Feb. 26, 2009
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Penn State Head Coach Coquese Washington Postgame Quotes
Lady Lions vs. Northwestern
February 26, 2009
Q: Can you talk about the senior's performance tonight?
A: Senior night is always interesting because it is so emotional usually at the start of the game, so I was not surprised that we started off the game as poorly as we did because of the emotion from the pre-game celebration. But I thought that they really picked up their intensity, particularly in the second half. I thought Mashea (Williams), in particular, did a great job. She had a couple big steals and did a great job of pushing transition and helping us score some easy baskets, getting in the lane and creating for other people. And Bri (O'Rourke)'s always solid even if she doesn't necessarily have great numbers. She is always solid and she had six assists and was doing a good job of finding people. I knew that they would come out and give a great effort tonight, so I was proud that we were able to send them out with a positive experience with their last home game.
Q: You already talked about the slow start, what did you tell them to get them back on track?
A: Well I didn't say anything in the first half and at halftime I really wasn't worried. We didn't shoot the ball well the first half and it was still a three-point game. So I knew we would play better offensively (in the second half). I thought the reason we didn't shoot the ball well was because we were settling for a lot of jumpers in the first half. We needed to go inside out, we needed to attack the paint a little bit better against the zone. I thought the second half we did a much better job of that, attacking the paint, both off the dribble and throwing it inside and going inside out. I mean, I also thought we buckled down defensively. And our defense really keyed our offense in a good stretch from maybe the 10 to the five-minute mark when we were able to get the lead and get about a six to eight point lead and kind of get our confidence and put them back on their heals. You know (Amy) Jaeschke, she's a tough player, but what we wanted to do was to just make her work. And because their offense revolves so much around her getting touches, and she creates for other people, we wanted to make it hard for her to get touches. I think because we were able to do that, we got a couple of 30-second shot clock violations and made them take some tough shots at the end of the shot clock. And even though Jaeschke ended up having some pretty descent numbers, she had to work really hard for them and I think it took something out of her.
Q: What can you say about what Janessa was able to do defensively against Amy Jaeschke?
A: I think all three of our post players that guarded (Amy Jaeschke) - Rashida (Mark), Janessa (Wolff) and Evelyn (Lewis) - I think all three of them made her work. And that was the thing we wanted to do, was just to make her work. We knew if she was going to have a good night, that was okay, but she was just going to have to work real hard for it. And she did. And they gave great effort and great intensity defensively and again because they worked so hard to make her work, I think it stopped their offense late in the game.
Q: Big road win, followed by a nice road win here, what does this do for the teams momentum heading into the last game of the season and the Big Ten Tournament?
A: Well, I think it gives us a lot of confidence going into Ohio State. Obviously they are the best team in the conference, so we have our work cut out for us. But we know we can win on the road, we know we can play good defense; we know we can make post players work. We will have our work cut out for us with Jantel Lavender, but Ohio State likes to go up and down the floor and we like to run too. I hope it will be a high scoring affair.
Q: Tell us about Meggan's injury, how exactly did she injure her knee?
A: You know, she had breakaway lay-up and she went up to shoot. No one was around her, but (her knee) just buckled. She knew right away, I don't even think she hit the floor before she said call doc because it's gone. And you know it's devastating for the team and it's devastating for her. She is a great kid, a great leader for our team. She gives us great energy and is a loud voice. But fortunately it's just the ACL as opposed to any other additional ligaments or tendons around it. A fairly straightforward rehab and she should be back and good to go by next season.
Penn State Player Postgame Quotes
Lady Lions vs. Northwestern
February 26, 2009
#5 Mashea Williams
Q: Can you talk about what the last game means to you and how much it means to get a win?
A: For me it was great, I know we came in and were trying to stay focused for the game. But at the end of the game when we got taken out the crowd was cheering and everything and I just tried to take it all in. I just tried to enjoy this moment.
Q: How important is it to go out here on a win?
