March 8, 2013
Penn State Quotes
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by the Penn State group. We've got head coach Coquese Washington. We're joined by Alex Bentley, Maggie Lucas and Nikki Greene. We'll take questions for the student athletes.
Q. Maggie, talk about those two threes you made and the momentum it provided your team.
MAGGIE LUCAS: Alex [Bentley] set those up. First time down, she caught our little set up play and found me the next time down. I was just able to knock them down, but that was just her being aware on the court.
Q. Alex, did anything change for you guys in the second half as you guys kind of got on that hot streak shooting?
ALEX BENTLEY: I think our defense definitely changed. When we went into the locker room, you know, Coach, she was telling us that if we wanted to win we had to step on the gas defensively. So we had to get out in the passing lanes. We just had to turn our energy up.
And my teammates responded really well. And that's how we started going in transition.
Q. Nikki, what changed for your offensively in the second half?
NIKKI GREENE: I think I was more patient. Just reading the defense and whatever they gave me, I just kind of did what I needed to do.
Q. What does it mean to the women to make it to the semifinals?
MAGGIE LUCAS: It means a lot. We were focused on one game at a time. We were glad to get this first win. Ohio State was playing well coming into this. They played well tonight. We were just glad to get the W.
NIKKI GREENE: Like Maggie said, we were taking each game one game at a time, and so this game helped us advance to the second round.
ALEX BENTLEY: I think my teammates just said it all.
Q. Maggie, you were the Big Ten player of the year, but what's it like to have a senior point guard like Alex [Bentley] to play off of and to basically when they were playing well, I think she came in twice after a short rest and just immediately seemed to tune up the offense, which I think got you guys going? Didn't she get you guys going when she came off the bench. She sat down early in the first half and early in the second half, she came out in and immediately was in attack mode?
MAGGIE LUCAS: Alex is an unbelievable player. She can pretty much do it all, and it is a pleasure to play with her. And it's just awesome. She can do it all.
Q. Alex, your coach sat you down pretty early in the first half for just a little bit and then again in the second half. Was that just to see what's going on, or to give you an idea what you might be able to attack, or is it just basically she wants to talk for a second and you come in more aggressively?
ALEX BENTLEY: It can be many things. She might have something she needs to tell me. She might want to rest me a little bit. Coach has a lot going on in that head of hers, so I just trust what she tells me to do and I just keep playing and listen to her.
Q. Alex, what did it do for you offensively after you see Maggie [Lucas] go hit two threes back-to-back? Only had one opportunity, especially from the offensive standpoint, what does that do for momentum?
ALEX BENTLEY: It's huge. Every time Maggie hits a three, our energy offensively and defensively, I mean, the team, it just changes the game. It's very exciting. I'm sure it's exciting to watch because we get excited playing with her. And she's just that dagger. When a player is that hot, hitting threes, just hitting you with those throughout games, it's hard to bounce back, and she's a great shooter.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.
Q. Coach, I asked Alex [Bentley] what changed for you in the second half when you guys got on that run?
COACH WASHINGTON: I thought one of the things that we did a better job the second half well, two things. We kept the ball out of the paint better, and we contested shots better.
And those two things allowed us to get going in transition. But we just as Alex alluded to, we had to be a little bit more attentive defensively. In the first half, they just got the ball inside too much and we made a few adjustments and kind of limited that the second half. We did better at it the second half than we did the first half.
Q. After those two threes that Maggie [Lucas] hit in the second half, seems like your offense got a jump start. What does it mean, first of all, to have Maggie being able to do that from outside, and how did that change your offense in the second half?
COACH WASHINGTON: They're momentum type plays. When you come down in transition, and you stop hit a big three- or four point play, a potential four point play, get fouled on a three point shot, it's a momentum builder.
Our team got excited, and that helped give us a little more energy on the defensive end. So it was a combination of things.
It got us going defensively as much as it affected us offensively.
Q. And you talked about your defense. Talk about the job that Ariel [Edwards] and Dara [Taylor] did against their best scorers tonight, the way they really made her force shots sometimes.
COACH WASHINGTON: The thing about Tayler Hill, she's so good, a dynamic offensive player, and you gotta be aware where she is all the time. She got loose a couple times, especially late in the game. She got to the free throw line a couple times. But we just wanted to make her take tough shots. And I thought Ariel and Dara did a fairly good job of just trying to make her take tough shots.
Q. Obviously Nikki [Greene] and Mia [Nickson] had big second halves from the inside. How did that open up, and does it maybe stem from your outside shooting from Maggie [Lucas] and Alex [Bentley]?
COACH WASHINGTON: I thought they did a good job early in the game of being attentive to our perimeter game. And I think Nikki hit it on the head. She was a little bit more patient. She worked a little harder to get the ball.
I think our guards were a little bit more attentive in getting her the ball where she could be effective. And you know, we wanted to especially the second half, we wanted to make Ashley Adams work on defense.
She kind of got loose in the first half offensively. So we wanted to make her work defensively, and see if we could slow her down that way until we got the ball to Nikki and she did a good job finishing tonight.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
Ohio State Quotes
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student athletes.
Q. It's 39 39, probably four minutes into the second half, and then just everything started going away. What happened in that 10 0 run that allowed them to get away from you?
TAYLER HILL: I think we just had some missed assignments on defense. And then offensively, we weren't really moving the ball, make quick shots.
AMBER STOKES: I say we lost focus.
