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Jan. 27, 2018

Recap |  Final Stats

Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State senior guard

On breaking Rachel Banham’s all-time Big Ten scoring record
“I didn’t even know about the record. I just knew that Rachel Banham had a lot more points than me. To be a part of that conversation is something wonderful, and I want to thank everyone for congratulating me and for all their support.”

On having her family come out to see her from Cincinnati
“They know what I’ve been through in regards to overcoming the obstacles and struggles to get better at this sport, so I’m glad they got a chance to see me play. Having them in my corner…it’s something that every athlete would be grateful for, just having someone there for you whenever you need them.”

On the team having a good game after recent struggles
“It’s a lift off your shoulders. We lost to the team up north, who is really good team. Then we turned around and get blown-out by 30. Then you’re in a dogfight with Iowa and end up losing that game too. As an athlete, no matter the sport, that makes you feel like crap, especially when you go as hard as you can. But we had a chance to set it right this time and that was our mentality going into this game.”

On Suzy Merchant saying, “We got Kelsey’d”
[Laughs] I know that coach Suzy is one of the greatest coaches that I’ve ever been around. I was fortunate enough to go visit with her, so I know her mentality. She knows what it takes to make her players great and hearing her say that…all I can do is laugh.”

On Linnae Harper’s versatility
“It’s very much needed, actually. Having a player like Linnae on your team that can do it all in regards to guarding your best four players and scoring. She’s not your average four, she’s pretty short, but she does a great job of getting rebounds and she makes it hard for the opposing team. She does a great job of being who she is and I love it.”

Kevin McGuff, Ohio State Head Coach

On the run OSU went on in the fourth quarter
“I think overall we sustained our defensive effort close to 40 minutes and that is something that we haven’t been doing. I was really happy and proud of our effort overall. Around most of the game we were getting pretty good shots, they just weren’t falling necessarily and we finally made a couple late. I think we gained some confidence and were able to put the game away.

On perimeter shooting
“The thing we did a better job with today is getting balance in our offense. We were able to get the ball around the basket and Steph was particularly effective and got to the free throw line and we haven’t done that as well lately. If you’re not making shots from the perimeters, to get some balance in your offense I think is the answer.”

On awareness of Kelsey breaking the record
“I don’t keep track and she doesn’t either. Like her, I am focused on the team. However, when these accolades come up, it’s amazing. To think about all that she has accomplished and all that she can still accomplish. She’s into winning and that is what she’s about and that’s what makes her such a special player.”

Suzy Merchant, Michigan State Head Coach

On holding Ohio State the first half and the shift in momentum the second half
“We held the first three quarters really, the fourth quarter got us. I mean, Kelsey Mitchell. We have been ‘Kelsey Mitchell’d’ and really that was it. I also thought Mavunga was really good the entire game but Kelsey just sets everyone else up. She makes everyone better and then she started scoring a little bit herself.”

On Linnae Harper’s versatility and guarding her
“It is hard. Our fours are a little bigger and I have always had a great deal of respect for her. I watched her in high school and she’s a blue-collar superstar. She doesn’t care about her points or rebounds, she cares about winning.”

On dealing with team injuries and roster changes
“It’s difficult. I was talking to them a little bit about how we are still down a pretty significant player and she is worth 20 a game. Maybe not in her own points, but she will get herself to the free throw line or she will set someone else up. Little things like that coupled all together is probably worth 15 to 20 a game and that’s hard to manufacture.”

On defending Kelsey Mitchell
“I talked to her after the game and told her that I hope I never have to play you in a game ever again as long as I possibly live.”

“I think what makes Kelsey so special is two things. One, her work ethic is exceptional. She isn’t good by accident. A lot of kids want to be good but they don’t want to pay the price to be good. That kid has always been that way. She is passionate about her craft and she does the work it takes to be great. Second, she is probably the most humble kid I have been around for the success she has.”