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March 20, 2011
University Park, Pa.; -
PENN STATE LADY LIONS
Coquese Washington, Penn State Head Coach
Q: What was your impression of DePaul?
A: They did what you are supposed to do in a first round game and that is survive and advance. I don't think that's the best they have played all season. I have seen them play a lot better and I expect them to play their normal game. I thought Navy did a good job of getting back and slowing them down in transition, but DePaul is another high- powered offensive team. They shoot the three-ball extremely well and I expect to see that team tomorrow night.
Q: What kind of response have you had from anybody about winning that first round game as a first time team?
A: We got a lot of congratulatory texts, emails, phone calls and we are pleased that we were able to do that but we have a singular focus. That game was yesterday and we enjoyed it but now we are moving on and looking forward to playing DePaul and giving it our best effort tomorrow night.
Q: With two high powered three point shooting offenses what do you expect the key to tomorrow night to be?
A: Same as Dayton, whoever manages to get a defensive run going as opposed to an offensive run might have the advantage. We've got to focus on our defense and we have to find a way to stop them and slow them down in transition. We have to find a way to limit their offensive transitions by not giving them second and third shot opportunities. It is going to be a defensive mindset for us.
Q: Do you think you can match the number of turnovers that you forced against Dayton with DePaul's upper classman?
A: They have a lot of experience and they are a smart team. Sam Quigley does a fantastic job of running that team and managing the game for them at the point guard position. We are going to try our best to defend them and get stops and allow us to get out in transition ¬- if that's rebounds, if that's turnovers, whatever we can do to slow them down offensively that is what we are going to do.
Q: You just mentioned Sam Quigley. From what you have seen on tape what does she do well for DePaul and how does she act as the one that runs their offense?
A: She is very vocal. She talks and communicates with her team on both ends of the floor and she keeps them all on the same page. She is fantastic in that regard for them. She is the head that runs that show and she is not shy about it. You hear her voice all the time talking to her teammates and getting them where they are supposed to be. That is definitely an asset for them and the other thing is that they have a lot of seniors. When you have that many upper classman that have played as many basketball games as they have together, they have really good chemistry.
Q: She is a senior, what are some of the benefits of having a senior at the point guard position?
A: The experience, the calmness. Julia Trogele is not a point guard, but she definitely brings that to our team as well. That experience, that calmness, that calming presence but at the same time I think she brings to them a sense of urgency. You see that with seniors late in their career. They have a sense of urgency, a little more pep in their step. They have that extra burst of energy to make those hustle plays that are going to give your team a chance.
Q: Can you talk about the challenges that their front court presents especially Keisha?
A: Keisha Hampton is a tough matchup. She is a first team all-conference player for them for a reason. She can score in a variety of ways and she is a very confident player. Those are some of the challenges, when you play against somebody offensively who is a confident player. It is tough to break them out of their rhythm because they are very confident that they can get in rhythm any time that they want to, so she is going to be a tough matchup for us.
Q: You used to see a lot of DePaul in a previous life, are they doing anything different now than they did then or have they gotten much better over the years?
A: Doug is an outstanding coach and I am sure he has run different systems and different types of offenses. His focuses have changed over the years. The one thing that is constant and that remains the same is that they are a very hard working team. They are a physical team. My experience with DePaul teams is that they are tough and they are physical. They play hard and that is going to allow them to stay in games and be competitive, because they play hard and they play physical and they are going to battle for 40 minutes.
Q: Maggie said yesterday she got a little frustrated at times and she felt like she could play better, but how do you think that she did?
A: She is fine. If she doesn't make every shot she takes she gets frustrated, so she is fine. She is a very selfless, very team-oriented player. If you saw her yesterday in the locker room after the game she was happy, ecstatic that we got the win so she will be fine. She is not worried about anything that happened yesterday with her personally.
#11 Julia Trogele Sr., Forward
Q: Can you talk about the challenges that their front court presents, especially Keisha.
A: Like coach said, from what I watched she is extremely athletic. She can shoot the pull up, shoot the three, she takes it hard to the basket so I think we are going to have to put multiple players on her, like Arielle and Renee. We are going to have to put our best defenders on her and try and slow her down a little bit, take her out of her comfort zone as much as we can. I think they are a very complete team though so we can't just key in on one person, we all have to defend to the best of our ability.
