt. Of course I'm a little tired and fatigued. I was kind of feeling it a little bit towards the end of the game. But I just kept telling myself: I'm not tired, and I've just got to fight through because I've fought through a lot, especially this whole year, and I've played in every single game. I've played the most minutes in the country, so that wasn't anything that I hadn't ever done before.
Q. What happened that play down there when the technical foul was called? You got bumped and a foul and it looked like there was another collision on the baseline. Was that what it was?
TYRA BUSS: Yeah, I got fouled on the drive and then a girl just -- I don't know if she was frustrated or what, but she just kind of swung her arm and threw me out of bounds, and they called an unsportsmanlike conduct, and I like two free throws, so that's basically what happened.
Q. When your shots aren't falling and you're struggling offensively, how do you keep fresh and keep in your mind that I can still help? There were several rebounds, offensive stops that any of us could point to.
TYRA BUSS: That's just something that comes with experience. I'm a senior, I'm a point guard, I'm a leader on this team, so I just kind of -- when my shot is not falling, I can't get down on myself because I can't let my teammates see me like that. I've just got to find a way to help the team in other ways, and like you say, whether that's rebounding, whether that's assists, finding the open player, things like that, and then of course just keep shooting, because I've gone through so many games.
I know I'm a good shooter, and like I said before, my teammates and my coaches believe in me, so I just kind of do whatever I can to help the team win, and that's just kind of what I did tonight, just kept pushing through.
COACH MOREN: A great game between two really good teams. Two great staffs. Like I said, I can't give Michigan State enough credit, and our guys, too, for just having battled, and really proud not of just our effort, our resiliency and just staying together and fighting. We just had to fight our rear ends off.
But super happy for Tyra and B., because, as I said, this place has not been good to us the last two years being in that double bye spot. We had to earn it tonight, and as I said to the kids, there were a lot of plays made, but the most important play was made at the end, and we got it. And B. capped it off with two free throws, and then we had to go down and get that stop, and I thought we did a really, really great job of defending that.
Q. Being the coach you are, look what you have even left in there; are you concerned about that? You've got a fit team.
COACH MOREN: We do, and we've played with lack of depth all year, all season, and so what's most important tonight is that we get back to the hotel and we get them some rest.
But as I've said to our group, the first game is always the most difficult, and once you can get that first game and you have a little bit of momentum, and hopefully our kids have some confidence.
I think as this is tournament play, I think they're going to be ready. They're going to be ready. There's going to be a lot of energy in the building. Hopefully our crowd will come back, and we know what we're playing for, and that's postseason play. There's no question that I'm not worried. This group has been great throughout, the peaks and the valleys, and have always been able to show up in big ways when we've needed them to.
Q. You talked about the seniors' window closing, and Cahill and Buss played all 60 minutes of the game. You could just kind of see that, two seniors fighting for --
COACH MOREN: Absolutely. There was no way. I think even J.B. asked Tyra if she was tired and needed a blow, and I think Tyra looked at her like: You've got to be kidding me, right?
So that's just been the tale of B. and Tyra all year. They're going to will their team to victory, and B. was really, really good tonight. Like I said, I'm happy for our entire group, our staff, everybody, but I'm most happy for Tyra and B.
Q. How much were you telling Tyra to keep shooting when she was 1 of 3 at that point?
COACH MOREN: Well, I don't know that anybody has to tell Tyra to keep shooting. I just don't. She's a competitor, and that's been well-documented throughout her four years at Indiana, and the big three that she hit at the end of the last was really big on a night when she struggled.
Q. Talk about the action you guys saw; did you know specifically what they'd do?
COACH MOREN: Yeah, they went into their double highball screening action, and I thought Tyra did a great job, but Bendu just made a really good play on the ball. We tried to split that action, and Bendu was just long enough to get her hands on it. Couldn't come up with it, but got her hands on it just enough to keep the clock ticking down even further. Big play at the end, and if it would have gone in, I would have been shocked.
Q. What was going through your head after the first overtime when they were waiting on the clock review and didn't know whether or not --
COACH MOREN: Well, I felt really comfortable with my group on the sideline. They clearly knew that the clock had stopped at 2.5, I think. Even Megan, and then the table -- I even asked them, and they said it clearly had stopped, it was just a matter of time before we found out the official review from the crew.
She made a big-time play. Of course we turned it over, but obviously an important part of the game, to be able to go into another overtime.
