March 4, 2007
SAN JOSE, Calif. - 2007 State Farm Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament
Game 7 - No. 2 Arizona State vs. No. 3 California - March 4, 2007
California Head Coach Joanne Boyle
"Arizona State is ranked seventh in the country and they play like it. I felt like our team did a great job of battling with them. They are a tough team and I think everybody knows how they rotate so many people in, but I think our team played hard and they left everything out there. We've improved in every game we've played them, but you run out of gas at the end and it's almost as if you have to play a perfect game against them.
"Credit to them, they know how to finish games and I think we are learning how to do that. I'm so proud of these guys for working so hard to give ourselves the best chance and I think we did that tonight."
On her team's mindset heading into the NCAA Tournament
"If you look at our last three games, we're playing great basketball, March basketball and tough teams and we're battling down the stretch and finishing games tough. I told our team this (loss) is only going to prepare us for the NCAA Tournament. You know you're playing your best basketball down the stretch against great teams, and it's what March basketball is all about. And we can go deep into this tournament. I think we're a tough team to play. I think if you don't know us, our personnel and what we do well, I think we can take advantage.
"We've got to get some rest, obviously, and refocus and kind of commit ourselves - which I know these guys will do - to making a run in that tournament. I think these last couple of games have really prepared us to go into that, whereas last year no one had been there, so it was new to everybody. Now we've got kids who know and understand what it is to be there."
On Natasha Vital
"That's a tough freshman, sitting down at the end of that table. For her to have to play the minutes she's played since December and come out of two games for like 30 seconds and have to go against that kind of pressure and not have any help because we don't have a typical combo guard that can help with pressure, that's a lot to be said. We're here because of Tasha."
Sophomore Forward Ashley Walker
On playing from behind
"It's always hard to play against them from behind. It's definitely better to be up, but it's just about getting that momentum. I think we were down two, down four, down one, down two - kind of like one of those flip-flop things and we could never get over that hump, That's just one of those things that us as a young team can definitely work on. Like coach said, they're the No. 7 team in the country and we played them until the last minute."
Sophomore Center Devanei Hampton
On fouling out
"I was pretty upset, but I knew in the back of my mind that my team had it. It was just heartbreaking because we all wanted it, but they did their thing out there."
Freshman Guard Natasha Vital
On ASU's pressure
"They had a lot of pressure and it was really difficult to bring the ball up, but I just did the best I could trying to get my teammates the ball."
Arizona State Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne
On if they wore Cal down
"I think we played hard. We probably didn't transition as well as we wanted to, but I think we did (wear them down) to some degree. Obviously we're playing 10, they're playing seven - barely seven, they're really playing five most of the game - so I think if you asked them they weren't quite as sharp down the stretch and they didn't quite have that extra push.
"I think we did. I think we, really, down that last stretch, we weren't tired. I mean we were very energized and we felt good about that, and obviously that was our game plan: to outwork them, to wear them down."
On offensive post play
"I thought we got good looks all game. They weren't really falling for us in the first half and Cal did a great job of just smothering and we had a few too many turnovers feeding the post, but yeah, we did get it going. (Kirsten Thompson shooting) 6-for-8 in the second half is tremendous."
On defensive effort vs. Cal's Devanei Hampton
"Okay, unfortunately we wanted to double her a little bit quicker, swarm a little bit, not allow her to do her spin move and take us one-on-one. I thought we allowed her to do that in the first half, and thought we did a little bit better job down the stretch.
"Obviously we didn't shut her down. It's very difficult to do that. But without any prep time, in terms of it's been about a month since we've played Cal, I thought we adjusted well in the second half and started helping on her a little bit better. And also just getting loose, because she's a very aggressive player and our philosophy defensively is really to front and stay loose and draw some offensive fouls. When you're on offense in the post you want contact, and our players did a great job of that and drew some fouls."