March 21, 2011
University Park, Pa.; -
NCAA Gear , Tickets , University Park Tournament Central
PENN STATE LADY LIONS
Coquese Washington, Penn State Head Coach
Q: Coach I saw you had to sit down on your way to the locker room. How draining of a game was this and to have it come down to this?
A: This was one of the most fun basketball games I've ever been a part of. It was a great environment, two very good teams playing their hearts out and it comes down to the last second. I couldn't be more proud of our players. I couldn't be more proud of the Penn State Family. This basketball atmosphere was what you wanted it to be, this is why all these kids came here, was to play in this kind of atmosphere and my hat goes off to Doug Bruno and DePaul. They've had a great season, the best in their school history and this was a great game. It was a fun game to watch, a fun game to coach, a fun game to play. Unfortunately someone had to come out on the losing end and tonight it was us but I don't hope. I know we'll be in more games like this in the future and I'm looking forward to it.
Q: After the second free throw at the end of the game, you called time out. What's the message to the team and what play do you draw up in that huddle?
A: Well we drew up our press break and we felt very confident with the ball in Alex's hands and with her being able to make something happen. I thought they (DePaul) did a great job of not letting her get up the floor. They made a better play and that's basketball. We had another timeout to use, but we didn't get to it. I hate to lose the game, but what a great game. You have to feel great about being a part of a basketball game with so much on the line and you hate to lose, but it's a wonderful basketball experience that our team is going to take away and remember for the rest of their lives.
Q: Looking at your first four years with this basketball program and the progress you've made, is this one of those necessary things that a program has to go through to get to the level you want to be at?
A: I wouldn't say it's necessary, it seems to happen more often than not, but there are to "diaper dandies" as Dick Vitale would say, that seem to make it work but when you look at the game, Felicia Chester, a senior, made big plays for them on offense and Keisha Hampton's their best player, first team all-conference, she made big plays. Again you hope your kids can rise above it, but when you look at who we've played in the Big Team, and we played against Ohio State and our inability to compete against them in the second half because of their experience, and then we come here today and we take the game down to the last play. I like the growth that our team showed. I like the confidence that we played with. We get them all back, except for Julia, and I think this is one of those things that will carry them in the offseason and will stick with them through next year and help us be a better team and a more competitive team next year.
Q: How much did their offensive rebounding hurt?
A: It killed us. You know we talked about doing a better job on the boards; they got some big second chance opportunities in the second half. I felt like they had second chance opportunities and made the most of it. We needed to do a better job on the defensive boards.
#11 Julia Trogele, Sr., Guard/Forward
Q: What do you feel got away from you in the second half?
A: I think we fought extremely hard until the very end, but we needed to extend our lead and couldn't just let them creep back in, but overall I'm very proud of my team for all the hard work we put in throughout the season, and I don't think there's really one play that can define whether we were going to win this game, they just ended up making some clutch free throws down the stretch.
Q: Just wondering what happened, you got a wide open shot there, what happened on the defensive end when Alex (Bentley) got the foul on the three pointer?
A: I obviously missed the shot and put the ball in their best players hands, she came off the screen and attacked, I don't know whether it was a foul or not, but I don't think it comes down to one play. Alex did what she had to do and I'm proud of the way she played today.
Q: What do you two say to Alex (Bentley) after a play like that, she got you so far to hav the game decided on a play like that?
A: That it doesn't come down to one play. It's not her fault. There's a million times that you can say we should have done this, we should have done that, and in the end we shouldn't have let them come back and we should have held our lead, there's no fault in anybody. DePaul's a very good team and I don't think we have anything to hang our heads for.
Q: Julia, obviously this is your last game as a Lady Lion, can we get a comment on that?
A: I just want to thank everybody that is associated with Penn State basketball, all the fans, all the alumni, all the trainers, Amy, Brad, our managers, my teammates, my coaches, coach Coquese for believing in me. I think that they have a bright future and I'm proud to have been proud to be a Lady Lion.
Q: Julia, one other thing, to have the game end like this in your last game, how hard does that make it for you?
A: It doesn't make it difficult, we made it this far, and to be able to end on the court that I started on, is really great. I'll take it with pride and I'm happy about it.
#20 Alex Bentley, So., Guard
Q: Do you feel like you got all ball on that foul that was called?
A: The call was made and you can't go back and change it.
Q: Julia (Trogele) said that the game didn't come down to just one play. Do you agree?
A: I'm always competitive so obviously that last play is what I'm thinking about.
Q: You came out of the break and scored seven straight. What was going through your head at that point?
A: I'm always confident in my game, so I go out and play no matter if we are up or down.
Q: The team returns everyone but Julia (Trogele). What are you looking forward to next season?
A: I'm going to just get stronger from this and remember it, and I'll come back next year and remember the pain and push through it.
#54 Nikki Greene, So., Center
Q: Did you guys try to make any adjustments at halftime to counter the pressure you were going to get?
A: We told the guards to rebound because we felt the rebounding margin was too close. Our only adjustment was to have the guards try to rebound better when one of our players had a chance to rebound the ball.
Q: You had a strong first half, how did they shut you down in the second?
A: Yeah, I was dominant the first half. Coach told me before the game just to tag, not to think about any changes, just to go and play my game, and that's what I did. In the second half, they were guarding me tight, and the game turned out like it did.
#33, Maggie Lucas, Fr., Guard
Q: Does a performance like this motivate you to get any better this offseason, and is it going to be something that sticks with you?
A: It's going to stick with me for a while but that's what's going to make me better. It just stinks right now because we led for 39 minutes in that game. We had great leadership from Alex (Bentley) and Julia (Trogele).
Q: Looking back at your freshman year, does it remind you how bright things will be with three more years here?
A: We're going to be great. We went down this year, but this is just a warning to a bunch of teams in this country that we're coming back, and we're coming back strong.