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    Post-game Quotes

    March 3, 2006

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    COACH Kay Yow: Well, this game was really close, just all the way around, whether we were shooting free throws, turnovers, rebounds, shooting percentage, I mean, we were just dead even.

    And I think Florida State, we have a lot of similarities in our team. We just depend on team defense, and team offense in every way. I mean we're not looking for a particular player because we don't really have what you call just go to players.

    So I just feel like we both work really hard on defense and try to take care of the ball and, you know, get some good shots on the offensive end.

    I feel we're a lot alike. It is just like it was a slug out. That's the way it feels; punch for punch for punch. We were fortunate to get the last punch in.

    I think everybody that saw the game knows that, with a break here or there, the game could have gone either way.

    I'm just really proud of my team for the way they hung in there down the stretch.

    They had some tough possessions there, whether we were on defense or offense. They had to make some really good decisions. I thought they did a really good job.

    Q. Coach, for you first, and then for Marquetta, what's gotten into Marquetta, talk a little bit about the way she's playing in the tournament?

    COACH Kay Yow: Maybe it was that concussion she got a few weeks ago. No, Q always plays hard, and I think that she has been working harder with her shot selection and getting in her range for her shots better.

    I think she is doing a really good job. We try to set up a few things to give her more opportunity for penetration and, you know, to help her out as much as we can from our offensive sets and team.

    I thought they got the ball to her. She took advantage. So the penetration we wanted her to do, and she came through on a number of her shots, and she has really played I'm proud of her really, her defense in this game because she really stayed down and played some great defense on some really good penetrators.

    Marquetta Dickens: I think like Coach Yow said working hard, trying to make better decisions when to shoot, when to penetrate and kick. I really just been working on my shot, so when I have the opportunity to shoot and knock it down, so I think that's what's gotten into me.

    Q. Marquetta, did yesterday kind of help with the confidence?

    Marquetta Dickens: Yes, ma'am, it did. I just been praying a lot. Just taking it easy and letting the game come to me and not forcing it. I think that's what I was doing earlier in the season. Coach Yow and the coaches talk to us all the time about just relaxing, letting the game come to you and don't force anything.

    Q. Kay, can you talk about you guys had had the lead for the entire game, and then finally gave it up. Can you talk about how the way the team didn't panic at that point and seemed to calm down, down the stretch?

    COACH Kay Yow: You know, you're exactly right. To have the lead the whole game and then to lose it. But we had a couple of time outs ourselves down the stretch and we're just talking about defense is what got us the lead. We started the game with great defense. And we had to end the game with great defense. That was the main thing that I wanted them to focus on, was not to let up on the defensive end. Played great defense, box out and, you know, they got their hands on some balls down the stretch playing great defenses. That really helped save the game for us.

    So that's what they did. I felt they ended the game playing defense like they started the game.

    Q. Kay, (Florida State head coach) Sue (Semrau) calls a time out with 11.6 seconds left, they have the ball, what are you thinking defensively, are you going to try to takeaway (Britany) Miller, or what did you try to do there?

    COACH Kay Yow: We're saying, I mean, this could be a lob for Miller. They could get it in, try to set a back screen for a 3 point shooter. I mean, we're trying to talk to the team, like be ready for these things because you know, with 11 seconds left, the are going to their strength, the strength had been the big girl, I mean Miller for a lot of the game.

    And so we're saying watch out. And actually we're playing this time and we started right at the end to trap a little. But we had to be careful who we trapped with because there are 3 point shooters on the floor and those people couldn't leave their men.

    So we were talking about everything. This is what I said solid defense. I mean, we have to communicate out there, call all screens, and we have to stay hung. Somebody can't penetrate when we leave a 3 point shooter to help, and they kick to the 3 point shooter, things like that. We're trying to talk about a lot of things for that 11 seconds.

    Q. Sasha, can you talk a little bit about the battle you had with Miller, it seemed like it was a pretty good battle down on the blocks?

    Sasha Reaves: Yes, it was a battle. She is a great player, and I was just trying to really focus on trying to keep the ball away from her and keeping her pushed out.

