Postgame Quotes

Maryland Athletics
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Second Round · Maryland vs. Texas

Comcast Center · College Park, Maryland

Tuesday, March 25


Brenda Frese, Maryland Head Coach:

Opening Statement

“That was a great game. Neither team deserved to lose that game. To be able to see the play of both teams between the runs and the battles. I can’t say enough in terms of what Karen [Aston] has done with the team, and where Texas is headed. It was a complete 40 minute game. I’m extremely proud of our team. We had to find different ways in game to put it together. To see the sacrifices this team has made all season long, and to have different players step up over and over. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Alyssa [Thomas] with zero points and we were tied at halftime. We are putting ourselves in a great position with our team. I am really happy for our seniors to be able to continue with a win on their home court. I told them in our locker room, we are not finished. I’m excited to be able to go, and we are going to make a run for the roses.”

On playing in a close game

“There were so many times in game that I know how hard these players work. Some players this season have had to sacrifice a larger role than expected and they came up with some big plays. All season long they continued to keep working. I think it’s really good for us that we had to play a game like this to really understand who we are. When we play like the way we’ve played the last two games, great things are in store for us.”

On contribution of Malina Howard:

“It was poetic Justice. Malina was a starter earlier in the season and then started coming off the bench. I just kept seeing that she never gave up, she continued to keep fighting in practice and just kept working. We always talk about as a staff to just be ready for your opportunity. I thought Malina and Laurin Mincy were ready for their opportunity tonight; they were obviously a big piece of the runs we made tonight.”

Alyssa Thomas, Maryland Forward:

On the second half

“Sequoia [Austin] and Chloe [Pavlech] gave me confidence. They told me they weren’t worried and told me to get to the basket and keep working.”

On her last game at Comcast Center

“It was a great team effort. We needed a stop and I was able to secure the rebound. That was just a moment of relief to know that we had this one in the bag.”

 On not scoring early tonight:

“I was struggling to score and some of my teammates had a hot hand. I knew I just had to be patient and wait for my opportunity.

On Texas having last possession of the game:

“We were completely composed. We talked as a team and said we need to get a stop, and that’s what we did; we came together as a team and got the stop we needed.”

On changing outcome of her third NCAA trip:

“This is the most depth that we’ve had in the last four years that I’ve been here. Just the energy and how we are willing to fight for each other is definitely different. It’s going to be a special ride.”

Lexie Brown, Maryland Guard:

On first NCAA tournament games as a freshman:

“I don’t know if it was my jitters or not but my shot was just not falling so I knew I had to contribute other ways. Our defense was key in this game. Nobody’s shot was really falling except for the people coming off the bench and that was huge. Our defense was really our main focus; we had to shut down the bigs and keep ball pressure. They [Texas] didn’t really give Imani McGee-Stafford a lot of touches which was the goal of the game. So even though my offense wasn’t flowing my defense was there.”

Alicia DeVaughn, Maryland Center:

On controlling the boards in the second half

“We knew coming in that it was going to be a physical game. We played together and communicated throughout the entire game. It was easy to know that we all had help; It was great.”

On Texas having last possession of the game:

“We were just focused. Throughout the whole game we knew we had it in us. We just wanted to finish strong. We had to fight mentally and finish the game.”

On physicality in the post:

“It was physical. I mean their [Texas] girls are huge compared to us. You just can’t go mental with it, you just have to be strong with it and feel like you’re bigger than them when you’re battling with bigger girls. You just have to fight, you have to fight until the end.”


Karen Aston, Texas Head Coach:

Opening Statement:

“First off, hats off to Maryland, and just the terrific atmosphere that we played in tonight. I thought it was a tremendous atmosphere for women’s basketball and I’m proud to be a part of it. Again, hats off to Maryland in that aspect they were tough. They were tough enough to win the game that they were expected to win. I have an awful lot of respect for Brenda [Frese] and the way that she handles her business and her program. Second of all, really, really proud of our basketball team. I thought that we came into the game with a presence and competed really well in the first half. Missed some moments in the first half where we maybe could have taken a little bit of control, and then got down, and the resiliency of our team has been something that I have watched grow throughout the year and really we’ve become a pretty good basketball team and I think we showed that tonight. Obviously, made some mistakes in the second half that really hurt us, transition mistakes, and some defensive assignments. But, can’t be more proud of a basketball team than I am tonight.”

On Maryland’s rebounding and neutralizing Imani McGee-Stafford:

“I thought they were physical and they did their work early so we never were in a position to get some offensive rebounds and get into place. It was more positioning for us than it was anything. And I would add to that, and this has nothing to do with Imani, it has to do with our shot selection. I think that really the second half we got a little wound up and we started shooting too quickly. Anytime that you shoot the basketball after one pass or no passes, then you’re probably not in a position to get a rebound. And they were Maryland. Maryland’s really good on the boards and they forced their will on us in the second half. But I also thought some of it had to do with us not having patience offensively.”

On Krystle Henderson and Empress Davenport

“They’ve been a huge part of our team all year. I think that’s been the fun thing about this basketball team that we’ve had some depth and on particular nights, those two players have shown up and made huge differences in games for us. It wasn’t surprising to me how Empress played because she’s had a great week of practice. She played well in the Penn game. Krystle has had moments where she’s been the better point guard of the two and then sometimes it’s Celina [Rodrigo], so those two didn’t do anything that they haven’t tried to do all year. Obviously, Brianna Taylor has given us another lift on the perimeter and she did some good things tonight.”

On Alyssa Thomas:

“I thought there were times in the game where we had some breakdowns and got a little scattered defensively and it also has to do with how great she is. Holding her to 16 [points] and 11 [rebounds]; we could have done a much better job. That’s were she’s so good is on the defensive boards because she starts the break for them. I thought we did a really nice job on her. She forces her will on you and that’s what great players do.”

On the last two shots:

“They just didn’t go down. They just didn’t go down. I would want those same players taking those same shots, in particular the shot Chas [Chassidy Fussell] got out of the timeout was exactly what we were looking for. The shot Nekia [Jones] got was a great shot. We didn’t have any more timeouts so they improvised a little bit and I thought that was actually a really good shot to get without having any kind of timeout that created that. But again, I would draw up that same play for Chas again. Everyday.”

Chassidy Fussell, Texas Guard:

On the final shot:

“Empress [Davenport] was going for the layup, and Empress set a great screen on my man so I just came off and it just didn’t fall this time.”

Nneka Enemkpali, Texas Guard

On her first NCAA Tournament game:

“I think it speaks volumes. Like you said, last year we were 12-and-18 and we were a young team last year and there was a lot of growth and a lot of improvement and we are a young team and our young players were really receptive to the older players. Our entire goal was to grow and to get this program back to where it needed to be and I feel like we’re making steps towards that.”

On Maryland’s physical play:

“In preparation for the game our coaches told us that they are a very physical team. I think they were top-ten rebounding in the nation, we were right next to them and we knew it’d be a physical game.”