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2011 NCAA Women's Basketball Practice Day Quotes, Dayton

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March 18, 2011

Tickets , University Park Tournament Central , NCAA Gear

University Park, Pa.; - DAYTON FLYERS

Interview Room

Jim Jabir, Dayton Head Coach
Q: How are these two teams (Penn State and Dayton) different now opposed to the season opener?
A: I think both teams play much better defense than we did the first time. I think we're more efficient offensively and we found our rhythm. We've had a very up-and-down season and we're playing our best basketball right now. I think the world of Penn State. I think they run very simple stuff but they've got such talented kids and they're very smart. They've got a lot of weapons and they're very well balanced. I hope it's going to be a great game. I think it has the potential to be a great game.

Q: What can you actually take from that first game of the season?
A: Not a lot. We're familiar and we're prepared to play against them, but it was such a long time ago. Tendencies change and people develop, but there's a familiarity with it. It's like when we play Xavier two or three times a year. After that first or second game, you start to feel more comfortable with the third game. I think there's a sense of understanding what the team does and who they are.

Q: How would you evaluate [Penn State's] Maggie Lucas, one of the newer talents, as a point guard?
A: She is a special player. To be a freshman and to have the poise and the confidence that she has...we have a lot of respect for her. I think she's averaging 16 points a game and broke the Big Ten record with three-point field goals made in the season. We have a lot of respect for her. She's a tough kid and emotional player. I like how she plays and the fact that she can play a point guard says a lot about her talent. Everyone sees her shot and her range on her shot. She's a creative kid and fearless. I admire her a great deal.

Q: The score was in the 100s the last time Penn State and Dayton played. Do you expect an entertaining game like that tomorrow?
A: I think both team coaches will tell you that both teams' defenses have improved since the first game and both programs have put emphasis on scoring. Penn State is averaging 77 points, we're averaging 74 points. I hope there will be a lot of up-and-down, good shot selection, and buckets made. I'm expecting that it will be an entertaining game.



Q: Is there anything you wish were different about this tournament?
A: No. We practice at 6:00 in the morning and we're just happy to be here. We'd play at midnight in a parking lot if you wanted us to. We're just happy to be here.

Q: What contributions are you expecting from key players on the team that may not show up on the stat line?
A: All year long we've played 10 to 12 kids. We've had different heroes in different games all year long. We're very unselfish. Our kids work very hard. If someone's having an off day, someone else steps up and is usually able to fulfill various roles for us. I think that's been the strength of our team. Our depth and ability to use a lot of people has been beneficial to us. Some could say playing four games in a row for the NCAA Tournament had a lot to do with our depth, and our advantage of using various players to get to the championship game and play very well against a good Xavier team. We had a lead with a 1:41 left on the clock and that's four days in. We have gotten a lot of contributions from a lot of people.

Q: Having made the NCAA Tournament for the first time last year was a huge milestone for your program. Did that change your goals coming into the season and does it change the way that you approach the tournament this year?
A: We've spoken a lot about our program being the one that has a lot of firsts. We've done a lot of things for the first time in the last two or three years. The natural progression would be to go one more game than we did last year and have another first in our program.

#34 Justine Raterman, Jr., Forward
Q: You wore a knee brace in the last game. Is there any problem with your knee now?
A: It's going pretty good. I've gotten to practice the last couple of days and do some drills. I will still be wearing the brace for precautionary reasons.

Q: You have won on Penn State's floor before. How much does that help going into a large ball game?
A: I think it gives us a little bit of confidence going into the game. A lot of us have played in this gym and have got a victory here. We know that we can play here and play well here. The initial butterflies probably won't be as high, which will be good for us.

Q: Is there a sense of wanting revenge against Penn State for the first loss of the season?
A: I think that since it was such a close game that it still hurts. You never forget a loss, especially one that close. We're definitely going to come out and play harder than we might in a regular game.

