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BIG TEN CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 6, 2015


Shae Kelley

Marlene Stollings

Carlie Wagner

Amanda Zahui B.


HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILLINOIS

Ohio State テや 83
Minnesota - 71


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Minnesota head coach Marlene Stollings and student‑athletes Shae Kelley, Amanda Zahui B. and Carlie Wagner.テつ Coach, an opening statement.
COACH STOLLINGS:テつ I would like to give credit right away to Ohio State.テつ I thought that they played and executed a very good game plan.テつ And I thought they followed their leader, the co‑player of the year, Kelly Mitchell.テつ I thought that she was outstanding tonight.テつ And credit to her and their team for just a very solid tournament performance.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Amanda, can you just talk about this Big Ten Tournament experience for this team and hopefully if you make it in the tournament, what it will do moving forward?
AMANDA ZAHUI B.:テつ I think we fought a lot and we fought hard.テつ And moving forward, we need to play harder and tougher, take with us what we did wrong and build on that and take what we did right and good and build on that.

Q.テつ Amanda, your teammates had a lot of trouble getting the ball inside to you in the first half.テつ What was Ohio State doing that was making it so challenging?
AMANDA ZAHUI B.:テつ I just have to catch the balls and work harder to get a better position.テつ We had some great looks.テつ And it's not so much what Ohio State did, it's more ourselves.
And we've got to grow and become better at passing but also catching balls and getting better position.

Q.テつ Carlie, you faced one of the Big Ten co‑players of the year in Kelsey Mitchell.テつ What kind of challenges does she present on the court?
CARLIE WAGNER:テつ Kelsey has a lot of strengths on the court, obviously.テつ She can hit the 3 off the dribble or the catch.テつ And she's really good at driving down into the paint and dishing off when she's not open and stuff.テつ She's just a really hard player to guard but I thought we could have done a better job keeping her in check and stuff, but she's a really good player.

Q.テつ Shae, you haven't been in the Big Ten Tournament before, in the NCAA Tournament either.テつ Can you talk about what this postseason experience for you would be like with this team moving forward?
SHAE KELLEY: テつI just think that every opportunity that we get we just got to take advantage of it, going into this tournament.テつ We were confident.テつ We came out, played a good first game.テつ I think the second game kind of just slipped away from us a little bit defensively.テつ But just going forward, into the NCAA Tournament, we just gotta come out with that hunger to win.テつ And I think that's what we'll be focusing on these next two weeks.テつ I believe in my team and they believe in me.テつ I think we'll be fine going forward.

Q.テつ Shae, there was point there in the first half after Carlie hit the 3, you were up 15 to 14, and then you guys got really cold and you cleared a lot of turnovers.テつ What happened to the team during that point in the game?
SHAE KELLEY:テつ You're going to make mistakes throughout a game.テつ You're going to have some slumps.テつ The other team is going to go on runs and you're going to turn the ball over.
But I think our energy just defensively was the main thing.テつ We just had to pick that up.テつ We did end up picking it up but we have to pick it up earlier.テつ We're not so much worried about the turnovers.テつ Those are going to happen in any game.テつ It's just that energy on defense to force them to turn the ball over also.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Coach.

Q.テつ Coach, first matchup against Ohio State, you outrebounded them by 20 but it was more even tonight.テつ What adjustments did you see on the glass from Ohio State?
COACH STOLLINGS:テつ Well, I think a lot of their younger players have gotten a lot better.テつ I think they've developed more physicality.テつ And we saw a lot different team in terms of their physicality than we did when we played in Columbus.テつ So credit to them for that.
For our young ladies, I think that we're still working through what it means to play on this stage and to handle the increased intensity and physicality that comes with this time of year.

Q.テつ What did you learn from some players that haven't played with this team in the postseason environment ‑‑ Shae Kelley, Carlie ‑‑ that might help moving forward here?
COACH STOLLINGS:テつ Well, I thought Shae was outstanding, both games.テつ I thought she really played like a fifth‑year senior and someone who is hungry continuing playing as long as she can here in March.テつ We're very pleased with her performance.
I think for Carlie, a little bit of an off night for her last night but she comes back tonight and is pretty solid in terms of scoring.テつ But how she gets her shot off as well as bringing additional, something else to the table in her defensive play and rebounding is something that we're going to try to get her to step up here before the NCAA Tournament.

Q.テつ How secure or insecure, as the case may be, are you feeling about your chances to get that NCAA bid at this point?
COACH STOLLINGS:テつ We feel very secure in getting an NCAA bid.テつ You never really know until selection Monday.テつ And we realized that.テつ But we feel that our tournament resumテδゥ is extremely solid with the 23 wins, where our RPI is.テつ We think we're certainly a tournament team.

Q.テつ Given the fact that you guys have had some very inconsistent performances lately, what do you need to clean up the most before you move on to further postseason play?
COACH STOLLINGS:テつ I think the obvious one is that we have to defend better the entire game.テつ We're doing a good job in spurts.テつ But consistently for a 40‑minute period we've not been solid.テつ The scoring piece is going to come and go some.テつ And if we're 70 and up this time of year, we're okay with that offensively.テつ But defensively we cannot be giving up 80‑plus points in March and really expect to have great success.

Q.テつ I know Mikayla got hit in the head early there.テつ She came back from that.テつ Your team doesn't have very much depth.テつ So obviously at first a little concern.テつ How big was it for her to come back and just finish the game?
COACH STOLLINGS:テつ I think it shows her toughness.テつ She's one of the toughest kids out there.テつ She's just going to play with great heart and high energy and intensity, I think, is what we rely on from Mikayla, and I think her being able to take such a hit and be able to come back just speaks to her toughness.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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