March 29, 2010
Oklahoma - 77
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by Coach Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame. Your thoughts on tonight's game.
COACH McGRAW: I thought Lindsay Schrader and Melissa Lechlitner played great. They didn't want their season to end. I thought they did everything they could do offensively to help us win the game. I thought they beat us from the three point line.
I thought Stevenson, she really played well, five for eight from the three point line including the game winner. That was someone we were really, really trying to guard and just lost her for a second on a number of occasions, and that was the difference in the game. I thought they rebounded really well, too. We didn't do a good job on the boards, and our bench, which has been our strength all year long, just gave us nothing tonight.
Q. Lindsay, can you talk about your night offensively?
Q. Can you talk about Oklahoma's inside game and the problems that Olajuwon caused?
Q. Melissa, what was it about the mid range jumper that was working today? I mean, when did you feel that comfortable with it and just stay with it?
Melissa Lechlitner: Well, the screens that Lindsay and our post players were setting were really opening a lot up for me. So right from the getgo, the very beginning of the game, my first one fell and so I just kept attacking and using their really good screens after that.
Q. Can you talk about you guys were down I think six points with about two and a half minutes, 2:40. Can you talk about how you guys regrouped and attacked and put it into overtime?
Q. Melissa, can you talk a little bit about the legacy of this senior class?
Q. Lindsay, Coach has already said that on a couple of occasions you guys just lost track of Stevenson. Were you surprised that she attempted the three in a tie game that late in that situation?
THE MODERATOR: Ladies, we're going to let you return to your locker room. We'll take questions for Coach now.
Q. Coach, can you talk about what you had planned for the final 4.4 seconds and how that all unveiled?
Q. Can you talk about the comeback from six down with 2:40 left and talk about Skylar's three pointer?
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Jasmine Hartman's defense on Skylar tonight?
Q. Just because of injuries and other situations, you guys have really been kind of up against the 8 ball with size this year having to play such a heavy guard lineup. Was this a game where that kind of caught up to you in some way because of the way Olajuwon played and Amanda Thompson?
I was really disappointed in the defense we did on her. She played very well, and I mean, seven offensive rebounds. That's almost as many as our whole team had. She did a great job hanging on that weak side block and waiting for her opportunities and she used her size. I thought Erica Williamson might be able to defend her a little bit better. I thought Becca could be a little more quicker and Deb maybe could block a shot, but really we were 0 for 3 in guarding her. She just really outplayed us.
Q. From inside and outside tonight, was there one of those areas that was more of a concern to you going into the game?
Q. This was the second time you've played Oklahoma this year. Did you see in any adjustments they made from the first time?
But their inside game I thought really just Olajuwon, I thought she really, really played well. We did a decent job on Thompson. So I thought Olajuwon and Stevenson both really stepped up for them.
Q. I wonder if you could sort of just reflect on the season that Skylar has had. It seems like she's been everything you could have wanted this season.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, congratulations on a great season.
THE MODERATOR: We're now joined by the University of Oklahoma, Coach Sherri Coale and her student athletes. Coach, your thoughts about this evening's game.
COACH COALE: I could not be more proud of these kids, just a relentless, gutsy effort. The way we've won a bunch of games this year. Just so proud of player after player. I could talk about each one over and over.
I thought Notre Dame was fantastic, as well. I think this was one of those games that can really grow the sport of women's college basketball. It was a clean game. One team would score, the other team would answer with a basket, another basket. Just a high quality basketball game. Notre Dame is a fantastic team. I don't get speechless very often, but I can't think of anything better to say other than I'm just really, really proud of this bunch of kids.
Q. Nyeshia, you said earlier in the week that if you got the chance at another game winner like that, you were going to make it. Can you talk about that play and what was going through your mind when you got the ball and the shot clock about to go off?
Q. Abi, Muffet McGraw was just saying she thought the biggest difference between the time you guys met earlier this season and tonight's game was your play. Can you talk about how much you looked to take it inside against their post players and how much you took advantage of that?
Then it comes with we had no intention of going home tonight. I kept saying, we have practice tomorrow. As much as in the past I'll go, oh, man, there's practice. When you're saying you can't wait to practice. You would give anything to practice. I knew Amanda and Nyeshia knew that we were ready to stay.
