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NCAA WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR


April 7, 2013


Talia Caldwell

Layshia Clarendon

Lindsay Gottlieb


NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

Louisville 64
Cal - 57


MODERATOR: Joining us now from Cal, head coach Lindsay Gottlieb and student‑athletes Layshia Clarendon and Talia Caldwell.
We'll begin with an opening statement from Coach Gottlieb, and then we'll take questions for the student‑athletes.
COACH GOTTLIEB: I credit Louisville, who obviously has been really hot and they outplayed us in the second half and did enough of the things that they do well to win the basketball game.
What I said to our team in the locker room is that we can be disappointed about a half a basketball that we wish we had back. We could be disappointed to not be playing on Tuesday night because we really wanted to be playing on Tuesday night.
But I'm going to think about that for two minutes, and for the next 10,000 minutes I'm going to think about what this group did for the University of California, I think forever the legacy they will have left from this year; that when you come to Cal, you play for the person next to you, you play with a lot of character, you work really hard, that you make the name on the front of your chest the most important thing even if you're really, really talented.
And I'm just so grateful that we got to play into the second to last possible day you could be playing a game. And we had a pregame meal today and we got to do walk‑through and all of the stuff just being together, and I'm really sad that we're not doing that on Tuesday night, but that I wouldn't trade this team for anything, even though we're disappointed about a half, and I think our seniors set that tone, and I think the whole team did that this year. And we're going to fight really hard for it‑‑ to keep it that way because of Layshia and Talia and Eliza and Tierra and what whole group did this year.
MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach. Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q. To Layshia, from your perspective, where was the game lost from what you could gather?
LAYSHIA CLARENDON: I think maybe midway through the second half. It's hard, the game's so fast, but there was a stretch where they were really throwing a lot of junk at us, and 19 turnovers is high for us. We just turned the ball over. We were kind of getting lost and they were making a lot of baskets, picking up momentum.
So I think we just‑‑ the turnovers killed us a little bit and they kind of took momentum. But like Lindsay was saying in the locker room, we were still up 6 points; we still had a chance to win the game even though we were not playing our best basketball.
So just I think the turnovers and there was kind of a shift and they hit some shots and got momentum.

Q. Talia, what changed inside in the second half?
TALIA CALDWELL: I think the junk defenses and we had to mix up things and‑‑ I don't know. We just didn't get our hand on a lot offensive rebounds we normally do, kind of bounced off, a little sloppiness inside. Yeah.

Q. Layshia, could you walk us through the last two minutes, because you were shooting upwards of 67 percent at points during the first half, and then during those last two minutes it seemed liked you couldn't buy a basket. Did things just go cold or was it something specifically they were doing on defense? And from the perspective of a player on the floor, could you just run us through those last couple minutes?
LAYSHIA CLARENDON: I think, for one, we weren't getting stops on defense. So a lot of the first half I think you guys saw us get out, we got to run a lot. The second half they were scoring so much we had to ‑‑ our pace really slowed down, we had to go against their press, kind of work in every single time, and it seemed like we were shooting really low at the shot clock because it took us so long to get down there.
And the last two minutes, I think a little panicked. I think we just didn't get the ball inside as much. And maybe credit to them, throwing the traps, kind of getting us rattled, getting us back on our feet a little bit.
Definitely their press and their defense we didn't get a chance to run at all because we weren't getting stops.

Q. Layshia, could you‑‑ you gathered the team and spoke‑‑ it looked like you were speaking to them at the end of the game when you were huddled together. Can you just share with us your feelings and if you're able to, like your coach, put what this teams has accomplished in perspective, or is it too painful right now?
LAYSHIA CLARENDON: I can do it. I told them: Don't hang your head for one second. Not for one second. Because we've just come to far, done too much. That was my biggest thing.
And like Lindsay said, two minutes, it's hard to let it go. It's going to hit you maybe now, maybe later on the plane, maybe when you get back. It's going to hurt definitely because we new there was mistakes. It wasn't like we just played someone who's flat‑out better and just literally beat us. We made a lot of mistakes ourselves. So that's where the hurt kind of comes in.
But there's‑‑ just when you look at this team, you think about this team, I just can't help but smile because what we've done is beyond amazing. Like she said, we've affected so many people and just to see all the good that's come out of it, all the positive, all the love, and, like she said, the legacy we're going to leave.
And I think it's another positive note that we weren't just some Cinderella team who made a run this year. Like this is what Cal basketball is going to be, like we set out to make this program known. And I think that's one thing we've done, and we've done it from a point of love, loving each other, from the point of having fun or from the point of dancing.
So when you look back and see that's a legacy you left, yes, it hurts to lose, but like that's pretty awesome. I don't think a lot of people get to do that.

Q. Talia, can you talk about the last couple minutes? You guys these last few games, South Florida, the Georgia game where you might not have been up or you were in a bad spot and you guys kind of played through it and managed to pull it out, were you feeling‑‑ even when you look up at the scoreboard and you're down by 3 with 30 seconds left, were you feeling like you guys were going to pull this out?
TALIA CALDWELL: Definitely. I had complete faith that one of those three were going to go in every time, even when Mik shot the second one, I thought, That's going in.
The whole bench, we always believe in whoever is out on that court. So, yeah, it never was like the game was over. We were like, okay, as long as there's a second on the clock, even Brittany Boyd pushing it at the end, we're going to keep fighting.
MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies.
We'll continue with questions for head coach Lindsay Gottlieb.

