March 7, 2013
Ohio State Quotes
Q. Actually the last five minutes of the first half, how much did your defense tune up to get into that game and how much did defense mean for what you did tonight?
TAYLER HILL: Defense was a starting point for us. We knew that we had to hard switch Rachel Banham because any inch we gave her, she's a good enough shooter to knock that down.
So defense is where we want to start. We want the pressure, we want to trap and scramble.
So I think the last five, four minutes of the first half we started to do a pretty good job. In the second half, we came out and did an even better job.
Q. Tayler, during the last four minutes of the first half and beginning of the second half, did you feel any pressure on you, that you had to do something extra to get your team going?
TAYLER HILL: No. The ball was moving pretty well. We just had to knock down open shots. Our coach did a good job making the adjustments of running different plays to get the floor spread and to get the ball in my hands so I'm coming off the screen and the floor is a little more spread and the players are more occupied so they can't just eye in on me.
So there was no pressure, no. We did a good job of reversing the ball.
Q. Raven, what happened to you early in the second half and how do you feel, I mean, after the game and about playing tomorrow, too, how do you think you'll feel?
RAVEN FERGUSON: When I went down, I knew I was going to come back. I really wanted to play this game. I really wanted to win this game. So I mean, I felt like either way my ankle I twisted my ankle but it's like, are you going to come back out? I was like, yeah. So they tied it up, taped it up and changed my shoes and went back out there. I should be fine.
Q. Raven, I just wanted to know when you were guarding Banham, was everybody was it a team thing? Was everybody, it seemed like there was a lot of switching going on on her. Is that the way it was designed, everybody is to switch on her?
RAVEN FERGUSON: With me playing the 4, all the guards we literally can switch, all the guards switch everything. We're going to be playing everybody. So I knew I would play her eventually. And I had to step out and guard her high so she couldn't shoot.
So I wasn't doing that a little bit in the first half and we got to adjust it at halftime.
Q. Tayler, in the game at Ohio State, Micaëlla Riché had a very nice game against you guys. You said at that time you thought people needed to take it personally in this game. Actually, can you speak to the job Ashley did shutting that down?
TAYLER HILL: Ashley did an excellent job tonight. I think she was wide low. She did an excellent job. We came and trapped a few times on her, but Ashley, for the most part, did her part tonight and took it personally and shut her down tonight.
I think when they played us at Ohio State, she had more than 20 points, 20 plus points. Tonight she had six and five turnovers. So credit goes to Ashley tonight.
Q. This is such a quick turnaround, but basically have you even started to think about Penn State, and can you tell me what you think about Penn State going into tomorrow night and how hard that might be for you?
TAYLER HILL: Yeah. We are going to watch film and break Penn State down. But we just gotta come out and play our game, really. Penn State is physical, but there's a lot of teams in the league that are physical. They try to push you around. And as long as we stay calm and reverse the ball and play our game, we'll be fine.
Q. Raven, they were pretty active and physical defensively this time, too. How do you think you guys met that physicality?
RAVEN FERGUSON: Just giving it right back. Just taking the shots and taking giving them shots back. I mean, we can play with anybody, I feel like. It's just a mental thing with us. So I'm not really worried about them being physical or anything. We can play with them.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.
Q. Seemed like a lot of times when you needed something, Raven came up with a play. A lot of hustle plays, too, keeping balls alive and obviously she can make shots. How big was that, though?
COACH FOSTER: I think it was you know, you look at the stat sheet, you can say Raven I thought, you look at your point guard getting 10 rebounds.
Stokes couldn't buy a basket, but it had absolutely no effect on her defense and her intensity. And that's the kind of focus you need at this time of year.
Q. These last four or five games now, four games, these last four games, what do you like best about this? Do you like the defense as much as anything, or do you like the fact that Ashley's engaged? What do you like about these last four games?
COACH FOSTER: Winning. I think it's taking care of the ball, ball reversal. Not a lot of turnovers. And intelligent play on defense. I didn't think we started the game playing smart, and I thought about 15 minutes into the first half, we had a timeout and we just went over some things, reminded some of the things. And I think we then went on a 27 4 run between that half and the next half.
And the reality is we just stayed focused on what our plan was and didn't deviate from it. And we're disciplined in the framework of that.
Q. Did you figure that Raven was coming right back or did you think it was worse than it was, because basically she looked like she was shot and about to be carried out?
COACH FOSTER: I don't think Raven knows how to act when she's hurt. These guys watch too many NBA games, and they copy the wrong things. Unfortunately for us, her favorite player is Kobe Bryant, and he never gets injured.
Q. You like to savor these things, but you do have Penn State tomorrow. And what stands out about Penn State to you in terms of why they won it the last couple of years and what's been the biggest challenge?
COACH FOSTER: They've got the best players. They made an adjustment, they're not shooting the three as much. They're a much more physical basketball team. They're very physical. And you have to stand up to that. You can't let that have an effect on you.
And I think for 20 minutes at our place, it didn't, and for 20 minutes, it did. But I think that this group, between the years, is a lot better place to handle that kind of a team and that kind of mentality.
