Jan. 27, 2001



%^$%^$Recap|%^$Box Score|%^$Notes%^$%^$


%^$Brent Darby
%^$”We have to keep this going. It felt great to get the win in front of%^$the home crowd and knock off the No. 3 team in the nation. We needed%^$this win to get us to .500 in the conference.%^$

%^$”We pressured the ball. We felt we could check their sets. We had to%^$stop their transition game and keep them off the glass.%^$

%^$”We played with poise. We played a half with them in East Lansing, but%^$we stayed with it today. We were up by a few at the half and then got up%^$by double digits in the second half. Poise was what did it for us%^$today.”%^$

%^$Zach Williams
%^$”It was a better effort today. We executed as a group and cut down on%^$our turnovers. We kept them off the glass. They bully people up on the%^$glass, but we kept them off it today.%^$

%^$”That was a big game. The last two games we turned them into 15 and%^$17-point losses. We were embarrassed on TV at Michigan State. Today it%^$was all about pride. We weren’t going to let them beat us on our home%^$court.”%^$

%^$Brian Brown
%^$”It feels great to get a win against a top five team in the nation. We%^$played tough, I’m so glad for our team. We limited the transition%^$baskets, that’s half their weapon. We limited the fast break and we won%^$the game.%^$

%^$”This is not the same team as we were last year. A lot of people did not%^$expect us to win this game, but we did.”%^$

%^$Coach Tom Izzo
%^$(Thoughts on game)”No secret we got dealt a lesson today. We did not%^$play hard. We did not play typical Michigan State basketball. It started%^$the first minute of the game. We did not get up and down the court.%^$

%^$Defensively that started things, even though we rebounded and ran pretty%^$well. If you’re looking at effort, you’ve got to give the “X” to Ohio%^$State”%^$

%^${On Ohio State’s defense} “In all reality, our freshman did not play%^$very well. We had open shots. We made bad shots because of bad passes.%^$Passes down around the ankles and passes up around the shoulders. I%^$think it was all just pressure. They played better defense than us and%^$got a big win.”%^$

%^${On OSU fans} “I thought the Ohio State fans did a great job. This place%^$was rocking from the get-go. It was great to see. Usually I salivate%^$over something like that. Today I didn’t. Usually our team is tough%^$enough to overcome things like that. We’ve got to realize that playing%^$at home and playing on the road are two different things. There’s a%^$reason people are winning at home, including us.”%^$

%^$Coach Jim O’Brien
%^$(thoughts on game) “I’m proud of the team and how our kids fought back,%^$especially in view of what we went through in the last week. People%^$don’t understand how hard it is within a six-day period to play at%^$Michigan State, play at Wisconsin and then come back and play these guys%^$(MSU) again. This has been a very difficult week in preparation, fatigue%^$and travel in playing three games against high quality teams. Our guys%^$stepped it up, they deserve a lot of credit.”%^$

%^$(On Kenny Johnson) “We had to change the way we get the ball to Kenny.%^$It’s not as easy as people think to get him the ball. What he has%^$learned to do is to throw the ball out of traps and find guys out on the%^$perimeter.”