March 6, 2014
COACH BORTON: Was really, really proud of our team for really fighting back through a lot of adversity through the game. I thought we got ourselves down on the first half. I thought they did a great job making a lot of shots in the first half they normally don't make, and we just really kept our heads down and just really believed in each other, and our kids really stepped up in the second half, and in overtime defensively, did a great job defensively and on the boards and just made enough plays on offense to pull out a win.
Our kids believed in each other. They found a way. We've won the last seven out of our nine games. And these kids know how to win and they did whatever it took tonight.
Q. You got to play almost 30 minutes tonight in maybe your team's biggest game to date. Talk about your performance tonight?
STABRESA McDANIEL: The first half I had a rough start, but second half my teammates believed in me. I know Wisconsin, they wasn't playing that much defense on me so I just have to attack the rim and find an open player and get rebounds.
Q. Rachel, let's talk about that play to tie it up. It looked like you were kind of looking off to the left maybe to distract your defender and you were able to get a clear shot. Just kind of walk through that progress.
RACHEL BANHAM: You know, we weren't really running our offense. I knew that we needed to get a shot off pretty quick and I was kind of looking around and I decided I wanted to shoot it. She was playing far enough off me where I could get the shot off and it went in. That was pretty much it; it wasn't much of a play.
Q. Rachel, you were obviously off tonight a little bit early. I mean, what gives you that confidence to just keep putting it up and keep putting it up and be that leader that your team relies on?
RACHEL BANHAM: I think a lot of it is owed to my teammates and my coaches. They give me the confidence and let me take whatever shot I need, regardless if I'm missing or not. They help me with my confidence, and I'll just keep going, keep shooting. If I'm not making them, keep getting boards and keep getting put backs. So usually it works out in the positive way and I owe that to my teammates, to help me with my confidence, keep shooting.
Q. For Amanda, did Wisconsin play you differently this time around as opposed to the first two games that they played against each other? If they did, how were you able to counteract that tonight?
AMANDA ZAHUI: I don't think that they played differently. I think that I let them play me out in the first half and in the beginning of the second half kind of like pushed me out the block. Coach told me to play tougher, and I needed it for my team. My teammates needed me. That's when I play the best, when I'm closer to the rim, so I had to go in and do that.
Q. Throughout the game, whenever your team made a stop, you was trading baskets, you wasn't getting the kind of stops until late in the game. Was that a concern for you and how was you able to get your team to understand to get past that barrier?
COACH BORTON: Well, we kept switching up defenses quite a bit in the second half. We made a little bit of the run. We got ourselves down by 14 to 16 points and we cut it to eight. Once we got it into single digits I think the kids really got a lot of confidence and started saying, hey, we can do this.
I think defensively we did a great job. We just kept switching things up defensively. You know, I was hoping they were going to go a little bit colder than they were in the first half with their three point shooting, and they did. I thought they missed a lot of shots, and we did a great job on the boards. We came down and executed pretty well and made the plays that we needed to offensively.
Q. What was kind of the message at halftime to stop them on defense and turn your offense around?
COACH BORTON: Well, you know, we wanted to stay positive with the players. I know they were pretty down because we were taking good shots in the first half and they just seemed short. I don't know if it was nerves or jitters or what it was. I thought Rachel did a great job attacking. Kayla was taking great shots. Just keep shooting the ball. We were just a little short. We needed to get our inside going. We needed Mikayla and Amanda to get some touches. I think they only had two post touches in the first half. We really needed to do a better job posting up and getting the ball inside to relieve a little pressure from the perimeter.
Q. It seemed like you were concerned a little bit towards the end of the regular season about fatigue. I mean, over 40 minutes for three of the athletes. How concerned are you since you're going to be playing back to back tomorrow against Nebraska?
COACH BORTON: I don't think our players looked tired out there until probably the end of the game. We have TV time outs. We have our best players on the floor, and when you're playing only six or seven players there's just great chemistry out there. They know what they're supposed to. I think that's why we won the last seven out of our nine games. We have great chemistry on the court.
Q. Do you think that run in this game solidifies your tournament bid?
COACH BORTON: Absolutely.
COACH KELSEY: We're just very disappointed right now. I don't know if we can really articulate the disappointment we have. But you know, give credit to Minnesota. They fought back and they made some big shots. And we had a couple of mental letdowns and that kind of killed us.
But it wasn't for lack of effort. Michala played really well. She battled in there all night, and just needed a little more help.