Q. Lindsay, could you go over the various hurts that Brittany had during the game? Seemed like a back and then a hand. What was going on with her?
COACH GOTTLIEB: Her back tightened up at one point. She got some treatment on it. And then she jammed her finger pretty badly. I don't know if it's broken or not, but kind of got the finger caught on a play underneath the basket.

Q. Lindsay, could you talk about the differences in the halves? Seems in the first half in terms of rebounds, points in the paint, everything was going your way. And your inside game obviously wasn't as effective in the second half.
COACH GOTTLIEB: Sure. So when I said I'm only going to think about the game for two minutes, that was kind of a lie (laughter).
Maybe every single play, two minutes each I'll think about.
It's interesting, like a stat sheet doesn't always tell the story of the game, but I think this one does. We didn't score in the second half. They totally affected our pace. We had a hard time‑‑ we shot like 60 percent in the first half, and we had a hard time breaking them down and getting the looks we wanted in the second half, and so then we didn't get inside touches.
I thought we tried to go to the boards just as strong the second half. I don't know if there was some kind of foul calls early on that that sort of changed the tone of it. And I didn't know that we were doing anything differently, but it felt a little different.
And off of our inability to score they got some good open looks in transition. They made some nice adjustments, moving Slaughter to the 4 at one point. And then when they would score, we had a hard time attacking their presses cleanly as we would have liked to.

Q. Coach, you'd mentioned just a few seconds ago Slaughter. Do you care to elaborate at all on just how she did? I think her stats kind of stand out there.
COACH GOTTLIEB: Sure. Any time you shoot 60 percent from 3 and hit six of them, it has a huge impact on the game.
When I say the stat sheet kind of tells the story, they did what they do a little bit better than we do what we do. All the kind of categories play out the way you thought they might. We got 17 offensive rebounds and turned that into 14 second‑chance points. We had 32 paint points to their 18.
But we committed 19 turnovers and they scored 22 off of our turnovers, and they made eight 3s, six by Slaughter.
So the stat categories are all exactly how you thought they could be if you were analyzing the game beforehand. They just did their thing in the second half a little bit better than we did our thing in the first half. And we couldn't‑‑ even then we could have made a play or two or gotten a stop or two at the end and still won the game.

Q. Can you talk about the decision to bring Mikayla to shoot those 3‑pointers? Obviously she hadn't been in the game.
COACH GOTTLIEB: Yeah. So with 30 seconds to go we were down 3, and we definitely weren't saying we have to go for a 3. But we really wanted to run a play that gave multiple options. I wanted to the ball in Layshia's hands, I wanted Layshia to be either the creator, the decision‑maker, the shot maker, one of those things.
And we have a play that is kind of an end‑of‑game situation play that gives multiple looks at 3s, but the only looks aren't 3s. And it kind of made that decision to say, all right, we'll put one more 3‑point shooter out there simply because we weren't getting low‑block touches. It's not like I could have said, okay, let's go right to the block with Gray, Gen, or Talia. That wasn't really‑‑ they weren't making that readily available. So we put the extra 3‑point shooter out there to maybe extended the defense, and I thought our best look still might be Layshia to the rim. But it kind of gave that option.
They did a really good job off the first on‑ball with Layshia to kind of step it up and then came off of a flare and then it was going to go back to Layshia on the other side, but two people went with Layshia, and Mikayla ended up with wide‑open look. I mean, I'll take that look.

Q. Lindsay, as soon as the half started, you guys had a couple turnovers and they went back down and they hit a couple shots and all of a sudden you go from 10 to 5. Was that a concern as you get things‑‑ as things started?
COACH GOTTLIEB: Definitely. I thought we had pretty good luck early on. Talia got the ball, could have finished, maybe got fouled, wasn't called. I thought we should have gone up 12 right then. Then they come right back down, hit a 3. So all of a sudden it's 7 instead of 12 in my mind and I think we turned it over again and they scored.
Sure. It's set the tone. You always want to start out‑‑ well, that being said, it was a concern, but I didn't feel like we couldn't counter‑punch. But it was not a very good start to the second half.

Q. Lindsay, mentioning the stat sheet, does that include your free‑throw performance? All season long you've been a mediocre free‑throw shooting team. Is this an example where it really caught up with you do you think or not?
COACH GOTTLIEB: The free throw thing that sticks out the most is that they took 19 free throws and we took seven. And usually by the way that we play we get to the free‑throw line a whole lot more. Now, it might even out because we don't make as many as the opponent in terms of the point differential, but the thing that jumps out to me the most is, yeah, 1‑for‑7 is a terrible percentage, but more so that we go to the free‑throw line seven times and the opponent goes 19. That's just what is uncharacteristic of us.

Q. Lindsay, the fouls really seemed to pick up in the second half. Did that affect how you would have liked to have used your personnel, especially when people had three and four fouls?
COACH GOTTLIEB: Didn't affect the rhythm of the game. I thought we‑‑ letting them score affected the rhythm, I thought our kind of inability to sort of push the tempo the way that we did really affected the rhythm, and I thought that there was a whistle like all the time affected the rhythm of the game.
I didn't think there was necessarily one chunk of time where we were like, oh, we have to sit a particular player for a long, long time. So in that sense. But I definitely feel like it ended up being a factor in the second half, just in terms of how it played out.
MODERATOR: Great. Thank you, Coach.
COACH GOTTLIEB: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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