Dec. 20, 2006
LOS ANGELES -
Cal head coach Joanne Boyle
On playing without Alexis Gray-Lawson
"It affects our depth. It's one less guard that we have, an experienced ballhandler. She often played in 40 minutes a game last year. We can't change it. The good thing is that Tasha (Vital) got some good game minutes in the last nine games that we played. Not that she had tons of experience, but she's not coming off zero minutes. She has to stay with it, and we have to grow with her. She's going to be better for it in the long run."
On having to wait 10 days for a game after losing Gray-Lawson to a season-ending knee injury
"We had 10 days of practice with no games, and it was purgatory. We needed to play. You talk about losing Lexi. We had to figure out what's our new identity, and you have to play a game to find that out. The good thing is that I think the kids came out and played with an unbelievable amount of energy. The first five minutes of the second half we didn't come out the way we needed to, and we didn't play very smart down the stretch in the second half. UCLA is a great team. They're veterans. They were close enough to make the run they needed to make and exposed us."
On UCLA's defensive tactics
"They really pressured us. We didn't handle the pressure very well. It took us out of our rhythm. Guard play down the stretch is important."
On Natasha Vital's performance
"For her first start, I thought she did a great job. She's in there for almost 40 minutes. She has to grow from it. UCLA is a great pressure team. She's not going to face that kind of pressure every game out. She got thrown into the fire. I promise you that she's going to get better for it, and we're going to be a better team when we have everybody back healthy."
On Devanei Hampton's performance
"Devanei stepped up tonight with her leadership. She was talking. She was trying to do everything possible. That's a new role for Dev. When Lexi was in there, it was Lex. We're going to get a lot of leadership from our post players. That's part of who we're going to be."
Cal sophomore Devanei Hampton
On playing without Gray-Lawson
"You can't dwell on it, but it's particularly tough for me because I've never played a game without her. It's kind of hard for me to know that I wasn't going to play with my best friend on the floor. Today was a learning experience for me. Even though (Gray-Lawson) isn't on the floor, she's on the sidelines so I can always look to her. She's there to tell me what I need to do."
Cal freshman Natasha Vital
On her first start
"I came out confident. I had to play a lot of minutes the last game against Kansas. We just wanted to play a good team game and play our game plan. I don't compare myself to other people. I just go out and play my game and executive the game plan we went over. They came at us with double teams. We just need to flash to the ball more. It was my first Pac-10 game. Now I feel like I'm prepared for what the rest of the season is going to be like."