2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament: Penn State first round quotes

2012ncaafinalfourwomensThe Penn State Lady Lion’s opened the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament with an 85-77 win against UTEP in Baton Rouge. Penn State moves on to the second round, where they will face the winner of LSU vs. San Diego State, which was tied at 27-27 at halftime.

The following quotes from the post game interviews were provided by LSU Athletics.

Head Coach Coquese Washington

On second half adjustments…

“We talked specifically about doing a better job of containing the ball. In the first half UTEP was getting in the lane way too often, so we talked about trying to keep them out of the paint and making sure we contested shots.”

On post play…

“I thought they were playing hard. Some of our substitution was again predicated on their small lineup, quick guards. There really weren’t any opportunities for us to play two bigs and play our big lineup successfully. So, we went with our small lineup in an attempt to keep them out of the paint and I thought that worked for us. We didn’t rebound as well with that lineup but I thought we did a better job of limiting their shot selection. So, that was the tradeoff.

On Zhaque’s performance…

“I thought she carried us the first half. We came out and looked a little jittery. Honestly, we played a little fast. Zhaque knocked down a couple of shots and kept us within striking distance. I wasn’t too worried about the deficit. I think when you get in the NCAA Tournament and youre seeing teams for the first time, sometimes it takes you a while, 10-20 minutes to kind of figure out the game. The fact that we were tied and the game was close, I knew we would play better in the second half once we made some adjustments. Zhaque came out the first half and hit some big shots and kept us within striking distance.”

On experience playing to their advantage…

“I don’t think we got rattled. I don’t think we felt pressured. I think we felt like we stayed calm and composed, and just let the game play out. We made adjustments and I felt like our kids were confident the whole game even when we weren’t making shots, even when they went on some runs. We just kept our composure and figured out what we needed to do to be successful.

On Maggie Lucas and Alex Bentley’s one-two punch…

“They’re very competitive and they have tremendous work ethics. So, they prepare well, and they prepare well for games, and they’re un-phased by anything that happens in the game. As a matter of fact, when the game gets tightest, when the game gets close, they’re going to perform their best. That’s really a luxury to have as a coach, when you have, not only one but two players who can turn their game up when the game is at its tightest. I feel very blessed that I’m able to coach such fantastic players.”

Junior Guard Alex Bentley

On halftime adjustments…

“We talked about defense. Coach came in there and said that if we wanted to advance we were going to have to change how we were playing defensively. So, we just dug down and got a little more energy on the defensive end and it triggered turnovers for us and stops.”

Sophomore Guard Maggie Lucas

On importance of getting off to a good start…

It’s very important. You don’t want to go home and you have to be able to put together a longer 40-minute game, so you don’t want to get yourselves into any holes. I think we can do it. We definitely can do it. It’s just, we’ve got to be more focused.”

On picking up play in second half…

“I just wasn’t going to let the first half determine how I was going to play the rest of the game. My teammates were keeping my head up the whole time, making sure I was coming out with my head up and ready to make an impact in the second half.”

 

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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