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March 4, 2010
Postgame Quotes - NC State
Amy Yakola: I'm pleased to welcome to the podium after the last game of the evening, NC State Head Coach Kelly Harper, as well as student athletes Nikitta Gartrell, Bonae Holston, and Marissa Kastanek. Coach, when you are ready.
Kellie Harper: Well we are excited that we are advancing in the tournament. It was by no means was our prettiest game of the season, but, at this point, a win is a win. And, you know, I thought Clemson did a lot of good things tonight and really pressured us into some turnovers. It was a defensive struggle for both teams. But, really proud of our kids for showing some resiliency and finding a way to finish the game with a win.
Coach, Marissa got to only play about ten minutes in that first half, was that fouls or was that trying to keep her for the rest of the tournament or a combination of both. Or can you talk about the first half not having Marissa in both?
Kellie Harper: Yeah, typically when we have players with two fouls in the first half we take them out and unfortunately she got her second foul early, and we took her out because of that. You know Marissa helps us offensively. She can put the ball in the hole, and I felt it hurt us to finish the first half without her.
Coach, what was the biggest adjustment you made for the game at Clemson to tonight, and what do you feel was the biggest difference looking at that game and look at this game?
Kellie Harper: Our post defense was much better this game. We realized it needed to be all five people defending their post players. I thought we did a much better job. At their place they were able to lob the ball and get uncontested lay ups. We mixed up our defense we played a little in front and a little behind and pressured the basketball and pressured them from making the easy baskets.
Marissa, you talk about the three 3-pointers you did in the last nine minutes, what were you thinking up to that point about how you played and what you were thinking when you took those shots?
Marissa Kastanek: I knew my teammates were helping me push through, the two fouls I got real early and they just kept the team in the game. And when I came in I knew that I had to bring my part back to the team because I had been out for the past eight minutes or so. I just knew I had to help my teammates out and I did my best.
Nikitta, talk about the last chance to play in the tournament and what all this means to you right now.
Nikitta Gartrell: I must say that I'm very excited right now. I don't know really the last time I was sitting here advancing to the next round. Right now it's just like another great opportunity. So, I just have to take it game by game.
Marissa, what was it that kind of got you going in the second half after the shot?
Marissa Kastanek: Really my confidence. I realized early in the season that if I go into the locker room the second half after the first half with my head down and no confidence in myself the second half is going to be the same way. I went into the locker room with positive attitude, and I kept praying, you know, just to give me confidence. And my teammates all say, the first half is over let's go to the second half --
Bonae, with Marissa out the first and second half you had big points, can you talk about leading keeping the team in. You were one of those talk about your ability to score points when no one else was.
Bonae Holston: My teammates were in position and I took advantages of the opportunities.
This is for Marissa your thoughts of being rookie of the year and Coach your thoughts on that?
Marissa Kastanek: Really that's just a great honor for me. And I want to thank everybody that has helped me get to this point and God and definitely my teammates. This is not something I can do by myself. They got me the ball and defensive stops. I have to thank them. I can't take it on myself.
Kellie Harper: Personally I was very pleased that Marissa did receive the honor. I felt like she deserved it. She did everything we asked her to do. She works hard. She is such a good person. She is the type of player that you want to coach. And, again, I do think it's a reflection of her and her teammates, but very, very happy that she was named freshman of the year.
Postgame Quotes - Clemson
Amy Yakola: I'm pleased to be joined at the desk by Clemson Head Coach Cristy McKinney as well as student athletes Lele Hardy and Sthefany Thomas. When you are ready we'll take opening statements and questions.
Cristy McKinney: It's a disappointing end to a disappointing season. NC State should be given a lot of credit for playing a extremely hard. They were really trying to take us out, which is what they wanted to do, trying to negate our inside game. And they did a good job. Part of that was us not doing some things we could have done. And not being ready. And that has kind of been our deal all year is inconsistency. And we picked a bad day to have a bad game.
Coach, talk about the list that Sthefany gave your team in the second half. You had trouble scoring and she came in and I think she had eight points in three minutes something like that. And Sthefany, maybe can you comment on that as well?
Cristy McKinney: That was huge for us. And we know that Sthefany can score. We really needed it and I think we got dependant on it. But Sthefany can score, and we know that. And we are going to look for her to do some big things next year on the court.
Sthefany Thomas: I just felt like Coach McKinney had a lot of confidence in me. And I was feeling good and shooting the ball, but it was not good enough, I know. Disappointed that we couldn't come up with a win. But, um, I mean I was trying to bring energy to the team and scoring but it just wasn't enough, so.
You had a steal and a breakaway and it’s 44-40 and they call a timeout. Did you feel that broke the momentum when they called that timeout and you scored thereafter?
Sthefany Thomas: I don't think it broke the momentum. It was eight minutes in and we started shooting and just let -- we just started shooting and didn't play our defense and that is what broke it out a little bit.
Coach, talk about NC State, did they frustrate you in size? It seemed like your post players had a little trouble scoring tonight?
Cristy McKinney: The first half really it was pushing our guards, and trying not to let our guards see a post. At times we did what we needed to do there which was penetrate. If they are putting that much pressure on your guards you have to let it go. Just pushing it on our post and our posts were for whatever reason were not as tough as they needed to be. I have seen nights where our posts have been tougher and done a better job. I wish I had an answer for that. We played tough. I don't think we matched that like we needed to.