#11 Alex Bentley So., Guard
Q: How much do you guys look forward to playing a team that likes to push the ball and how much does that help you play at the pace that you want to?
A: I like playing teams that like to push the ball, because that's what we want to do. It's basically going to be a competition of defense, who can stop the better offensive transition team?
#24 Mia Nickson R-So., Forward
Q: Do you think playing a tight game like yesterday's will help you further down the road?
A: It does, because it makes us play together. We can't get outside of ourselves and what we do as a team. I think it's very important that we are able to bounce out of those tight games.
Q: What challenges do you think Keisha Hampton presents for you?
A: She's like a Julia. She's tall, big on the wing and she can drive it to the three. She can do everything. She's like the best player on the floor. I think we're really going to have to contain her and limit her touches on the ball. That's going to be really important for us to be successful.
Q: Do you feel like you guys played a good game yesterday? Is there a lot of room for improvement?
A: I think we played a fairly good game. I think our defense played really well. There were spurts where we had our mishaps, but overall I think our defense did well.
Q: How did the kids off the bench help?
A: They helped tremendously. They added spark on the defensive end. They were able to slow down their guards. Dayton's bench wasn't as deep, so it helped in our favor.
#33 Maggie Lucas, Fr. Guard
Q: Do you thrive on a bigger stage? Is that something you embrace? Did you feel you played better in the bigger games in high school?
A: I like the big stage. I'm not going to have a perfect game every game, but the big stage is where I want to be. That's where it's most fun playing.
Q: Were you frustrated at all yesterday with the lack of shots and lack of points that you had?
A: I face that defense every time I play, so I'm kind of used to it. Their point guard, number 20, is a great defender- people have got to take that into account. I do have to use screens better. That's one thing I have to focus on going into the post season. But no, it's what I have seen all season. I have been faced with a lot. Sometimes you just get more shots than other days. Alex was going off yesterday, so I had nothing to worry about.
Q: Are you expecting to be looser tomorrow because DePaul saw what Alex could do, so maybe you'll have a little more room during the game?
A: I'm not really expecting anything. I just take it as it is when I get into the game.
#11 Julia Trogele, Sr. Guard/Forward
Q: Can you talk about what it's like being a senior knowing that tomorrow's game could be your last?
A: Yeah, I mean, every game you just play like it's your last. I thought during practice today that this could be my last practice. Obviously, a lot of emotions are going through your head. You want to play the best that you can. There's a little bit of anxiousness and anticipation because you don't want it to be your last. My mom made an interesting comment that every Division I senior ends on a loss except for the national champion, and it's very true. It's sad to think about it that way, but I guess you just have to play as hard as you possibly can and do your best.
Q: Have you seen any similarities between yourself and Sam Quigley?
A: I'm sure that having a senior point guard is extremely helpful. Obviously, she has done a great job leading their team because they have been so successful. So, I guess we do have a lot of similarities, but I'm not trying to compare myself to her because we play completely different positions. I don't have the ball in my hand that much.
Q: What have the last 24 hours been like for you following the win?
A: It's been nice. We have been celebrating it. Everyone on campus has been very supportive. People have been writing me messages trying to encourage us to continue to fight. I'm really honored to be among the top 32 teams in the nation right now. Not too many teams get this opportunity, so I'm just trying to make the best of it.
Q: Has it been what you expected it to be? Certainty you had to wait long enough for it.
A: It is what I expected it to be to finally get that recognition. Every team wants that. You work hard in the preseason and offseason to get your body and mind ready for this. To finally get rewarded and to have this opportunity is amazing.
#20 Alex Bentley, So. Guard
Q: You were leading scorer yesterday? How you will prepare today going into tomorrow to replicate that success that you had?
A: I'm not trying to go into tomorrow's game saying that I'm going to get 25 points. I don't go into any game thinking that. I just do what the defense gives me and they were giving me a lot of open looks yesterday.
Q: What things are you looking to improve upon from yesterday's game going into tomorrow to have the same success?
A: Dayton and DePaul have a pretty similar offense. Defensively, we're going to do the same things that we did against Dayton. We've just got to make sure we do those things as well as we did yesterday. Offensively, we have to make sure that we run through our offense all the way and get those good shots.