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March 6, 2015

Lexie Brown

Brenda Frese

Brionna Jones

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough


Maryland – 70
Michigan State - 60

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Maryland head coach Brenda Frese along with student‑athletes Lexie Brown, Shatori Walker‑Kimbrough and Brionna Jones.  Opening comment, Coach.
COACH FRESE:  I thought our start was really, really key.  And it was something that we really stressed.  When you see in these quarterfinal games, when you haven't played a game and you've had that double bye, just coming out aggressive.
I thought our strong start was really, really impressive.  Probably one of our best 40‑minute games defensively.  And then I thought offensively trying to wear them out, our depth was a huge factor when you talk about playing ten players in the first half, being able to go 11 players through this rotation.
And obviously our floor general, I thought Lexie played one of her best games.  When March hits, this team gets excited in terms of raising their level of play.

Q.  Lexie, for you, how much of a (indiscernible) did you make to get started quickly today given your last game against Northwestern?
LEXIE BROWN:  I don't know.  I just wanted to do whatever it took to get us to a hot start.  And that just happened to be me hitting shots.  If it was me distributing more, locking down on defense, I would have done that.
But I was getting open looks and I just shot them with confidence.

Q.  Shatori, the game looked pretty physical out there, and you picked up a fifth foul.  Can you just kind of talk about that, vis‑a‑vis some of your experiences in the ACC tournament last year?
SHATORI WALKER‑KIMBROUGH:  Coach said it would come down to physicality and she said they wouldn't be able to match ours.  It came down to who was being physical.  Unfortunately mine was illegal, and I had five fouls.  But the team did a great job.  Our depth really showed today.

Q.  Brionna, was there a point in the second half where you could tell you were wearing them down, maybe later in the second half?
COACH FRESE:  I thought when we were able to go back to our press‑‑ I'm sorry.
BRIONNA JONES:  I think, like she said, we started pressing them and they started turning the ball over early.  And I think that gave us the confidence, and then they were losing confidence, and we just built on that and kept trying to wear them down.

Q.  Shatori, I wanted to ask you about guarding Aerial Powers and the challenges that presents.  Can you talk about her game a little bit?
SHATORI WALKER‑KIMBROUGH:  She's a phenomenal player.  When we were looking at her in the scout, she did everything.  She posted up.  She was a great 3‑point shooter.  She went to her pull‑up.  We basically had to go to her tendencies, which were very little of her tendencies.  Everybody, we just did a great job, tried to keep fresh leg on her from Malina and me and Mincy and Kiara.

Q.  You were on top of the key a little bit when Jankoska was shooting from the perimeter, could you tell she was struggling out there?
BRIONNA JONES:  I don't think she was struggling that much from the top of the key.  But I think just my length sometimes bother her a little bit.  But she hit big shots, too.

Q.  Lexie, your seven steals, was that a function of maybe some tendencies you saw on their part or were they getting tired and their passes weren't zipping as much as they might be if they were?
LEXIE BROWN:  That was just us playing great team defense.  We were sliding in our help side.  I was getting the steals, being in the right place at the right time.  I thought our ball pressure was great today.  We flustered them.  Like we said before we were just trying to get them worn out.  When you get worn out you don't think of your passes as much.  I credit those steals to the team defense also.

Q.  Lexie, on a completely different note, you want to talk about the headband?
LEXIE BROWN:  My sparkles, do you like them?

Q.  I like them.  They made you take them off at the beginning of the game there was a little exchange there.
LEXIE BROWN:  I made it through warm‑ups with those.  I thought I was going to be in the clear.  But first possession, she found them.
So she said they didn't match the white, because this is silver obviously.  But I have black and red, so when we have black and red head bands I'll have team sparkle.  Hashtag team sparkle.  I'm trying to bring it and start a movement here.

Q.  Lexie, the trophy, can you explain that?
LEXIE BROWN:  Oh, of course.  Well, you see I have this.  Tori has her glove.  This is the charger award.  So after every game Coach B hands out awards.  I took a charge today so I got the charger award.  That's what that is.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Coach.

Q.  Brenda, you mentioned earlier about defensively they had one field goal in the first ten and a half minutes, what was working for you there defensively?
COACH FRESE:  I thought we were really aggressive.  We came out with a mindset to really lock in.  I thought our aggressiveness in the press was really important for us.  And then in the half court, we were very communicative.  We made them have to take difficult shots.

Q.  Today Lexie was the only player in double figures in scoring, which has sort of been uncharacteristic of the team.  Do you want to talk about that?  Was that just kind of the flow of the game, or was Lexie just really in an attacking mindset?
COACH FRESE:  I definitely think it was the flow of the game.  Both Laurin and Tori battled foul trouble most of the game.  It was a physical game.  Lexie was able to be aggressive getting to the rim.  And you see the eight, nine points that were spread around.  It's by committee.  And I thought, I mean tremendous job with Kristen coming in, first tournament experience.  Just having the depth that we had was critical to our success today.

Q.  You started talking about going to that press in the second half.  Is that because you could tell they were getting worn out and you wanted to end it right then?
COACH FRESE:  You just knew they were going on tired legs.  Having played them, this being our third time, it was a big part for us the last time we played them when we went to the press in the second half.  We were able to break it open.
So obviously wanted to be selective when we were using it.  But it was an important part to our success.

Q.  You guys had a decent contingent of fans here.  Do you prefer to see this the same week as the men's tournament, so that they would be down the street and you'd have a whole maybe another select‑‑
COACH FRESE:  That is fun.  Having been an assistant in the Big 12.  We used to do it that way and you would obviously get a lot more fans.  But I do enjoy being a week earlier so you have the week to kind of rest yourselves in terms of getting ready for the NCAAs.  But I'm really proud of our fans.  You talk about some of these distances for the teams are three‑hour car rides.
To look in the stands and you see the passionate fan base that we have, to be able to have to fly here, drive here, says a lot in terms of the passionate fans that we have.

Q.  At one point in the second half, after a couple of steals, when got the lead out to 50‑31, you came off the bench and you were pretty excited.  Do you want to talk about what stimulated that?  You sort of jumped out on the Michigan State called a timeout?
COACH FRESE:  Just energy.  Sometimes when you're going through it, you can get fatigued.  But I felt like we could separate at that point.  So just kind of really wanting to layer it with as much energy as possible.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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