March 2, 2006
Indiana Head Coach Sharon Versyp
"It's real exciting to be in the tournament. It's my first time with this group of young ladies and we really have done a pretty good job this year. The last two seasons we haven't been able to win this first game and tonight was a big step for us and a big step for the program. Michigan gave us a great battle; they have some great talent on that team. We did some really good things in the first half to separate us a little bit."
On Michigan getting back into the game in the second half:
"They did get back into it, but basketball is a game of runs and they made a run. I had some people in who haven't played a lot of minutes and we were able to sustain it. They got within eleven but we kept going, and for me I think that builds confidence in our bench."
On what IU needs to do to beat Minnesota:
"We really need to play defense. Our last two regular season games against Minnesota and Iowa, they scored a lot of points, and we don't always do that. We fouled immensely, and tonight we didn't foul very much. We need to play great team defense, not foul, get rebounds and run."
On being the No. 6 seed and getting a first day win:
"The Big Ten Tournament is pretty much up for grabs, and every team that steps on the floor can win that game. Tonight we played as hard as we could, and were able to come out with a win. Tomorrow night, we just need to come out and play our game. We just need to worry about ourselves right now."
On winning 10 Big Ten games now and turning around the team:
"I believed when I took the job that these young ladies were extremely hungry. They wanted a winning mentality, not just to play close. I want us to have that winning mentality and turn this program around. They all really invested in what I have been selling to them. I think our five seniors were a big key to that. As soon as they bought in, things just started clicking, and we started seeing results. When we started seeing results, we just started to gain confidence. This group has really been special, and it has been a great year so far."
On jumping out to an early lead:
"It was good for the team to break out with an early lead. Lately we've been coming out flat so it was good to see high energy from the beginning. I think it definitely helped in the end."
On the importance of the team proving themselves this weekend:
"We had a huge win against Purdue, then lost our last two games, so tonight's game was a confidence builder. The win tonight proves just how well the team is clicking. This was a good win for us tonight."
On whether fatigue will be a factor this weekend:
"I don't think fatigue will be a factor. Coach tells us to play like champions, and playing like a champion entails not getting tired. We are going to have to rely on our energy and emotion, and laying it all out on the court. It's hard to play a team like Purdue three times but we are looking to come out on top."
On coming back through losses...
"It has been a tough season. We have learned to never give up. We never headed into the next game with a lack of confidence. If we did then we should have asked ourselves why we continue to play the sport. We always went into each game playing hard and doing whatever we could do to win."
On Ta'Shia Walker...
"(Ta'shia) is always a big presence on the court. She makes it easier for the guards because she is an excellent post player who wants the ball. She is also a leader. She is the person who takes charge and tells us all where to go."
On the end of the season...
"No one is ever glad the season is over. We want another game. You don't want to end your season with a loss. The goal of the season is the end it with a win."
Michigan Head Coach Cheryl Burnett
"It looks like if we just played the second half, we would have won. Going into this game we knew we had to stop their guards. We knew we had to contain them. We tried to make some adjustments and get more help on defense. I'm real proud of how our kids fought back.
On Indiana's seniors:
"I pulled their two seniors to the side after the game. Those two are special kids. I've seen those kids forever. I came to Indiana for a clinic when they were real young. It's been delightful to watch their development. Coaches are also fans of players. You don't want to get beat, but you start pulling for them, especially now that they beat us."
On the return of Ta'Shia Walker:
"It really was amazing how that felt. To get one more player back on the roster really gives us faith for the future.
On the team as a whole this year:
"This is a special group of kids that continued to fight back. It shows the integrity they have. When you're down at halftime, with the season we've had, it would have been easy to quit. They didn't. They fought back. That takes an incredible amount of heart and integrity."