Q. Amanda, can you talk about what was going through your mind that last possession, last 30 seconds and the way the play developed, and just take us through that whole sequence?
So I mean, I knew we had it before Ny even got the ball. I knew she was going to be open, and I was going to get the rebound. But I was so happy that she made that shot. I mean, it was huge. It was huge. It was amazing. I'm proud of her. Two years ago it was a whole different story, and it's when you do the right thing, good things happen to good people, and she's a great person, and I'm glad it happened to her.
Q. Amanda, I wonder if you could sort of expound on what Abi has meant to the team this year for somebody who had to play behind Courtney for three years and everything she's done to be able to play as well as she has as a senior?
She showed that today, being down there battling, and we're talking, and she wants every possession. And when she has that attitude, we're going to be successful, and I'm happy for her, too.
Q. Nyeshia, can you talk about sometimes when the other team hits a big shot to go into overtime they take the momentum. Can you talk about when you huddled up there after Diggins hit the shot to tie it, what you guys were talking about going into the overtime?
Q. Nyeshia, you and Sherri a minute or so after the game hugged at mid court. Can you let us in on what was said between the two of you?
Q. Nyeshia, you've had some games late season where you got really hot at the end of the game and you did that tonight but you were hot early, as well. Can you talk about why you think you got in the flow of the game so early and throughout the game?
THE MODERATOR: Okay, ladies, have a good evening. Questions for Coach Coale?
Q. Sherri, looking back through all the scores this season, when Nyeshia hits four or more three pointers, you guys are 8 and 1 now. Can you talk a little bit about her scoring?
She's been that thing for us, that spark, and when we get those three point shots along with the penetration that we get from D. Rob and then the post play we get from Abi, then we've been obviously pretty successful.
Q. Just wondering when you play in the Big 12, very tough conference, that meat grinder schedule, how that might help you when you get to NCAA Tournament times and games like this?
Just I felt like we were in the middle of every play instead of paying attention to the score and the time and all the things that go with all the hoopla that comes with being at the Sweet 16. We just played basketball possession.
Q. I'm looking at Jasmine's line, and it's sort of okay just to look at it, but she seemed like in the half court offense to be the one who was able to find those open people and turn those into made baskets. Comment on what she was able to do for you tonight.
Q. Obviously the stakes were high in this game, but would you say this was one of your better all around games, the Sooners' better all around games all year?
Q. At the end of regulation you had the ball in a similar situation, about 30 seconds or so left, but they had three fouls to give, I think. Did you know you were in trouble in terms of with that many, it would be tough to get a decent shot in the last second?
Q. Sherri, for Abi to go 35 minutes tonight and play as well as she did, I mean, I know you've been talking all year about how she committed for her senior year, but this is probably a centerpiece game of that commitment.
And then Abi over the course of a season; you know, she just deserved this stage and she deserved that performance, and every time Notre Dame scored, Abi was our answer. When we were grinding it out around the 10 minute mark, she just was undaunted in the post. I loved her demeanor. I loved her focus. I loved her rebounding. I just thought it was fantastic and so appropriate for her.
And I think a big part of her performance tonight came from how well she played in the first and second rounds. It's that confidence that just continues to build. I don't think she's anywhere near as good as she has a chance to be at the next level.
Q. Jasmine has had some really good defensive games. Can you rate this one compared to some of those most recent games?
Right at the end she went under the old screen and gave Skylar the three and she was fighting like crazy to get over it and Skylar made a great play. It was a tough shot, people running at her. But aside from that, it was a pretty flawless defensive performance on her.
Q. Two part question: One, did Nyeshia get your conversation pretty close to straight? And second, at the risk of being corny, can you talk about just sort of the cool aspect of the NCAA Tournament and what it can do for somebody like Nyeshia redemption wise?
As far as this stage and this tournament and what it can do for you, most of the success in life is about being confident and about believing you can do things, and the really superior part of athletics is that it can teach you that if you let it. It teaches you that confidence is something you give yourself. You earn it and then you give it to yourself and then you accept it, and nobody else does that for you. And if you can learn that lesson through collegiate athletics, you can be successful at anything you do.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, Coach, thank you very much, and congratulations. We'll see you tomorrow.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports.