March 25, 2012
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Head Coach Brenda Frese
"This one was obviously extremely special and filled with a lot of Maryland magic. For our team, we have had so many games that we have been battle tested like today, but obviously not on a stage like this in the NCAA tournament. When you battle teams in the conference and have to come from behind like when we were down by 20 to Georgia Tech, this team knows and has the confidence that we can come back against anyone. I thought we were just resilient in terms of our tenacity against a really talented Texas A&M team. I'm extremely happy and proud for our fans who came down to be a part of this and support us. I have the most upmost respect for (Texas A&M) Coach Blair and what he has accomplished. I have been in the same situation with our team of being the defending national champions, and it's a difficult role the next season. I give credit to both teams. It wasn't a pretty game for our end but we were able to withstand the waves of pressure and find a way to keep our composure for 40 minutes."
What was your thinking when changing defenses during the 11-point comeback in the second half?
"We changed to a 2-3 zone and went small with four guards in there with Kim Rodgers. The turning point was when Tianna went down but Kim is one of our best defensive players and I just felt like the four guards were giving them problems at the time."
Can you address the play of Laurin Mincy?
"We have so many special players in this locker room and Laurin is no exception. She faced so many challenges last year coming back from the ACL injury and she continued to stay the course and fight on. You look at her in this postseason and in the ACC and NCAA tournament where the pressure is most and she has stepped up and been huge for this team."
Does this team strive on adversity like making two comebacks in the first and second half?
"I thought we were going to be in good position coming back after halftime. This team spends a lot of time feeling the flow of the game and they can get a sense of how flows were going. Second half was difficult going down 11 with it being closer to the end and more pressure. I think we showed resiliency, composure, confidence, and will to win."
Can you give us your thoughts on Alyssa Thomas today?
"I think the great thing with her is that she is so versatile so we can look for matchups with her. You saw her times at the point where we ran on ball screens for her to get to the rim. Late game we had her at the four spot, so the fact that she is so versatile she can make a difference in a variety of ways."
You had as many defensive rebounds as their team had offensive rebounds, have you ever had a rebounding game like this?
"Actually this was my highest defensive rebounding game. We knew that getting on the boards was going to win us the game. We were just focused on getting on the boards."
What kind of resilience does this team have and what was going on during the timeouts that was inspiring you?
"We are just 12 strong, coach told us to keep fighting. Our senior, Lynetta (Kizer), I know she personally told us to keep playing, keep playing hard. We all believed in it."
As a senior, what was the mindset when you were down 18?
"I think when we were down 18, what was playing in my mind was I didn't want this to be my last game. That is honestly all I could keep thinking. They kept telling us to board, and they kept telling us to defend. Anything that I personally needed to do to help this team to take a step forward was what I was trying to do. I wanted us to finish this game strong, together."
When Tianna (Hawkins) went out, what was the mindset for what you had to do?
"That was definitely a big loss for us, especially that much time left on the clock. One person went down, so we knew we would have to step up together. We just had to go out there and play that much harder. We know Tianna, if she could of been out there, she would of done it. We just wanted to step up and play that much harder, especially with her going down."
What is it about this team that makes you guys able to come back time and time again?
It doesn't matter how much we are down, we are going to give it our all for 40 minutes no matter what the score is.
On when they were down by 18:
"I'm just thinking a little spark will get us back into it. At that point, we were all just looking for the little sparks and once we did that we just kept rolling and rolling and adding onto that.
On character of team coming back from behind: " I think it speaks on how much we want it and how much we're willing to fight. We never gave up on each other, and even when we did, we got back and recuperated, and we did it.
On being down 18:
"I was thinking we just can't quit. We've been down 20 before in the second half, so we had so much time left in the first half, so I wasn't too concerned, but I knew we had to make a push before half time.
Om working on rebounds all week and her rebounding today:
"That's our bread and butter to get rebounds, especially on the offensive end and be able to put them back up for second chances, and I think we did a really good job of that today.
On the team's chemistry:
"We're willing to fight for each other. We're 12 strong, and we have each other's backs. We don't want to send anyone out on a bad note. I think we're all fighting for each other right now, and that's keeping us alive.
On what started the comeback:
"We came out for the second half, and everybody just clicked. We heard a couple players say `Believe' and we all know that we're a tough team. When we believe and play together, it's a good thing, and that's what happened."
On being one game from Denver:
"We've got to take one game at a time, and we'll be there. If we go out and play our game next game, we'll be fine.