2009 State Farm Pac-10 Tournament: Game One Quotes

March 12, 2009

 

WASHINGTON QUOTES:

Washington Coach Tia Jackson

On raising the defensive intensity compared to Washington’s other losses to Oregon this year

“They shot over 50 percent the first two times we played them and we wanted to change that today. By mixing up our defense we kept them on their heels a little bit and had great success out there.”

 

On whether this was her team’s best performance all year

“Collectively, when you look at it from all cylinders, I can’t think of another game that surpasses this. I’m really big on defense and for them to go out there and have the focus that they did, as much as we were changing up, they were in it, and my hat goes off to this team because they went out there with an extreme defensive focus and made all the coaches very proud.” 

 

On tomorrow’s matchup with Cal

“We think it’s a pretty solid matchup. Are they a great team? Absolutely. Are we playing some really good basketball right now? Yes, and it’s pretty comparable to what Cal is doing. We’re going to enjoy this until midnight tonight. Tomorrow’s a new day. It’s what March Madness is all about. “ 

 

Washington guard/forward Sami Whitcomb

On her 28-point performance

“I was just excited about this game. We were all really fired up and we wanted to come out here and just send a message from the beginning. We executed on defense and I think that opened a lot for us offensively. People were setting great screens for me and I was just taking what was given.”

 

On playing the Pac-10 tournament as an underdog

“No one really expects much of us, but we know how capable we are and we know what we’re made of and I think that helps us.”

 

Washington forward/center Laura McLellan

On scoring 15 points off the bench

“Coming off the bench, I think I just get a chance to see how the players are defending, if they go for pump fakes, if you can drive on them, if you can take them baseline or middle. I think maybe just getting a chance to see what they do against other post players and seeing how I can attack them and what I need to do to stop them might help a little bit.”

 

On staying alive in the tournament and finally beating Oregon

“Any win is important for us, especially knowing that it’s do or die and we have to win to stay in the tournament. I think knowing that just made us come out so much harder, and we kept telling ourselves ‘third time’s the charm.’ We lost to Oregon at home, we lost to Oregon at Oregon in a pretty tough game, so we really wanted to get them back in this one.”

 

OREGON QUOTES:

Oregon Coach Bev Smith 

“Washington played a very good basketball game today.  I thought they executed very well, particularly offensively.  I thought Sami Whitcomb did a great job to be a go-to player in an important game.  We are disappointed with how we played at both ends of the floor.  I think defensively we were just a little flat footed and we just didn’t have that spice and that sting in our defense that we normally have.  This was a tough loss for us.  It has been a rough season and it’s hard to go home this way.

 

On Taylor Lilley’s injury

“That’s real unfortunate and I guess it’s a little bit of a reflection of our season.  We battled through injuries all year and having Taylor in and out of our line up, she’s a pretty important person for us.  But I think our team has battled through that before and I think Washington was very opportunistic in taking advantage of that and that is what good teams do.  Taylor is a little bit woozy, I believe she has suffered a concussion and I don’t know the severity of that yet.  I know that she is important for us not just at the offensive end but as a presence and as junior leader, it was a big part of our team.”

 

On showing the team different looks on defensive 

“We know that they mix up their defense.  They play some zone, they play some man-to-man switching, they play some straight man, so they do look to confuse you and they try and take some time off the clock with their full court pressure as well.  It wasn’t anything that was different.  They used a little bit of trapping out of their zone that they spring on you every once and a while and I think they stung us a couple of times.  I just don’t think we, as good as their defense was, I don’t think we got the ball inside as much as we had to.  I think you can see that when we get the ball into Ellie we have all sorts of options when it does happen.  And we just weren’t very good at getting it consistently.  We didn’t have enough scorers surrounding her to take up some slack.  We shot the ball not very well.  I can’t say that they did anything different.  They seemed to have a little bit more sting and a little bit more of an understanding of how we play after playing them two times.”  

 

On wrapping up the season

“As coaches and as a team you do move on.  For me it is trying to appreciate this team and all that they have been through.  For all of our abilities, capabilities and vulnerabilities we didn’t end the season as we would have wanted; we probably didn’t start the season as we wanted, but in between that I think there was some growth and I think that is what you try to ask for as a coach, as a teacher and a mentor.  We try to learn what happened through the course of the season.  You can always learn from games like this and from a season like this.  There is an old saying, “experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.”  However hard this has been and however difficult and disappointing it has been at times, I love this group, it is a great group of women.  They get up every time they fall and I think they will learn a lot from our year and go into next year just a little more savvy.  They are going to be an older team and a wiser team so there is a lot to do with that.”

 

Oregon Player Micaela Cocks

On defensive pressure

“Through out the season, being a shooter you get long closeouts but it is just adjusting and reading the defense.  Washington did a great job defensively.  They took advantage of what they had out there and played a good game.”  

 

On dealing with Taylor injury

Throughout the year we had to deal with a lot of adversity.  We have had so many injuries over the season so it is like now when it does happen it is kind of the expected.  That is what our team has gotten used to and I think we have learned to deal with adversity so it is not so much of a surprise when things happen.  For Lilley to go down because these are the games that really count because it is a must win because otherwise you get knocked out.  

You have to learn to deal with adversity it happens on and off the court.  Making sure you can run with it and you always have to work with what you got.”  

 

On finishing the season

“It’s disappointing what has happened but you cannot dwell on it.  You got to look to the future and move on as best you can, there is a lot more to life.”     

 

Oregon Player Ellie Manou

On defensive pressure

“They did some switching defenses, so obviously I got the mismatches but I think we missed a couple of opportunities to go inside but everything they have done we have seen before.  It’s just that we didn’t execute as well as we should have.”

 

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