Michigan State Quotes
Q. Take us through your thoughts.
SHAY COLLEY: Just came down to execution. Four overtimes, so they were the better team that executed at the end of the day, and that's that.
Q. Your knee, I know Coach said that you were questionable at the start of the game. How bad did you want to play in this game?
SHAY COLLEY: Very bad. You saw it out there. I played the four overtimes until I fouled out, so I think coming in my knee wasn't an option; I knew I was going to play regardless.
Q. At the end of the day, you played nearly 50, 60 minutes. To do that, that's still something to be kind of proud of, right?
SHAY COLLEY: I mean, yeah, anything for my team. We really wanted this one. If it came down to like 70 minutes, I was still going to be out there.
Q. What's the mood in this locker room like now?
COACH MERCHANT: Disappointing. Could have gone either way, and we had our chances, and they had their chances. We came up short. Like we had some tough calls against us, but you have to play through some of that stuff.
Q. Before this game, you didn't even know if Shay was going to play. What can you say about her performance and the way that she led you, especially in the overtimes?
COACH MERCHANT: Yeah, I mean, I was worried when we lost her there because she just does so much for us, like defensively and playing downhill, but she gutted it out. She told me if she could play, she would, and she'd let me know if she couldn't.
So I thought that was pretty impressive that she was able to come out there and do what she could for her team for sure.
Q. And then Taya Reimer, as well. She kind of came on late in the season and then led you guys today, as well. What did you think of her performance?
COACH MERCHANT: Yeah, I thought she was much better, like when she settled in. The first quarter she wasn't that good, and then just kind of settled in a bit, got her feet under her. But she played really well today. I mean, she did a nice job finishing in there. Defensively, too, hedging screens, I thought she did a nice job, and defensive rebounding.
Q. It's the end of the road for the Big Ten Tournament, but there still could be some more games you guys could play and possibly the NIT. What's the mindset of this game moving forward?
COACH MERCHANT: Honestly, I don't really know about that right now. I just want to talk about this game and talk about the other stuff later.
Q. This is the longest game in Michigan State history. Can you talk about the emotions physically and mentally to play a game like this?
COACH MERCHANT: Yeah, I mean, it was crazy. There was a couple there, I thought the end of regulation where that was -- I feel like everything went against this team. I thought there was a charge at the end. They didn't call that. I thought they gave away Shay's basket. That was -- it just felt like every time we turned around, it was like 5 on 8. It just is what it is, and that's why I think we have to keep fighting, and I thought our kids did a good job, and it could have gone either way.
And you have to give them a lot of credit. I thought their seniors, Cahill and Buss, have literally put their team on the back as seniors and showed up night in and night out, especially down the stretch. They've just been a force, the two of them, and they've done a really good job making plays, especially making shots.
Q. How did the refs explain to you the Shay Colley reversed shot?
COACH MERCHANT: They said that there was more than eight seconds that went off. There was something wrong with the timer or something like that, and they timed it and said it was longer than eight seconds, so they didn't count the basket.
Q. So it wasn't a travel or anything?
COACH MERCHANT: No, it was -- they just said -- it counted, and we would have won the game, but then they came back and said: Oh, sorry, the clock was messed up, so that basket doesn't count.
Q. When the refs came to you and said that, did that fire you guys up more, or did that just really hurt the team when you got that news?
COACH MERCHANT: No, I mean, I think we went into overtime -- I think what hurt us was we couldn't get a couple stops down the stretch. That really hurt. We had the lead there twice when they had the ball at the end of two regulations.
If we could have just got a stop -- we just couldn't get the stop, so that was disappointing, but I thought our kids did a great job bouncing back. They were engaged in all the overtimes certainly, and it was disappointing, but I felt like a lot of stuff has gone against this team all year. We've had a lot of adversity just in general, so many injuries and issues. It's just been tough on these kids, and I thought they did a great job of just keeping their energy and focus and finding a way to keep moving forward and keep fighting.
Q. To get the game that you did out of Colley, especially with -- you thought she was going to be out with the knee injury, can you kind of speak to that?
COACH MERCHANT: Yeah, I mean, first of all, I'll just say in 23 years I've never had a person get hurt standing out of bounds, not even on the court, so that's bizarre. It was just weird. So that was frustrating. I think our team was like in a weird place because we were really playing well and confident, and then that happened. And it was like we didn't know if we were going to have her literally up until game time.
So to have her means a lot to our team for sure. They get a lot of confidence from Shay. So give her a lot of credit. But it's just been a tough year injury-wise.