March 18, 2007
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -
California Head Coach Joanne Boyle
"I thought it was a great game in the second half for both teams. I didn't know what it was with us; I can't answer that right now. Were we scared? Were we intimidated? Were we tentative? I don't know. But we put ourselves in a situation this year against a couple other teams, and we've come from behind and we've been able to pull the games out. I think when you get to tournament play, I don't care what seed you are; they're all good teams in this tournament. You don't always get those 20 minutes to get back. We fought hard to get it back, but we came up short. That's what I tried to tell my team in there, what were we waiting for in the first half?"
On post play:
"All year, we made sure to pound the ball inside. That's always been our motto, and it has not changed. I think we took some great shots early in the game, and we got our post touches like we should've. It just never changed from what we tried to do all year. It's not something you change. We were too lethargic in the first half."
On Krista Foster:
"Great minutes. You know, it's strange with Krista. She's out there taking charges, she's doing anything you want. She's knocking down a couple key baskets. You're going to get that when you put her in the game. She's like a spark. She's always created that role for us, being that sixth man and being that spark off the bench. She's owned it, and that's what we need."
On just being happy to be here:
"I told them, we're two years into this and I'm not happy to be here anymore. We're expected to be here, and we're expected to advance. We're preparing ourselves all year for that."
California Sophomore Center Devanei Hampton
On first half foul trouble:
"I don't know, it was just frustrating to me. Coach said we should just play out, you know, physical play. I don't know. I came out in the second half and tried my best to help my team because I had three fouls."
"They did what everybody else did. They doubled me inside and pressured me inside. I never worry about my fourth foul; I just play. It was a shocker, but they gave it to me."
On cutting into the lead in the second half:
"In the locker room, we were talking to each other, and we just said that we're not going to go out like this. We're not going to get blown out. We just went out, and did what we did in the second half, what we should've done in the first half. We just came out and talked a little bit more, and we just did little things."
California Sophomore Forward Ashley Walker
On emotions after game:
"Well I definitely wasn't happy. I mean, we tried to foul at the end. We didn't get the foul calls, and then they got the clock down to .5 seconds. We tried to draw up a play, and we were hoping it would go in, and it didn't."
"I think Notre Dame is a good team. I got to give it to them. They did what they were supposed to do; they ran their plays. They played like they did, they played like them. We just didn't play like us."
On whether it was the ND defense or a slow start that held them back:
"I don't think they were doing anything different then they did before. I don't think it was really a slow start either. We just couldn't get the ball inside at first, and we fell apart. But they did foul a lot so we got to the line. There's a lot of stuff we need to work on."
On next year's team:
"I think we are going to be about the same next year. We got our point guard coming back, but we just got to come out and win next time. Next year, we are moving out of the first round."
Notre Dame Head Coach Muffet McGraw
"I'm just excited we get to play another game. I think this team has been resilient all year long. They've overcome a lot, we've got a lot of freshmen on the floor, we're still a pretty young team, and I think they really learned a lot today; they played with a lot of poise down the stretch. But I thought California's inside game was incredible. They played so well. Our game plan was to try to keep it out of the post and to rebound. Hampton and Walker both had some big, big plays in the second half to cut into the lead. But I thought we did a nice job at the free throw line at the end, and we did a great job on the offensive boards where we got a little more time. So overall I'm just really excited for the team."
On difference of this team in the tournament:
"I was thinking before the game, there was so much excitement in the locker room. I was afraid we were too loose; we were almost giddy for getting to the tournament. That's the way this team has been with the freshmen because everything's new to them. We've had teams that were all business that came in and got the job done. This team has so much fun together. It helps me relax which is hard to do, but I was a little more relaxed, and I think they just love being here and everything is just new to them. To be picked 11th and finish fifth in the Big East, a tough conference, I'm just so excited for what we've achieved. I think it gives us great confidence."
On team's defense and press:
"One thing we've done well all year is force turnovers. We didn't do as well as we've done, I think we averaged forcing 20 a game, but I think they did a pretty good job in the second half against the press. I thought our first half was better. But we wanted to keep the pressure on to make them use some time so when we got back in the zone they'd have less time to throw the ball in the post. So in that regard I think it was still effective."
On interior defense:
"We did a really good job in the first half. It helped us that Hampton got in foul trouble. I thought that was the key, especially when she got her third, it made her a little more tentative. She had to spend some time on the bench and that helped our defense. And I thought we did a good job on Walker, except for the fouls. We limited them to five or six field goals each. They just had that stretch in the second half when they were just relentless on the boards."
On resilience in end:
"I think right as the horn went off I felt really good. We knew they were gonna foul us. Just trying to get the ball in was a little more difficult than I thought it was when we practiced. Then you have to make a few free throws eventually and to put a freshman on the line in that situation, but I was trying to have Charel [Allen] be in bounds instead of be the one out of bounds."
Notre Dame Freshman Guard Melissa Lechlitner
On first game in NCAA tournament and free throws at end:
"Basically I just stepped up to the line. I knew I had just missed so I was a little upset with myself, but I knew I was gonna make the next two so I wasn't really worried about it. I just wanted to step up and knock them down."
Notre Dame Freshman Center Erica Williamson
On the game in general:
"The game was tough; it was very intense, but we haven't really played two post players like that before. It was really a struggle for our team, but I think it was a total team effort."
Coming back from second half deficit:
"We just had to keep playing the way we were playing. We couldn't get down on ourselves and we couldn't let it bother us. We're going to win this game, and we told ourselves we're not giving up and stopping. We're just going to keep going."
Making big plays in the second half:
"It started to open up more because our guards were making so many shots in the first half that the post players went up to help out and it opened us up."