Postgame Quotes: Michigan 68, Illinois 53 - Big Ten Tournament First Round

March 1, 2012

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Postgame Press Conference (fee)

Michigan Head Coach Kevin Borseth
On the magnitude of the win ... "You know what, last year we beat Illinois twice during the year. We beat them the last game of the year and then turned around three days later and played them again. And they played extremely well, with a lot of confidence when the game started. And to get this one under your belt is good. And I thought our kids were ready for that. I don't know if it was in the back of their mind, but it's there. In fact, Illinois has played so well in this tournament, the last two years, so you know that looms on you as well. I thought our kids focused on us. That was the biggest thing. We didn't ever talk about that. We just focused on us."

On rebounding during the game ... "When you're blocking out a bigger kid who is leaning against you and pushing underneath, makes a whole lot of difference. There's a lot of contact on defense. Karisma Penn is a great athlete, and Adrienne Godbold. That's where the rebounds came from, those two kids. They just jumped right over, moved us out of the way, jumped in and grabbed them, very hard to deal with. Kendra Seto came in. I inserted Kendra because we felt she could rebound. Sure enough, Kenny gets in and pulls two rebounds down right off the bat. I think it's always an area of concern because Penn and GodBold, they're good athletes and they've got a nose for the ball."

On getting 20 wins on the season ... "That's something you always shoot for. I think that's -- I don't know that is the number, I don't know that is the magic number, it's not, but it's a good number. Better than 19, better than 18 which we had last year. But the big win, the first win in this tournament for us is just absolutely huge to put us on the right track. Get our confidence back."

On facing Ohio State next and defeating them the last three meetings ... "That was then; this is now. Scouting reports tell them a lot and tell us a lot, obviously. And the second half of that game was a lot closer than met the eye. They battled right back to within like two or three points and down the stretch we were able to hit a couple of baskets here and there to secure a win. But they're a great team. They're well coached. They've got two players that are All Big Ten first team. They're a handful for anybody that has to play them. We have a great deal of respect for them, and we'll have to come with our best effort in this game."

U-M Senior Guard Courtney Boylan
On win number 20 on the season ... "Oh, it's huge. Not just win No. 20, but win No. 1 in the Big Ten Tournament. That's what's most important right now. That's what we're most focused on for now. It's awesome. Great team win."

On the reserves' contribution during the game ... It's great. We have supreme confidence in our bench, especially Kate (Thompson). We know when she comes in she'll knock down a three or get a stop on defense. They've been doing that for us all year, so no different this game."

U-M Junior Center/Forward Rachel Sheffer
On the first half setting the tone ... "I think we just attacked the block and the lane, and Karisma (Penn) got in foul trouble and just helped us out, just having her presence off the court really got us going, because she's a great player. And I think just going at them and not relying on the three really helped us."

On crediting Illinois' shooting struggles to her defense ... "I'm not really sure. We played hard. They missed shots. It happens. But we did play well together on defense."

U-M Junior Guard Kate Thompson
On last year's performance in the tournament and getting win number 20 ... "We're just taking every game one at a time. And this was a big win for us. Like Courtney said, first game in the Big Ten Tournament, it feels good to have this win."

On her performance and role off the bench ... "Just knowing that my teammates have confidence in me. The whole bench was really productive this game."

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