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March 1, 2018

Kim Barnes Arico

Indianapolis, Indiana

Michigan - 77, Penn State - 48

COACH BARNES ARICO: I was so happy for our team to come away with a victory tonight, especially for our seniors. I thought that we really set the tone early on in the game, and we really established ourselves. We established Hallie, going inside to her and getting her touches early, and played incredibly hard, won the loose balls, won the 50/50 balls, won the hustle plays, and I thought our toughness really came through tonight.

Q. How important was it on the rebounding battle to out-rebound them like you guys did?
COACH BARNES ARICO: Yeah, we talked about that a lot leading up to this game because we had a lot of offensive rebounds the first go-around, and we thought that that was an area where we could really take advantage of them and really get some put-backs, get to the free-throw line early, get them in foul trouble early.

So we emphasized that this week in practice, getting some offensive boards, getting on the glass and trying to get them in foul trouble early, and I thought we were able to do that.

Q. How do you prepare in one day for a new team, going in tomorrow against Nebraska?
COACH BARNES ARICO: It's difficult. Nebraska has had a great year. It's midnight. The game started after that quadruple-overtime game. That was a heck of a game.

So I think we just had an opportunity to work on us, get better this last week. So we've just got to go in locked in to that.

Nebraska is going to be tough to defend. They've got a great big kid inside. It'll be a great match-up. It was a great game the first go-around.

Q. What was the team atmosphere here in the locker room while that four-overtime game was going on?
COACH BARNES ARICO: It was exciting. We were actually cheering every single play for either team because we wanted the game to be over.

So there was a period of time where we were listening to music and dancing, then there was a period of time where we were cheering for -- there was a period of time where there was silence, probably the first overtime. By the second overtime we started dancing. Towards the third and fourth overtime, we were just cheering for someone, we didn't care who, even our rival down the street, to just make a play so we could go out and play a basketball game. It was a great atmosphere.

We knew coming into the Big Ten Tournament, our league has been so great this year that there were going to be games like there have been today with Rutgers-Purdue and Indiana-Michigan State. Just incredible, incredible games, and we just happen to be on the late end of that, but that was a heck of a game, and I think it represented our conference really well.

Q. So you just allowed them to be loose here in the locker room?
COACH BARNES ARICO: Yeah, it was a long day. We had two shoot-arounds starting at 9:00 in the morning, so I wasn't going to reprimand them for having a smile on their face at 9:00 when we started our day at 9:00.

We were just trying to keep loose, and we didn't know how long it was going to be on. We knew coming in that we had to be focused and we had to be ready to go and that this game was really important for us moving forward with the NCAA Tournament. So we were locked in to that, and I thought we came out ready for that, even after the long delay.

Q. Hallie said that you were really emphasizing her one-on-one defense coming into this week. Was that something you were happy with in this game?
COACH BARNES ARICO: Yeah, Teniya Page showed last night what she was capable of doing. She's an incredible player, as is Carter. I thought Jillian Dunston was outstanding on Page, really took her out of what she wanted to do, really defended her. Akienreh Johnson came in and played great minutes on her, as well.

I thought our one-on-one defense was tremendous. I mean, we held Penn State in the 40s, which is a great job. She had 38 herself last night. So I was really happy with the way that our team defended.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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