Feb. 27, 2009
LOS ANGELES -
Head Coach Joanne Boyle
"We've played six games like this with them. Every year we play them, it is a two-point game. Every single year. The last six matchups have been determined by less than five points. They do a great. Mark is a great coach. He runs a lot of people at us. We had Dev in foul trouble. We knew they were going to try to put her in foul trouble. We've got to get her to do a little bit better with her feet. We only playing like six kids and they are running twelve at you. I think when you go on the road and you are limited in terms of your number of people out there, I think we did a great job. What I am most proud of my team is that they made it gut check time. They found a way to win."
"We could have played smarter down the stretch, but a lot of that USC forces you into with their style of play."
"At halftime, we made an adjustment. They were box-and-one on Lexi, and it was making our kids scattered. We got them settled down with that. We drew up the two plays we wanted them to run out of the box and one, and they did it, and we scored right away on both of them coming out of the half, and they came out of it."
"We made some free throws late, and we got some big stops down the stretch. I thought Trell came in and gave us great minutes. It all came down to giving them one shot, rebounding, and coming back down to our end. We went to the freethrow line 29 times. That was huge for us down the stretch. We played pretty smart defense for the most part. They are averaging seventy-some-odd points per game. We held them to 64."
"Both games against USC have been our season highs for turnovers. We had 22 against them the first time and 27 this time. I think part of the reason is they have long guards. Brianna and Cameron are long and it is hard to see. Also, when we get tired, we start to get lackadaisical with the ball and we just don't have the same pace on our passes. We lose focus when we are tired. We need to be able to maintain that when we are tired. USC thrives off getting in passing lanes and getting tips and steals, scoring in transition."
"It's a short turnaround time for us. We need to get some rest and take care of business. UCLA at home is a tough team. They really battled with us when they came up to our place. They're big. They're physical, athletic."
"I'd say we're road warriors. The kids understand the season and what is at stake. They're older. We have a group out there who are juniors and seniors who know what they want and who at the end of games grind things out and get done what needs to get done."
Junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson
"People are trying to take away Ashley and Devanei, so I am just trying to stay focused and be more aggressive. Even if that doesn't mean scoring. Being a defensive presence, boxing out."
"I really wasn't nervous (shooting freethrows with five seconds left). It was like practice. They told me to focus like I was in practice, and that's what I did. It wasn't a big deal. I was calm, cool, collected. The crowd was kind of quiet, so that helped. Maybe we should be nervous at the beginning of games. We have trouble hitting our freethrows early, but we always seem to come through at the line late in a game."
Senior forward Ashley Walker
"I got good looks tonight, especially in the beginning. My very first shot went around and around the basket and it came out. They were just rimming out tonight. Sometimes you're just not getting the love. I haven't had an off night since we've been playing all season. My post coach told me, 'you've just had the ugliest double-double. I just told myself if I am playing bad, I'm going to make other parts of my game better. I'm going to get every rebound. And I'm going to make all of my free throws. And I did my best with both of those tonight."
"I only took ten shots, which is kind of low for me, and I didn't hit a field goal until the second half. When I finally did, I could finally breathe. I took a deep breath of relief. I said to myself, oh good. I'm OK. But that wasn't until my ninth or tenth shot. Moving the ball around, getting rebounds, trying not to focus on having an off night kind of helped me clear my head so I could make my free throws."