Q: Having made the NCAA Tournament for the first time last year was a huge milestone for your program. Did that change your goals coming into the season and does it change the way that you approach the tournament this year?
A: I think we were just really happy to be there last year and taking in the experience. We're focusing on that this year, but we're here for a reason. We're here to play basketball. We're going to focus on that, too.

#40 Kristin Daugherty, Sr., Guard
Q: Do you think having NCAA Tournament experience puts Dayton at an advantage over Penn State?
A: I don't think it has a huge advantage, but I think not having the butterflies that a lot of first time teams have will be helpful for us. Being able to come out and just get going on the game will be a little bit of a benefit to us.

Q: What is different about this team going into the tournament opposed to last year's team?
A: I think we're a little more experienced and don't have the nervousness. I think we can come out and just focus on the game and not on the extra stuff that comes with the NCAA.

Q: Is there a sense of wanting revenge against Penn State for the first loss of the season?
A: I don't think it's a revenge factor, but just proving that we are a good team and we can play against a team of Penn State's caliber.

#11 Elle Queen, Sr./Jr., Forward
Q: Can you tell us about how the team started out with two losses and going on the road to Minnesota, winning that tournament, and progressing on throughout the season?
A: I think we had a little trouble offensively and finding our rhythm. We wanted to play a lot faster this year, so we had to get used to that. I think in the Minnesota tournament, we found our rhythm. From there, we had an up-and-down season but I think we all feel really good after the Atlantic-10 Tournament and feel really good coming into this.

Q: Is there a sense of wanting revenge against Penn State for the first loss of the season?
A: We watched the game this morning to refresh our memories. There's definitely that sense of revenge. You go into every game wanting to be competitive. I think we're excited about it.

Q: Having made the NCAA Tournament for the first time last year was a huge milestone for your program. Did that change your goals coming into the season and does it change the way that you approach the tournament this year?
A: I think we were all really excited when we saw this match-up and learned that we snuck into this tournament. We're definitely happy to be here, but the goal shifts to winning the game and taking it one at a time.

Locker Room

#4 Olivia Applewhite, So., Forward
Q: This is your second year on the team and the second year your team has made it to the NCAA Tournament, how does that feel for you?
A: Very exciting. It's a blessing to be here again. Only 64 teams get this opportunity so I'm just really excited to be here.

Q: How has the leadership from the upper classmen helped your team to get to where you guys are right now?
A: I think that they've had one goal in mind and that was to get back. I think they've done a great job doing everything they could to get us back here. I really respect them a lot for that.

Q: How has your preparation gone getting ready for this game? Have prepared similarly to how you prepared for the tournament last year?
A: We've pretty much just been working hard and not taking any game for granted. We're just approaching every game with the mindset of winning just so we could get back here again.

#33 Cassie Sant, Fr., Center
Q: This is your first year with the program, how does it feel to be here right now?
A: It's a surreal feeling. It's awesome. We worked all year long for this and just to come back for a second year here and be able to continue the tradition, it's awesome.

Q: Your team has experienced being in the NCAA Tournament from last year, have they shared anything with you from their experience that has helped you prepare?
A: It definitely helps with my nerves because they've been here and they're used to it. Having the experience is going to help carry me through. They know what to expect and so they've just been trying to let me know what to expect and how to handle it.

Q: What do you think about Penn State having the home court advantage? Have you guys thought about that at all?
A: Yes, definitely. They're going to have all the fans cheering on their side. We're just going to try to bring as much energy as we can. Every play that we make, we're just going to be jumping up and down, getting rowdy, just make sure we have confidence going in there. We will be cheering each other on.

Q: Is there anything that really sticks out from playing Penn State in the beginning of the season that you guys will be focusing on?
A: Last time, we gave them way too many open threes. We're really just going to try to get out on shooters and make them put it on the floor a lot more.

#20 Patrice Lalor, Jr., Guard
Q: What was your immediate reaction when you found out you were playing Penn State?
A: We were just all happy to be playing in the NCAA tournament in general because we were on the bubble and we weren't sure if we were going to make it. Once we found out, we were just so happy and really excited to play. When we found out it was Penn State, I think it was even better because we played them before and we lost in double overtime by five or something like that. We thought it was a good seed for us because we knew that we could play with them.