Q. Could you talk about Ameryst Alston and how she's progressed to the point
COACH FOSTER: She's an old fashioned player. That's all I can tell you. I mean, she's going to end up shooting a lot of foul shots in her career. She's got incredible ball control and strength and body control. And she can change speeds and tempo.
But she's got a good instinct of how to play the game. And I think her and Raven have, the last couple of games, created a couple of baskets just out of their instinctual play off of each other. And that's a good thing to see evolve so that it doesn't always have to come out of a set or doesn't always have to come out of a ball reversal.
We're to the point we've got a couple of kids that can play a little basketball.
They played pickup. It's very obvious that those two kids have played a lot of pickup, and a lot of today's kids don't. They want to be told what to do.
Q. So is this a good game to have those instincts? It was pretty clear they were letting them play. You guys were just creating a lot of things out of whatever was there.
COACH FOSTER: In my opinion, just all we spend an inordinate amount of time on the defensive end of the floor drilling our kids not to foul. And when you get in the physical game, the referees have to be really good in order for that to be the way the game's called.
We beat a lot of screens. We switch. We've got some pretty quick feet. And we're not trying to foul kids.
And sometimes you get in those physical games, and all of a sudden both teams, there's a lot of fouls called. And a lot of times, that's just not the case because we spend I think we're 13th in the country, fewest fouls committed.
There's 341 Division I schools. That might give you an indication. We finished first in the country a couple times of fewest fouls committed.
So when a game is physical like that and it's called both ways like that, that's not good. That's not good.
So tonight I thought the officials did a great job of calling what was out there.
Q. You're not used to playing in the first round. So starting a day earlier than what you normally would, what kind of effect do you think that's going to have, or is it going to have any at all?
COACH FOSTER: I'm not going to get used to it.
COACH BORTON: It was definitely a tale of two halves for us. I felt like we gave up the momentum of the game. I felt we played well for the first 17 minutes, and with Micaëlla [Riché] and Kionna [Kellogg] getting in foul trouble, I felt like the whole momentum changed in the last three minutes going into halftime and then it kind of carried over into the start of the first half.
I thought our team played extremely well defensively, keeping them to 35 percent. They've been shooting about 50 percent in the last five games. We out-rebounded them, and just keeping them below 60 points, I felt like if we could, we'd have a chance to win.
But some of the things that we did offensively, turning the ball over, missing a lot of layups inside I think we missed eight layups in the rim in the second half, obviously affected what we were doing offensively.
So we didn't play well enough to win, and I felt like Ohio State was the better team, at least in the second half, to win the game today.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student athletes.
Q. In that stretch in the last four minutes of the first half where things just didn't seem to go in at all, was that a frustrating time for you, because if you would have made a basket or two, maybe that would have changed the momentum in your favor going into the second half?
RACHEL BANHAM: I mean, I don't know if it's frustrating. I think that's how basketball goes. I mean we're going to get up and they're going to go up, and it's gonna go back and forth. I think it would have helped if we could have scored a little bit there to stop the bleeding a little bit. But that's what happens. We've got to play better.
MICAËLLA RICHÉ: Kinda of like what Rachel said, you know. That's what happens. And usually at the second half, whether we're up or down, we try to think of it as 0 0 and it's a new game and we gotta go in and just play hard and win the first four minutes of the second half, regardless of what happened in the first.
Q. Rachel, what were they able to do in the second half to make things more difficult for you?
RACHEL BANHAM: I don't really think it was much of what they were doing. I think I needed to play better. I wasn't finishing, I wasn't being as confident as I was in the first half. And I just didn't shoot as well. I don't know if it was much of their defense. I think it was more my mindset.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.
Q. In terms of your performance down the stretch, do you feel that you had made a case for your team going forward in the postseason?
COACH BORTON: I think we'll see. I think we finished the regular season strong, and obviously Ohio State was we met up with a hot team that has won their last seven out of nine games. And they played well.
I felt like we're right there, and we'll just let the basketball gods figure it out.
Q. I know you said earlier that you felt the defense played well enough to keep you in the game. But can you talk about, a little bit about how the offense seemed to sputter a lot. You didn't get any contribution, or little contribution from the rest of the team other than Rachel [Banham].
COACH BORTON: I thought we missed a lot of layups. We missed a lot of layups and we missed a lot of layups. They were leaving certain kids open, and those kids needed to step up and make shots. And we knew that. They were going to double team Micaëlla [Riché] and they were going to double team Rachel coming off of ball screens and make it really tough for her.
And I think Shayne [Mullaney] going one for 12 and Kionna [Kellogg] going three for nine and Sari [Noga], you know, those kids are out there trying. They're trying as hard as they can, but we just needed some of those kids to step up and make more shots.
Q. Seems like they sort of found a formula almost in the second half against you guys the game in Columbus. You guys won, but that's where [Raven] Ferguson started at the four. How different are they with that kind of look?
COACH BORTON: Well, they have five players that can score the basketball. I think it just gives you a four-player that can knock a three down. Better passer. Handler. I think before, when they had their four player on the court, that you could really help off of that player and make her make shots. And I think their four player didn't make shots.
I think it was hard for them to win. And I think for them to make that change, Ferguson was playing well and she gives them a three point threat, another ball handler, they're a little more aggressive defensively.
So it just gives them a different look. And they're a little more versatile.