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March 6, 2015

Sara Hammond

Jeff Walz


Louisville テや 77
North Carolina - 75, OT

JEFF WALZ:テつ I'll keep it brief.テつ Our kids are tired and need to get back and get a good night's sleep.テつ Just a very intense basketball game, no question about it.テつ I think everybody saw how physical of a game it was.テつ You know, Carolina is a great basketball team, very well‑coached.テつ Those kids were going to continue to fight, also.テつ Unbelievable shot Cherry makes there at the end of regulation to send it to overtime.テつ But got to give credit to our kids for stepping up and knocking down free throws there.テつ Hammond had some big ones at crunch time for us.
We're just very fortunate to have the opportunity to continue on.テつ Want to wish Carolina the best of luck in the NCAA Tournament because they're a handful.テつ They're very, very, very talented.テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ What was your approach defensively against Mavunga after she had such a big game last night?
JEFF WALZ: テつWell, we just tried to make sure we played her on the right shoulder.テつ She has some tendencies that we tried to follow through and defend, but I mean, she's tough.テつ She's really, really good.テつ She missed some shots that were great shots for her that last night she made.テつ So there were a few that we were just fortunate that did not go in, and she's just a relentless worker on the offensive glass.テつ She buried us two or three times and got boards and put‑backs.

Q.テつ Sara, when you step up to take some of those free throws at the end of overtime, what is going through your head?
SARA HAMMOND:テつ Really nothing because if I overthink then I know I'm hurting myself.テつ I kind of go up there with confidence, especially being a senior and being in the post tournament in those situations you've just got to step up and make free throws.テつ My teammates gave me confidence.テつ Every time I stepped up, they said, it's going in, it's going in.テつ Just their trust and confidence in me knocking those down, that's all I needed to put them in the basket.

Q.テつ How much of an emotional roller coaster was tonight's game?テつ How did you keep your emotions in check?
SARA HAMMOND:テつ I just had an adrenaline rush the whole time.テつ Our coaches have been throughout this whole season just pushing our seniors to mentally keep our team in it, and I think that's what I tried to do was just when they made a run, just keep our heads, let's continue to execute on offense and defense, don't get ahead of ourselves, and just keep everybody emotionally in it, don't get down, don't put your head down because we're in the ballgame, and I think for the most part we did that, and I'm proud of these freshmen, Myisha Hines‑Allen and Mariya Moore because they never experienced something like this in post tournament time.テつ I'm just proud of the effort they had and mentally staying in the game.

Q.テつ When Carolina pushed the lead to 10 there in the second half and you got a time‑out what were you telling your team?
JEFF WALZ:テつ You know, we're not executing at the offensive end or defensive end.テつ We were allowing Carolina to do what they wanted to do.テつ We just talked about getting back to the basics, trying to make sure that we played scouting report defense, played individual player personnel particular ways that we had talked about, and then at the offensive end we actually finally started to execute.テつ We pushed the ball in transition a few times, got some lay‑ups, but actually ran through some things and did a very nice job of that.
You know, at that situation you've got two ways to go, and that's get buried and beat by about 18 or 20 or fight back, and I was really proud of the fight that these young women showed.

Q.テつ With this being the first game that you've ever played in the ACC Tournament, what are some of your thoughts going on with the pressure of the league going forward and just settling in?
JEFF WALZ:テつ Well, it's a great event.テつ I was fortunate enough when I was the assistant coach at Maryland for five years to go through this and be a part of it.テつ I was able to let our kids know what a well‑run tournament it is.テつ It's first class, the environment.テつ It was great.テつ I was really proud of these kids.
When you come in here and you play Carolina, Duke, NC State, Wake, they have a great following that comes out to these events, so you've got to get them prepared that, hey, there's going to be a lot of fans there cheering for them, but I thought our group that came were really loud and did a fantastic job of being supportive of our young women.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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