    I know at times she did get deep, but I just did the best I could to defend her. Then I think at the end there, Tiffany Stansbury did a great job of holding her, keeping her from scoring. I thought that was really good.

    Q. Coach, what did you think of how (Alicia) Gladden's foul trouble affected the game?

    COACH Kay Yow: Well, I really feel that Gladden is one of their very best players, if not the best. You know, this is another reason we wanted to penetrate. I mean last time we played Florida State down there, they had 42 points in the paint. Miller had 10. The other 32 came from their penetration. And we had like about 20 points or something in the paint. And so this time we really wanted to penetrate. We wanted to put the same kind of pressure on them that they put on us.

    So, you know, we felt if we really penetrated strongly, and did a good job, that it would cause fouls on their part. That's what happened to us, you know, down there.

    And so, I mean, like I said, we're sort of mirror images of each other. We just didn't live up to it the first time we played them.

    I mean you can tell 42 points in the paint. Ten by Miller. I mean where did the other 32 come from? It was their penetration coming in. So we were fortunate. We were much more aggressive today in what we did.

    Q. This is an Ed Dubrow (phonetic) memorial two part question. One for Kay and one for Marquetta.

    Kay, with the energy and emotion that she had to expend in the game, were you concerned with fatigue in tomorrow's game?

    And for Marquetta, what did you learn from the first two meetings against Carolina this year?

    COACH Kay Yow: Well, I mean, we knew this coming into the tournament that we'd have to play four games to win it. So, we know, this is a mind over matter thing.

    I mean, it's like we're playing tomorrow if we can if we were fortunate enough to have to play a fourth game. We know that. We saw that in the bracket. Right now it's nothing but mind over matter. We, you know, have to go back and we rest from this point until tomorrow, and we eat well, get our rest, and we come out. It's 40 minutes. It's a two-hour game. So we have to just find it within us to play for two hours. We love the game. It's not like we're doing something we hate. We got to come out and do something we love. So I mean, how tired can we be? We can't be tired. We conditioned, we trained ourselves. And this is what we have to do.

    Marquetta Dickens: As far as playing Carolina, we played them twice. I think we really need to focus more on what we have to do. The same thing we did the last two games we know we have to do against Carolina. We know they like to push the ball. We're going to push the ball too. We are going to penetrate and keep our aggressive defensive alive that we have done the last two games, and it's going to be a great game.

    COACH Kay Yow: I mean, it's a tall order. But, I mean, they are student athletes, they like challenges.

    Q. Kay, how important was Khadijah's (Whittington) rebounding effort especially over the last two days?

    COACH Kay Yow: Well, it's meant a lot to us. We tried to keep her around the basket a little bit more so she can, you know, be able to help us with that more because she has a great ability for timing on rebounds and she can really sky.

    I mean, that's really an important part that she gives us. We couldn't do it without it.

    Q. You were able to get Sasha out at high post and drawing Miller out there at times, that penetration you were looking for?

    COACH Kay Yow: Yes, that's what we were trying to do, was bring her a little away from the basket. You know, knowing Sasha, and the difference in the size, that would be far for her to post up and go over. So we made a decision to try to bring her away from the board as much as possible.

    Q. Coach, on the defensive matchups, did you have Ashley (Key) playing (Holly) Johnson as much one on one down there in Tallahassee as she played her today?

    COACH Kay Yow: No, that was a mistake we made. Johnson has really been hot as of lately. She got on a streak. We weren't playing as well as we played today, but we cut the game in Tallahassee to 3 points, you know. We let a couple of people perimeter post us up on the inside, and we let Johnson get open for 3's.

    So we wanted Ashley to spend as much time on Johnson today as possible. Because I feel that she is playing even better than the first time when we played them. She is playing with a lot of confidence. She is very good.

    By the way, I mean Sue has done a great job with that team. I mean, I feel like she has gotten a lot out of that team. She has done a really good job with them. They are very well coached.


