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March 4, 2010
Post-Game Quotes: Maryland
Amy Yakola: I'm pleased to be joined up here at the desk with Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese as well as Jr. Athletes Lynetta Kizer, Tianna Hawkins, Lori Bjork.
Brenda Frese: I thought our young guns just grew up today. And just to see the poise and the confidence that we played with. I think we were inspired today after watching our men's team yesterday. So just a tremendous passionate energy in terms of what we wanted to do against UNC and I think the biggest thing is we finished it. We finished it and completed it for a 40 minute game.
Gene Watt of the "Washington Post".
Brenda, you talk about that second half where most of your players were in foul trouble, and how that limited or changed what you were able to do and how you had to fight to the end?
Brenda Frese: Oh, man it was difficult. Obviously when you have the number of players that we had in foul trouble sitting there with four fouls. But, like we talked about, I thought our team showed tremendous grit. We fought and we kept battling and you know each and every player stepped up at a different point in the game.
Coach, could you just talk a little about Lynetta's performance today. I mean bouncing back from her performance against UNC where she didn't get to see too much time and today averaging a point a minute that was pretty good.
Brenda Frese: That was huge. And it started in her approach coming up to this game. And, you know, from the tip, I mean she just, put this team on her back with her energy, with her emotion. She just refused to lose. And it was really contagious within our team. She made so many plays I thought they really did have an answer for her with her stepping up and being able to hang down low, it was really versatile for us.
Lynetta or anybody. I don't think you guys had a foul in the last five and a half minutes. With five and a half to go there were four people with fouls and nobody fouled again. What is it like playing defense when any of you knows the next whistle somebody is probably gone.
Lynetta Kizer: My coach has always told me that when you get into foul trouble you have to play that much harder. Like I said four of us had four fouls, and we kept playing hard. We weren't really worried about the whistle, we just went out there and played great basketball.
Brenda, can you talk about the sequence with about 10 and a half to go and Lynetta went out and bringing back 5-30 and you still kept the lead through that. Can you talked about team's poise through that era.
Brenda Frese: Yeah, you know I thought so many players stepped up in that time. We were small then in terms of our four guards. Lori had a shot, and I remember the 3 by Jackie on the wing, and that was just a great shot, a great courageous shot, and she shot the ball with a lot of confidence. I think that is what you talk about in terms of growing up, I mean each and every player taking the ownership themselves and wanting to make play.
Cetera DeGraffenreid had six steals and was all over the place. In the last frenzied minute there how do you keep your poise and keep your mind and knowing that she is there and you don't let it bother you too badly.
Lori Bjork: Yep Everybody knew that so then they didn't want to foul me. So it was kind of like how long can I hold on to the ball before I need to give it up, while she is running around out there. So you didn't want to dribble yourself into a corner and get the team in trouble. So it kind of was a little game. They were trying to figure out when to give it up --
Tianna, you were playing with four fouls, but you still had 13 points 11 rebounds in 22 minutes. Can you kind of talk about what you have to do when you have four fouls so can make sure that you don't get the fifth.
Tianna Hawkins: My Coach said all the time is that when we are in foul trouble we have to do our work better to win the game but it stopped early and I picked up the fifth foul.
Coach, what did you think of exacting in the second half, I mean, it seemed like there was a whistle every second. You guys played it all. I mean you made some decisions, what did you think of that?
Brenda Frese: Yeah, you know, it was difficult obviously, because there was such a flow and the freedom that you got to play with in the first half. I thought the second half it got a lot more physical. And so, obviously why the calls needed to be made. It's difficult, I mean, in terms of free flowing game in terms of possessions. I thought we did a tremendous job not letting that impact us, the foul trouble and playing through it.
For Brenda or any of the players. Are you going to sleep a little more comfortably tonight regarding the NCAA tournament after this?
Brenda Frese: I'm not going to sleep much.
I'm going to be thinking about Duke and that is where my focus is. Like we told the team, we control our destiny, and that is just every single time we step out and play. And that is all we can control.
Just along those lines how big is tomorrow's game for you guys?
Lynetta Kizer: It's real big for us. They have beat us at home and they have beat us at their place, and it's hard to beat a team three times. I know the coaches will have us prepared. And we are going it go out and battle 40 minutes. And the way we are right now I'm confident and ready to go.