Q: As an upperclassman, what have you been doing to help the younger girls on your team who don't have as much experience as you?
A: For the most part, our team is pretty filled with upper classmen. For a lot of people, we've been here before and been to the postseason, so we know what it's like. For the younger people, I think they're just going along for the ride with us and they're following us and doing everything we've worked on. They know how serious it is, but they also know how exciting it is so they're trying to take that all in and enjoy the time as well.

Q: This is your second time playing Penn State this year, is there anything you're really looking at in particular going into this game?
A: We didn't play too well in the first game we played against them. There were a lot of missed assignments and a lot of little things we did wrong. We're just looking to come back and execute our whole game plan and play to the best of our ability because we know that we can play with them and we can beat them. We just want to come back and do the things we did wrong right this time.

#40 Kristin Daugherty, Sr., Guard
Q: This is your second time in the NCAA Tournament, how is that feeling for you right now?

A: You come in and you're excited to be here, but you also want to focus on the basketball game, trying to balance the excitement with focusing and game time.

Q: What was your immediate reaction when you found out you were playing Penn State?
A: I was just happy to be playing anywhere to tell you the truth. We were kind of on the bubble and didn't know if we were going to get in. Once we saw that we did get in and saw that we were playing Penn State, I think because we are familiar with them it was exciting. We're looking forward to getting out there and playing.

Q: What have you been doing to motivate the younger girls on your team to get them ready since you have experience in the tournament?
A: Just because we are such a senior team, aside from the two new freshmen, everybody has kind of been in this situation. Making sure I'm setting an example by how I act, not getting too hyped and making sure the girls kind of keep their heads on and don't get too excited for all the big lights out there. I'm just trying to lead by example and let them enjoy the experience.

Q: Is there anything in particular you guys are really trying to focus on going into this game?
A: The last game both teams scored in the 100's, so defense definitely needs to get better in this game. We still want to look to push the ball and play a fast game. Defense and just locking in our offensive plan is what we'll be focusing on for this game.

#11 Elle Queen, Sr./Jr., Forward
Q: What are your thoughts on making to the NCAA Tournament for a second year in a row?
A: It's really exciting. We had a team get together to watch the selection show. We were really nervous because we were the last bracket and one of the last teams to be called so we were really excited about it. It's kind of fun that we played Penn State earlier this year. Hopefully we're ready to get a win.

Q: Do you think Penn State has an advantage playing on their home court?
A: I think it's definitely an advantage when you have 6,000 people cheering for you. I think they have a lot of players who haven't played in the NCAA tournament and maybe that will be a little added pressure for them playing on their home court.

Q: What is something you would like to focus on personally going into this game?
A: Definitely defending their guard play. They have really good guards, really good shooters and also some players that can put it on the floor. Really containing them and keeping them out of the paint is going to be big.

#34 Justine Raterman, Jr., Forward
Q: You're the leading scorer, leading rebounder for your team, what are your thoughts going into this game?
A: I'm just really excited to get out there and play. We've worked really hard this season and had another opportunity to get to the NCAA tournament so we're all really excited to get out there and play again.

Q: What is something you're really trying to focus on personally for this game?
A: I think just playing hard every possession. We know that this could be our last game, especially for the seniors, it might be our last time putting on a Dayton uniform. We just want to go out there and play every possession like it's our last.

Q: Do you feel that since you're a team of mostly seniors that you're even more amped about them game?
A: I think so. That's definitely always in the back of your mind. To have so much success over your career here and get to play in the NCAA Tournaments, it's awesome.

Q: You played Penn State earlier this year, is there something you're looking to focus on against them?
A: I think that our defense wasn't very good last game. A lot of their shooters got off and they scored a lot in the paint. Our defense has definitely improved throughout the season, so we're definitely trying to focus on that.


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