March 19, 2012
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"It was just a tremendous game. It's a shame that either team had to lose that game. Both teams really competed for 40 minutes. There was a lot of adversity for us with foul trouble and a slow start. I thought our team did a tremendous job hanging in there. I thought after the first half we went into the locker room saying it was an uncharacteristic first half for us. We felt like we could play a lot better. I thought Alyssa [Thomas] had an off night with her foul trouble and not getting into a rhythm. Looking back to when we lost to Virginia Tech you can see what this team has become. We are very excited and thrilled to be able to move on to the Sweet 16 and represent our university."
On the difference down the stretch:
"We always talk about players making plays. We had so many big plays. The player of the game was Laurin Mincy and how she stepped up. I thought our defense was tremendous. A lot of times you don't see how important Kim [Rodgers] is on the stat sheet but when she is on the floor she makes a difference defensively. I thought we were unselfish down the stretch. Tianna [Hawkins] was sensational tonight the way she cleaned up the boards."
On the team's effort:
"We never flinched in this game. We kept battling. That is what this team has done all season long. We have so many players. Looking at Lynetta [Kizer] in the first half she had foul trouble but she came in the second half and was a tremendous boost. Our saying 12 strong means every single player is ready to step up. We have been able to do that."
On Becky Burke and Shoni Schimmel:
"We felt like between [Becky] Burke and [Shoni] Schimmel we felt those were the two we had to make them work for their offense. I thought we did a tremendous job being out there for every catch and making it difficult. She [Burke] has had a tremendous career for Louisville. It is sad to see it end for her."
On points off of turnovers:
"There were a few things that helped with that. Tianna Hawkins had six steals and our teams will to win. We were really being aggressive. We were able to run our lanes on transition and they were able to get open looks. They were critical for our success."
On the play of Laurin Mincy:
"I mean Laurin loves playing - the bigger the game, the bigger she plays. Absolutely you saw that last year in terms of she was getting healthy down the stretch. You look at what she's been able to do all season long for us in terms of her consistency. And now I told her she's taken her game to a whole new level which speaks volumes of Laurin in terms of her competitiveness, her fire and the fact that she wants to continue playing in this tournament."
On how Louisville was able to limit Alyssa Thomas:
"I thought obviously every time [Alyssa Thomas] went in to make a play there were two or three people there swiping at her [and] being physical. Sometimes I think her physicality hurts her in terms of being able to get a call, but [Louisville] did a tremendous job. I thought they doubled and tripled her a lot and just kind of made her have to kind of overthink the game and speed her up in terms of what they did defensively."
On playing freshman Brene Moseley:
"It's a feel and when you know your players well enough you can see just different levels of confidence. When Brene is on the court and she's smiling, there's just a feel to her and I thought she was so confident. Brene loves playing in big games and I just thought she made so many tremendous plays. Obviously when things are working, keeping Brene on the floor and at times having A.T. (Alyssa Thomas) off the floor, it's a feel and you've got to go with the players that are making plays on the floor."
On relying on her seniors:
"Your seniors this time of the year are the ones that don't want their careers to end. So, they're the ones that are leading the way in terms of wanting to continue to play for the next game. Kim [Rodgers] has been so solid for us. What she's doing on the defensive end for us and the plays she's making on the offensive end -- we have to have her on the floor."
On the intensity of this game in comparison to others:
"[The game] was pretty high. Playing in the ACC kind of prepared us for this kind of game. That's what we saw all of conference play. So I think we did pretty well fighting back through their toughness."
On her defense on the last shot of the game:
"I actually grazed the ball when it went up. I didn't want to foul so I just kept my hands straight up."
On her play offensively:
"Going into the game our mentality was to attack and advance, so I just went with that and luckily I was able to execute."
On avenging last year's second-round loss to Georgetown:
"This time last year I was up here and Coach B [Brenda Frese] had to fill in my words because I was in tears. It feels better to be moving on. This team really pushed. I am glad that my career didn't end today."