Q. Did they change anything they were doing in the second half from what you'd seen in the first half?
AMBER STOKES: No, I don't think they changed. We just got out hustled on a couple of plays. We weren't really doing what we were doing in the first half for a couple of segments. So...
Q. Tayler, what were you doing that was working against them? You were up at least five points with the biggest lead in the first half. What was working early for you?
TAYLER HILL: Reversing the ball and not taking quick shots.
Q. Amber, was there something there that you were seeing that they were presenting to you? You were getting aggressive, got a lot of good looks.
AMBER STOKES: We were moving the ball. My teammates were finding me and I was able to make the shots. So it was just ball movement that allowed me to get open.
Q. It's kind of out of your hands right now, but as you look toward the postseason, Tayler, just what are you thinking right now?
TAYLER HILL: Like you said, it's out of our hands. We just gotta wait and see.
AMBER STOKES: We've got to stay positive, that's all. Keep our heads up and see what happens.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.
Q. When it was 39 39, did you think it was going pretty much your way, and did that 10 0 run, that came so fast, but that's them, did that kind of shock you?
COACH FOSTER: I just think we had about a three minute flip, four minute flip of individual play. People forgot what was getting us great looks and getting us opportunities was great ball reversal. And at the first sign of, it was a little bit harder to reverse, we had people just trying to go get their own shot. We're not that kind of team. We can't be that kind of team.
When we moved the ball, I mean, obviously 19 assists out of 25 baskets, the ball was hopping. And what we wanted to do, we were able to get done.
Our turnovers were bad turnovers and our mistakes were bad mistakes. Fouling Maggie Lucas on a 3 point attempt in transition, the fact that she's open, we had two people back. You have to cover that. That's a mental mistake. The foul makes it even worse.
But those things in the framework of a game happen. And you can't let them bite you. You gotta you've gotta come back. And remember what got you there. Remember good, solid ball movement and getting everybody involved.
Q. They talked about basically they felt like they tuned up their defense a little bit after the first half and were making it harder for you guys to find shots. They were hedging screens and they were doing all those things. But did they play better defense in the second half?
COACH FOSTER: I think we made poor decisions. They did not do anything differently in the second half. They hard hedged in the first. That's who they are. That's what they do. But in the first half, we were patient enough to take them wide, kick it back to the other side of the floor, and spread them. That's why Amber had such success scoring and that's why Ashley Adams had such success scoring, because they got extended defensively.
In the second half for that blip of time, we didn't spread them. And now they're in the lane and we're attacking the lane. And without spreading them, you know, that's when [Nikki] Greene's size and their shot blocking ability is going to become part of the game. That wasn't involved when we reversed the ball, when we got them extended.
So it was just more a mental thing. And I can't attribute it to any one thing. Yeah, we've got a young point guard. But a lot of games, a lot of experiences. Grow from it.
Q. You talk about you have a young point guard, but they have a senior point guard. Seemed like she really made a lot of big baskets in the first half.
COACH FOSTER: Well, [Alex] Bentley, she's really grown as a player. I think nothing more obvious than her patience. Like the 3s that she took today, sometimes she gets a little restless, but she seems to be getting a little more patient and knows when to strike. Knows when to.
And I just think that she's gotten savvier, as she's grown. Very instinctive player as young player, could really push it. Very gifted with the ball. I think she played much slower tonight and with a lot more composure.
Q. Are there things that Ameryst [Alston] can learn from watching her then?
COACH FOSTER: Ameryst is going to be a good player. She's got a good skill set. And the game we played without Tayler Hill and Amber Stokes, the Purdue game, Ameryst had 24 points. Ameryst averaged quite a few points in high school. I think as a freshmen, she has deferred to couple of senior guards out there with her. I don't think she'll be deferring too much in the next three years. You could say the same thing about Bentley when she was a freshman.
Q. Your first 10 years here, your first 10 years with this team, you pretty much knew you were going to be in the NCAA Tournament. And I don't know that you think I don't know what your thinking is right now with an 18 13 record coming in, but what are you thinking right now about that?
COACH FOSTER: Well, stranger things have happened. I don't know. They always if you asked me today, were we one of the best 64 teams in the country right now, my response would be certainly we are. But there's X number of automatic bids. And you can look at things in many different ways.
So I don't expect, but you never know. You never know until people get together in a room. Some things, sometimes maybe it was just taken for granted at a certain point in time.
You gotta grind for these things. Something we talk about all the time, talk about in November, December, January.
What I like about this is that this team sort of was in a perfect storm there for about two, three weeks, and figured out how to get out of it. And it was very competitive and a good basketball team at the end of the year.
Q. Is it too simplistic to say if you got a lot of the contributions you've gotten these two games, scoring wise, from Ashley and Raven and Amber helping out, Tayler, that you wouldn't be in that situation? Were there things that you guys
COACH FOSTER: Yeah, you can always look back and say things like that. I think Ashley I'll give Ashley a lot of credit. Essentially she's been a one leg player for the last couple of months. She can only pivot off of one. And you could have mailed it in. You could have mailed it in.
But I'd say her last seven games is the best basketball that Ashley Adams has played. She was solid. She's double figures, she's rebounded the ball, and you could depend on her to get numbers.
And I think a lot of that is her developing a little bit of a tougher veneer and more of an understanding.
Q. So you go home tomorrow. Would you take a couple days off and then just come
COACH FOSTER: We'll probably get back in the gym Wednesday.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.