    COACH SUE SEMRAU: It was a heart breaker. I thought we got a good look, too 3 seconds left on the clock. I knew the way that our players fought in the second half, I was just extremely proud of them.

    I thought that, you know, Holly (Johnson) was the player that came out the most ready to play. You know, her experience was something that carried us into the second half with as much energy as we had.

    Then I thought LaQuinta Neely just responded. I don't know what she didn't do. I thought having her take that last shot was really almost poetic. I wish she would have hit it. But at the same time, I was just really proud of her effort.

    It's tough to play without your leading scorer and rebounder, Alicia Gladden, just got into early foul trouble, played five minutes in the first half and got that quick foul then in the second half.

    So we were forced to make some adjustments. I thought my team stepped up, and I am looking forward to moving on into the NCAA tournament.

    Q. Sue, you made such great strides with the program. This group of seniors hasn't won an ACC tournament game, how much do you feel for them about that?

    COACH SUE SEMRAU: Well, you know, I think we could make too big a deal out of that. I know that was something they very much wanted to do, but you've got to look at what they've done. There hasn't been a team what has won 10 ACC games in a regular season. There hasn't been but one team that's gone to back to back NCAA tournaments.

    So we could make a big deal out of a two-point loss, but I prefer to look at the growth and the things that they have done.

    Q. You mentioned that your had to make adjustments to Gladden's foul trouble, it seemed obviously getting the ball to (Britany) Miller time and time again was the key, can you talk about the game she played for you?

    COACH SUE SEMRAU: Well, she just really came up big. I thought our guards did a great job of getting her the basketball, and she just really responded. I thought that was the best game that we've seen out of her. I think we were tie ball game, and the ball went over the goal to Britany on the other side, and she did catch it and score it and for a freshman, she really stepped up and did a great job.

    Q. Sue, two questions. One, they were able to penetrate especially early, what at halftime did you discuss?

    The second part is, looking ahead to the NCAA tournament, as you said earlier, you can come in here not having to win to get in, just kind of a conference attitude the team will still have.

    COACH SUE SEMRAU: I think the first half, I thought NC State did a great job of spreading the floor and maybe exposing some of our weakness. We are a great deep defensive team. You know, they brought Britany up high and they were able to penetrate around.

    We made an adjustment in the second half, I thought our guards did a great job of getting underneath the screen and forcing them to hit jumpers. That I thought was the difference. That and being able to play some zone against them.

    I thought, too, that, you know, coming in, you know, right now it doesn't feel like, oh great, we're going to the NCAA tournament or anything. But at the same time, when we let this sink in, I know that we are very excited about that. We are a better team than we were last year, and we have high aspirations. I think we will be a higher seed than we were last year.

    We will go back to the drawing board. We're really not just going to focus on this. We will focus on the things that we've done to be able to be better and go into the NCAA tournament with a lot of confidence.

    Q. Sue, can you talk about that last shot, you got a good shot from Neely, what was the original plan coming into that last play?

    COACH SUE SEMRAU: Well, we got the ball to Britany. They triple teamed her and she made a great decision to kick it out. Then we got a wide open look at the free throw line to LaQuinta. I'm very confident with any kid on my team taking that shot. I thought it was a great look at the basket.

    Q. Holly, how much did Gladden's foul trouble, you think, affect the team out there?

    HOLLY JOHNSON: I always think it affects your team when you have the leading scorer and leading rebounder out. But just on the defense end, I think it brings so much for us to just her being able to get out, get steals, and get easy quick transition buckets. I think we had to work a little bit harder without her. But like Coach Sue said, Britany and I think Shante Williams also stepped up for us big time defensively.

    Q. Holly, looking back to the NCAA tournament and getting you all back together and focused, I take it it won't take much for you all to get back focused for that?

    HOLLY JOHNSON: No, I definitely don't think it will. You've just got to take this game, you've just got to learn from it. The season is not over yet. We are getting ready to embark on a great thing going to the NCAA tournament. So we're just going to really go back to Tallahassee, focus on the things that we need to do, and I think the biggest thing for us is starting off strong, and that's what we're really going to come in and work on.



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