On the play of Laurin Mincy:
"I've seen a lot of resilience out of Laurin especially this past summer. She had kind of a tough year her freshman year. She wasn't playing probably up to where she thought she should be and she really took that to heart and I saw her work harder than I had seen her work her entire freshman year in the few months that we had in the summer. You could tell it paid off, she's played really well. She's done a really good job of just regaining that confidence and showing it on the court."
Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz
"I'd first like to thank everyone here at Maryland. You guys have been great to me again, it's been nice to come back and see all the friendly people from the support staff that I've known. I'd just like to congratulate Maryland. I thought that they came up with some loose ball plays at the end of the game that were big. Things we just knew that we had to come up with if we were going to have a chance to be in this game, they made those plays. It was a well-played game. I'd like to thank Becky Burke for a great four years. She's the first one to survive four years of me, congratulations Becky. We just have an unbelievable group of 10 players that I've been fortunate enough to coach the last two months of this season. It's a group that fought, and we continued to fight right until the end. There were plenty of times where we could have folded when their crowd got involved. They took a lead in the second half, but we just continued to fight. I'm so proud of Shoni (Schimmel) and Asia (Taylor) and Shawnta Dyer. We were giving up at least three or four inches on our post players and we still found a way to outscore them 36-26 in the paint. It speaks volumes to the heart of these kids and it's a game we could have won. It's in no way a lack of effort and these players here and the ones that are still in our locker room. We have 10 great players that gave us everything they had especially with the loss of Tia Gibbs and Monique Reeves back during the year. We still found a way to fight through the entire season and compete. I'm very proud of these young ladies. I'm honored to coach them and I'm honored to be the head coach here at Louisville."
On the final play of the game:
"We knew they were going to come out and double Shoni off the screen and we tried to get Antonita (Slaughter) the ball. She's the x-factor for us at times when she's knocking down shots. She's a really good three-point shooter, but unfortunately tonight she didn't have her shot on. I told her at the five-minute mark, you're going to have a chance to tie this ball game and win it for us at the end. She had two great looks, three really good looks actually. We knew they were going to come out and trap hard. We were trying the dribble drive and trying to create for somebody. They just did a really nice job defending there for that possession."
On what they did to limit Alyssa Thomas:
"We just guarded, we told our kids she's a great player. I thought we did a really nice job on her. (Other teams) on film backed off of her, because she's not a great three-point shooter. That's one thing in her game that's she's got to work on. I thought with her, instead of backing off, our goal was to pressure and be up in her. I thought it was really effective against her. She's growing as a player obviously, ACC player of the year and All-American I would think. I thought we had a really good game plan to be up in her when she caught it and I thought that frustrated her."
"They did a nice job on converting on our [turnovers]. We knew we had to limit their fast break points, which we did a fantastic job at. This is a fantastic team. I really think if you can stop them in transition and off the offensive-glass, then you have a chance to win. We did that for the most part, but we gave up too many second-chance points. We may have given up six points off free throw line box-outs. [Tianna] Hawkins is a fantastic rebounder. She got eight offensive boards. I told our players if we could keep them off the offensive glass, limit our turnovers and stop them in transition, then we will have a great chance to win. I really thought we were going to win today. I am disappointed in myself because we couldn't come up with a few boards at the end that we had to get. It's a situation where you watch a lot of film and you watch teams to see how they play, so our goal was to try to get them into a half-court game. We were still going to try to run the ball up and down the floor, but we wanted to get them into a half-court game where they had to run a half-court offense. I thought we did a good job at that, but we turned it over to allow them to get 16 points."
Senior Guard Becky Burke
On the final three-point shot:
"I wouldn't have missed it that bad if [Laurin Mincy] didn't get a hand on [the shot]."
On how she has changed from her freshman year:
"Coming in as a stubborn freshman with disagreements where you think you're always right to maturing over the four years. There were times that I didn't want to hear some of the things [Coach Walz] had to say, but I am a much better person now."
Sophomore Guard Shoni Schimmel
On the game's factors:
"Going into the game Coach Walz told us that rebounding was going to be a huge factor for us and we let a couple of them go. Unfortunately we think we got the short end of the stick, but it is something to learn from. We are a young team and we will be ready to practice on Wednesday."