Tianna Hawkins: Yeah we're focused on the next one. This afternoon was a lot of fun playing in that environment and we are not thinking long term and we are thinking next game, and we are excited to play.
Post-Game Quotes: North Carolina
Amy Yakola: Again, as a reminder we'll start with an opening statement from the Coach and we'll open up it for questions. We have two mic holders and let us know your name and affiliation and that is appreciated. I'm pleased to have at the desk North Carolina Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell, Chay Shegog, and Cetera DeGraffenreid. Coach, when you are ready.
Sylvia Hatchell: Well, the game started. I was wondering when they were going to miss a shot. I think they made 10 of the first 14. And they finally pulled off a little bit. We got so far down that we had to fight back the whole game. We got back up when Cetera made that 3 I thought we were going to pull it out. And just didn't. We did good things at the end, but we didn't play smart like we needed to. Maryland, they are a really good team. They are young like us, but I think the fact that this game is an 8-9 game in our confidence just shows you how the conference sits, the fact that this was our 8-9 game. But I know we are a bolt team and RPI is 29 and I look back and in the history of the ACC a team that had an RPI even in the 30’s has always made the NCAA tournament. And our strength of schedule is 22. And then we have 10 wins against the top RPI teams and top 100 RPI teams. And then, you know, the other thing is we always played 14 conference games, so that makes it hard to balance things out because we only play 14. But because of that, you know, our 14 conference games, we had played nine of our 14 against the top six teams in the league, and five of those nine on the road. So we had a tough schedule, the RPI is good, the schedule was good and we have got some real good quality wins. We hope that will help us get in.
Also I know this shouldn't be a factor but the fact that we played without Jessica all year too. That is my little campaign, I guess you would say for, you know, an NCAA bid. Maryland is a great team and they played hard and started off like fire crackers. And we started off lackadaisical but we finally got going. I thought Chay did pretty good, we got the ball inside of her. The team did a good job for us. But, again, the rebounding was big, and you know, we just had some spells out there when we weren't a very good team. Sometimes we were a very good team. I thought if we played the whole game, like we did the last 7 minutes we would have won the game.
When Kizer got into foul trouble very quickly both in the first and second half was that your part of your plan?
Sylvia Hatchell: We were trying to get it in there, we were trying to get the ball inside and all. I felt that Chay was aggressive taking the ball in there too. That was good for us. We didn't take advantage of it enough.
A little more on how Chay played today and also Laura coming off the bench in the second half.
Sylvia Hatchell: Well we need a strong inside play. Like I said, I thought Chay was aggressive offensively the way she got the ball, and Laura went in there and gave us some good time. And you know with the rebounds and scoring. They are both sophomores and we are still pretty young in spots out there. We are still try to find a consistent play at the 3 position and, you know, the 4 position. So, we just keep trying different people trying to do different things. But, you know, you win championships with defensive rebounding, and at times our defense needs to be better and the rebounding is the thing that got us the most this year.
Lynetta was very efficient when she was in the game, Coach Frese said you answered four on the floor, what would you say to that?
Sylvia Hatchell: Well, I guess she is probably right. She had 9, 12 and then 22 points and 10 rebounds. She is tough right there around the basket. Lynetta, I have known the kid for the past four or five years, I watched her a lot in AAU and stuff. You know let me tell you what, I when she decides to play, she's an all American. That is when she decides to play. I have seen her really do some damage when she wants to. And she did that to us today.
Chay, can you speak to the toughness of trying to rebound today and just maybe this team struggle rebounding over the past four or five games?
Chay Shegog: I mean rebounding has been one of -- I don't want to say weakness of this team, but it's something that we really have to work on and it's been our main focus for the past four or five games, but the entire season. We have to knuckle down and do it. We have to want it more than the other team.
Cetera, you got a lot of practices in one game and you are getting ready for whatever the next tournament you play in. What does the team need to accomplish during that time, do you think?
Cetera DeGraffenreid: Trying to get the team back that played against Duke and rebounding, definitely rebounding. That one rebound can put us up at any time. Definitely rebounding.