Feb. 24, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. -
California Head Coach Joanne Boyle:
Addressing the fans after the game:
"I just can't tell you enough how proud I am. I don't know a team with more heart than this team."
On the emotional win:
"We were just talking in the hallway about the surreal feeling [we had from the win]. Credit to the team because we came out flat, I don't know what it was, but we made a run there at the end of the first half and then at halftime, I didn't have to say a lot. They know when they are not performing at their best. I said what I had to say, and they came out and took care of business. Seventh-one points in 24 minutes, and it all started with our defense."
On Lauren Greif and Keanna Levy's inspired performances:
"[For] Lauren [Greif] and Key [Levy] on the outside, the basket became big when we started getting some tips and steals. I think we got a couple layups and that relaxed everybody. Lauren, if you look at her stat-line (7-for 12 [field goals], 4-for-8 from the three, 3-for-4 from the free-throw line, seven rebounds, five assists, one turnover) really got down on defense. She was playing off of who she was guarding, got some tips and steals on [Noelle] Quinn, got some fast-break layups, and then the basket, for everybody got bigger. I think the guards just felt relaxed and much more comfortable, the basket got bigger because they weren't so pressured, and, you talk about everybody contributing. We had five players in double figures. Lauren [Greif's] defense was unbelievable, and her and Kea [Levy] were shooting the ball well down the stretch. Then Ashley and Dev started getting the hi-low. We were really looking for the skip pass. If we didn't have a shot, we just ran the high-low. I felt that this was the best our offense has clicked all year."
On Natasha Vital's key role in the win:
"What do you say about a freshman? I know Jayne Appel does what she does for Stanford and in the same way as a freshman; Tasha does what she does for us, and Lauren also as a freshman. But Tasha has the ball in her hands so much, and it's tough to go from end line to end line and always be on the point. She's playing every possession ninety-four feet whether it's offense or defense, and then has to distribute the ball. She had 10 assists today. Her toughness, her strength, her endurance, mental as well as physical, is great and her teammates help her out. They never leave her hanging. I think them having confidence in her and her having confidence in them and her just working through this year, the ups and downs she has had to go through, [has been important]. I think she has been as vital to our team as anybody."
On her statement last week that great teams finish strong:
"Well, I'll take the win. I mean, I wouldn't trade the win for the world. Not that it wasn't fun there during the first twenty minutes, but the reward came at the end. I told [the team] after the game that I've been in a national championship game and been in the Final Four and was sitting outside the locker room today going, `This is just an unbelievable feeling.' I don't think I've ever been this proud of a team. They just have the hunger and the fight. They know this is their team. They own it. They won it. I couldn't have imagined writing a script like this going into the Pac-10 tournament for us."
On who should be named Pac-10 Player of the Year:
"I would love to give it to a couple people on my team. I will just say that. I do think you would have to look at a Cal player for it."
On finishing third in the Pac-10:
"It's great but to have the limited number [of players] on the floor for us for 40 minutes a game, to lose Lexi [Gray-Lawson], for Tash [Vital] to have to grow into her role, for everybody to step up as a young team, has been satisfying. I am quite satisfied with third. You win some you didn't expect to, you lose some you didn't think you would, and you fall in the middle somewhere. I think for us, the biggest thing is that we positioned ourselves throughout the year but then when we had to finish strong this weekend, that's what we did. I will take third in a heartbeat. I think it's great."
California Freshman Guard Lauren Greif:
On defensive pressure in the second half:
"We knew we gave up 39 points in the first half, and that's not Cal basketball. So we really decided to dig down, and we knew from scouting report defense who we could help off of and who we could not. Just getting in, getting some tips, we got them out of rhythm and then they tried to do things they weren't comfortable doing."
On a missed three in the first half that served as a turning point in her performance:
"Yeah, I really wanted that one to go in. That kind of set it off. After that, I passed up another three, and I came out and Coach H [Kim Hairston] said, `Don't pass up another shot like that again. You missed two, we don't care. Make sure you shoot the next one.' That boosted my confidence right away and then I got that next one and then, after you make a couple, it's all good. It's all good after that."
California Forward Ashley Walker:
On emotion's role in the win:
"I think that [emotion] is what carried us in the second half. When we got going and got a few tips and steals, like Coach said, the basket went from being little, to being really big. It felt like we were playing our type of style."
California Guard Keanna Levy
On her last game at Haas Pavilion:
"It was so emotional. It was my last home game. I wouldn't have chosen any other way to have ended my senior year. Twenty-two [wins] and seven [losses] is one of the best records in Cal history, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it. My teammates went out there in the second half and just played with confidence, and everything just started clicking like Coach said. It's a wonderful feeling, and I am so happy to be a part of it."
UCLA Head Coach Kathy Olivier
On the difference in the first and second halves
"The first half we did a great job defensively. We were extremely active. We got a lot of shots inside, and we kept out of foul trouble. In the second half, we got some quick fouls, and we lost our aggressiveness. Cal took advantage and pounded the ball inside, and they became more aggressive."
On Cal's Pressure
"We did a good job of taking care of the ball. There might have been a three-minute span where their pressure affected us. Noel (Quinn) did her thing and Lindsey (Pluimer) made some shots. We just didn't have anyone show up offensively today."
"Cal's a good team. Hampton and Walker were extremely aggressive. They high-lowed us to death. They were hungry. They played hard; they are really good. Their shooting from the outside in the second half was the difference. It stretched out the defense and allowed them to get the ball inside more. They stayed within their game. They were very poised and had a lot of good looks."