A: I think it's very important not only for us but for our team. Throughout the Big Ten season we have been struggling and we just tried to get on a roll and get ready for the Big Ten Tournament. To get these two games in a row our team spirits are up we just got to come to practice, work hard and stay focused on our goals for the year.
#3 Brianne O'Rourke
Q: Brianne it looked like you were getting a little emotional during the pre-game can you talk about what you were thinking about?
A: I mean really when Janessa (Wolff) started singing that really got me going. It's our last time here and just seeing the fans up there and all my family was here and just leaving this coaching group and special team it's just emotional for me as my last time here. I just wanted to go out on a win. Everything I have created here has just been awesome and it's hard to say goodbye to.
Q: What specifically are you going to take away from this Penn State Experience?
A: Yeah I've been through a lot here but I think it has made me a stronger person and I think that is definitely what I am going to take away from this whole experience. But I haven't gotten any championships yet and that is why people play Division I basketball and that is what I came here for. But I have created much more than that. I have created great relationships and I have learned so much. I have been able to be around the best people in the world.
#42 Janessa Wolff
Q: Janessa what can you say about the battle you had down low with Amy Jaeschke?
A: Actually for me it was fun because that is how I like to play, not so much for the fouls. It was fun she is a very good player and she is bigger than me so I was always downsized. It was fun, it got a little out of hand sometimes but we kind of pulled back. Playing defense on her and fronting her and I had a lot of help from my teammates backside so it was good.
Q: Was there a strategy coming in trying to defend Amy (Jaeschke)?
A: She's a very good player she's one of the best players on the team. Basically it was just trying to limit her and frustrate her because their offense completely revolves around her. I think that is what we did in the second half. We got them out of their sync and they didn't know what to do offensively because they couldn't get it to her.
#1 Tyra Grant
Q: Tyra in the second half you had eight free throw attempts and only one in the first half. Was that really the plan in the second half to get to the foul line.
A: It was just attacking them inside the paint. Whether that be throwing it into the post or just attacking off of the drive or the dribble. That was the whole game plan to begin with. Sometimes, myself included we settle for jump shots. In the second half I feel that as a team we took it to the post and drove more.
Q: Meggan is out for the season how big of a loss is that?
A: Meggan (Quinn) is a great leader. As far as off the court and on the court as well. It is going to be rough. The thing is keep her positive keep the team positive. She will get through it. It is a hard thing to have two ACL's in your career here. But keep everything positive and hopefully that's it and it is just an isolated area and she'll be fine.
Northwestern Head Coach Joe McKeown Postgame Quotes
Lady Lions vs. Northwestern
February 26, 2009
Q: Coach, what was the difference down the stretch?
A: We just stopped playing defense. It was a great game, well it was an ugly game, I'd be lying if I told you it was a great game. I came up here in 1997 and played, we were ranked 10th in the country and that was a great game. We got to the final eight. That was a great basketball game. That was the last time I played here, I guess. Today was an ugly game for both sides. The first half was really ugly and sloppy and then Penn State just made plays in the last four or five minutes and broke it open and that was really it. It wasn't a hard game to break down we just stopped playing defense. They burned us a little bit in transition and they were able to make a few more plays than we were in the last four minutes and that was the difference in the game. If we had done anything right in the first half and not turned the ball over, we could have been up 10 or 12 at half time. That's where the turnovers really hurt us.
Q: Can you talk about the play of Mashea Williams down the stretch, especially in transitions and through the defense and Penn State really relying on the fast break?
A: She did a good job. I'll tell you what she did a good job of. She does a good job of making two people have to guard her. She draws help and then she finds the open people. I thought she did a real good job of that in the last seven or eight minutes. I thought we did a great job for thirty minutes of making them grind to half court. I don't know who we were tonight, we played great Monday night, maybe we were tired, I don't know. We had 12 turnovers the other night and it seemed like we had that many getting off the bus tonight.