Feb. 10, 2013
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH Lindsay Gottlieb
"I am really happy to get a win in an exciting game. I credit Arizona. I think it would have been easy for them to come in here and lay down when we got a lead, and they certainly did not do that. They always play us well. They are very dangerous scorers. Davellyn Whyte is one of the best players in the conference and in the country, so I credit them for their effort. Obviously we gave up too many points, but I'm happy that we responded every step of the way and had a good offensive night. I thought it was a good team effort, certainly in the offensive end. I said to the team the other day, in talking about Talia [Caldwell] getting her 1,000th point, I said that she has come to work every single day since her freshman year, and I specifically said there were not a lot of 20-point games in that mix, speaking to her resilience and her toughness. Of course tonight she wanted to come out and get 20 to make sure that I knew that she could do that too. So we need to get better. I'm really happy that we got a sweep this weekend, and I think there will be some really good film for us to go back and see where to fix up the defense and get confidence from this on the offensive end, continue to get better and roll right on down to Los Angeles."
On Talia Caldwell's recent offensive presence
"Well I see Talia every day and know that she's a huge presence every day, in the locker room, in our program, in her leadership and everything., but we started conference and people just sat in the paint. (The posts) are still doing their job there by attracting three and four defenders and it wasn't as open. Talia was great about watching film and asking how can I get touches and be a factor on the offensive end and still do what we need to do? I think we were patient that teams will spread out when we start knocking down shots, but I think it's huge that she can give us low-block scoring. She's obviously huge on the boards, she's finishing really well and her shooting percentage is off of the charts, but it's definitely important for us to feel like we're dominant inside and then we can knock down shots on the inside as well."
On Arizona's first-half shooting
"I thought they came out really hot; I think they made their first five and it felt like their first 25 to me. A lot of those were contested with a hand in their face, and they are kind of a streaky team in that sense. They put up 100 points against Oregon, they've had some 70 (point games), so we know that they are capable. I thought they came out hot. Then we had some defensive breakdowns; we let them go in transition and we had some missed rotations, they broke the press and got some open looks, so we needed to just lock in and guard the ball better and rotate better. That was our focus at half time. Clearly giving up 49 in the second half didn't really work. I thought that we let them get to the free throw line way too much in the second half, but they put all of their offensive weapons on display today and we need to be better defensively. But I credit them for making a lot of shots. Obviously a huge difference was at the free throw line. The fact that we went to the free throw line 20 more times and only got four more points is a problem. I know that we sent them to the free throw line far too much."
On Layshia Clarendon's getting knocked out at the end of the first half
"Layshia [Clarendon] took some contact in the first half and got a hip pointer. So as I always do, I asked, `If Layshia plays, is she going to injure herself any further?' The answer was clearly no. So then it just became a matter of her getting some treatment and her pain tolerance with it. At halftime she got some treatment for it and wasn't ready to go coming out of the locker room. We were confident to go with Eliza [Pierre], and I actually felt like Eliza's defensive play to start the second half, where she played such great defense and then drew that flagrant foul, was a big thing for us. Then obviously we were happy that Layshia was able to go."
On if there was a point she thought about sitting Layshia
"I didn't know if she was going to be available either. Once she came out from the injury and from that point on, through the halftime, she was getting treatment. Once I heard that it was a hip pointer, she's not going to do any further injury to it. It was just a matter of her pain tolerance. Once I was told she could go, then she was in. Whether she played an additional 15 minutes or 20, there's not really a difference. It's like a deep bruise that is painful but you're not going to hurt any more. So, yes, I would have loved to get some kids off of the floor, but it was too close down the stretch. Wse kind of went with the group that we had in there."
On Arizona's run at the end of the game
"I think that there is going to be some really great film for us to look at. I thought that we just couldn't get stops down the stretch and we put them on the free throw line. It's good for me, for us, to all kind of get better with those end of game situations to say that the only way a team catches up is if you stop the clock, put them on the free throw line and then they are hitting two free throws and we are hitting one, and I think that's how they cut it. I thought that our players were really dialed in to switching everything at the end so that they couldn't get any open 3's. We had one misstep on the out of bounds play where she [Kama Griffitts] hit the 3, but really it was just a matter of we were not getting stops, we were letting them get to the free throw line and then we weren't hitting our free throws consistently on the other end. Again, I credit them for continuing to be hungry and coming at us. They weren't going to roll over. Obviously we want to close a game better than that."
CALIFORNIA SENIOR Talia Caldwell
On if she was frustrated earlier in conference play with teams packing the paint
"Yes, some games of course. It's more because you like playing basketball that you want to do certain things that are more fun. The best part of that was that it was all (happening) through wins though. It was like my next day was really good (because) we're winning. It wouldn't do me any good if I had all of those touches and scored 20, but then we lost. The next day I would have been really miserable. ... It's more gratifying when you can see your hard work paying off, but it was really cool just getting all of those wins. I have been here in the past where these have been close games and last year we didn't get those wins. I knew that I would break open, I knew that I would."
On Cal getting offensive rebounds on missed free throws
"Honestly it was just our God-given abilities. I have a really fast first step, so usually I know that I can beat somebody to it. I know that if I can tip it, Gennifer [Brandon] can get it; if Gennifer tips it, then I can get it. I'm really confident that one of us is going to get it if someone misses or tip it to somebody."