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March 6, 2015

Promise Amukamara

Sophie Brunner

Kelsey Moos

Charli Turner Thorne


Arizona State テや 67
Washington State テや 48

THE MODERATOR:テつ Welcome, Arizona State.テつ Congratulations, Coach.テつ Some opening comments, please?
COACH THORNE:テつ Wow, it's just nice to stay here more than a day.テつ We haven't built much history at this tournament in Seattle yet, so very proud of our team.テつ We've been a little slow starting lately offensively, and then we've been able to get it going in the second half this last week or so.テつ So I thought we did a great job in the second half just settling down, taking care of the ball, and kind of doing what we can do.
Great atmosphere.テつ Getting the kids in here.テつ Thank you to the Pac‑12 Conference and everybody here at Key Arena because we haven't really found a great home, and I thought this was a good start to the tournament, even though all the kids had Cougar signs.テつ We're going to work on that for next year.

Q.テつ Coach, in that first half, both teams kind of struggled to score.テつ But did you feel fortunate to be up after those 20 minutes?
COACH THORNE:テつ Incredibly fortunate.テつ Yes, obviously we were in major foul trouble, so I thought our bench held down the fort pretty well, because they played a lot of minutes in the first half.テつ We got great looks.テつ I mean, we were getting shots in the paint, so that's what we were talking about.テつ In the second half we settled down and finished and got Sophie back, which helped a lot.
So the foul trouble really hurt us.テつ Also, Washington State, they do a great job of turning people over.テつ We haven't played them in a long time.テつ We weren't really sure who we were going to play, and I thought we adjusted well in the second half not getting turned over.

Q.テつ Charli, given that you guys haven't gotten settled at this tournament in Seattle the last couple of years, what conversations did you have leading into here about what you wanted to do and what your mindset was going to be as a team?
COACH THORNE:テつ Well, I think I don't know that we talked a lot about hey, gee ‑‑ I mean, there wasn't much that needed to be said, really.テつ I think this team is obviously more consistent and more mature and had the most success of any team we've brought to Seattle.テつ So we absolutely expected to come in here and play some really good basketball.
But we just don't save anything.テつ Don't save anything.テつ At halftime we just talked about that; we're not playing hard enough.テつ So I thought we still were a little tight, I thought in the first half.テつ Then we did relax.テつ One of the things we talked about is the first game is the hardest.テつ I asked them last night who has the advantage, Washington State because they've already played a game or us because we're fresh?テつ And we just talked about that getting that first game under your belt, I feel it's the same way in the NCAA Tournament, it's almost sometimes the hardest game.テつ Then you kind of get okay, got that over with, and I feel like you can relax a little bit more.テつ At least that's been my experience in 26 years or whatever.
So it feels good to get the first game under our belt.テつ I think we're relaxed and play two halves of basketball.

Q.テつ Kelsey, I wonder if you could talk about, you guys obviously weren't as involved in the offense in the first half.テつ Changed dramatically in the second half, but for what reasons?
KELSEY MOOS:テつ I think we weren't wanting the ball enough in the first half.テつ We knew that we needed to get the ball into the post from the top.テつ And the post just wasn't wanting the ball.テつ So we talked about that at halftime and came out and wanted the ball and the guards got us the ball.
SOPHIE BRUNNER:テつ Well, in the first half considering I was in so much foul trouble, I wasn't aggressive and I was just going soft.テつ That was on me, too.テつ The guards, we weren't helping them, and we just weren't playing successful in the first half.テつ In the second half we worked well together and ran the floor and got easy looks.
COACH THORNE:テつ Well, Sophie only played four minutes in the first half, so.

Q.テつ Kelsey, somewhat of a hometown team.テつ Talk about the physical play inside.テつ There was one time I think Dornstauder got tied up with Louise Brown.テつ But talk about it physically inside.
KELSEY MOOS:テつ We have a pretty good rivalry with Washington State.テつ So we knew coming into this it was going to be a really physical game.テつ So we just knew that we if we got the ball inside, we'd have to chin it because they're pretty scrappy in trying to take it from us.テつ So we knew it was going to be physical coming into it.テつ I thought we did a much better job in the second half adjusting to that and playing strong.

Q.テつ You guys have a chance possibly tomorrow to face Stanford for the third time this season, and it was the first time in 30 years that you guys were able to sweep that series.テつ How are you guys going to prepare to possibly face them again?
COACHテつ THORNE:テつ Great question.テつ If Stanford does win it in their game which, of course, they're favored to.テつ It's really hard to beat a team three times, especially a team that's as good as Stanford in that tradition.テつ But at least we've played them twice.テつ We played them recently.テつ Unlike Washington State, I think we have the familiarity and we kind of know what we need to do to win.テつ The second game we didn't play well.テつ We were fortunate to win that game.テつ There are things we can do better.テつ It's going to be a great opportunity for us to play a great team on a neutral floor and play better basketball.

Q.テつ Promise and Charli, could you talk about Promise's defensive play and what you had planned in terms of facing Galdeira?
COACH THORNE:テつ The plan was to Promise shut her down.テつ No, Promise, it's such an incredible blessing for our team to have someone like Promise.テつ Whatever the match‑up was, if there's a perimeter player, a 20‑point a game player, a dominant player, we have Promise.テつ We try to help and we play great team defense, but Promise just does an amazing job of making them work for every touch, making them work for anything and everything that they do.テつ You know, the only thing that hurt us a little bit on that was a few fouls early, but we have not had a game this year when we needed Promise to step up and shut somebody down that she hasn't done it.テつ So that's an incredible, incredible accomplishment to date.

Q.テつ Obviously Lia did have a huge game yesterday and has had a really good season.テつ What challenges does she pose for you and how do you feel you handled her?
PROMISE AMUKAMARA:テつ I think yesterday when they played, they didn't really guard her.テつ They left her open a lot.テつ So I knew today I had to deny her the ball, make her feel uncomfortable on every catch, and my teammates had my back if I got beat when she tried to take me to the basket.テつ So it wasn't one‑on‑one.テつ It was like one against five.

Q.テつ (No microphone).
PROMISE AMUKAMARA:テつ I think Charli said I wasn't playing hard.
COACH THORNE:テつ No, I said you need to step up and deny her the ball.
PROMISE AMUKAMARA:テつ I don't know.
COACH THORNE:テつ Because the standard for Promise is so high.テつ So if there are like two touches and they're easy, then.
PROMISE AMUKAMARA:テつ I get yelled at.
COACH THORNE:テつ We talk.テつ And then, yeah, she had a steal, scored and I don't think Galdeira touched the ball for like three minutes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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