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PACIFIC-12 CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 6, 2015


Brittany Boyd

Lindsay Gottlieb

Reshanda Gray


SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Cal テや 69
Washington テや 53


THE MODERATOR:テつ We've got the Cal Bears, Coach Lindsay Gottlieb, Brittany Boyd, and Reshanda Gray.
COACH GOTTLIEB:テつ I got a lot of text messages last night when I was scouting the Utah‑UW game that I looked tired on TV.テつ I don't feel as tired right now.テつ I'm energized.テつ Really proud of our team for a lot of reasons.テつ March basketball is a different level of basketball, and I thought we raised it up tonight.テつ That was Cal basketball, and our players always define what that is:テつ Toughness, pace, defense, togetherness.
Washington is a tremendous team, especially how they score the basketball.テつ And I told their players going through the line, especially the seniors who have changed that program and Kelsey, they have a lot more games to win in an NCAA Tournament, and that's a credit to them.テつ We're just fortunate that our players came out so tough.
Did a great job on the defensive end and played the way we wanted to play, and we're excited to be moving on.テつ Really, really can't say enough about these two.テつ They're just winners and leaders.テつ I thought Boyd set the tone tonight, and Reshanda's such a beast in the paint.テつ We're just going to take this one, enjoy it for five seconds and work on the next one.

Q.テつ Coach, coming out through the gates, UW goes on a little bit of a run.テつ They come up firing a couple of shots.テつ Media timeout comes and you guys get into your zone.テつ I believe it's a 1‑3‑1.テつ Forced a lot of turnovers.テつ I think you did it at your place as well, went to the 1‑3‑1.テつ What is it about that defense that's allowed you guys to be successful against them?
COACH GOTTLIEB:テつ I think takes advantage of our length in the trap.テつ So Gabby Green, Mikayla Cowling, Courtney Range bring a ton of length.テつ It's hard to see over that when you add Jefflo and Boyd, who are just great pressure defenders.テつ It's a different look for people that I think they're uncomfortable with.
Washington gets in such a rhythm with their man‑to‑man offense, that we wanted to just keep them off kilter a little bit, and I think it was effective for us.
I was really proud of the fact that they came out and hit some shots and we didn't waver.テつ Boyd in particular never tried to do too much.テつ Kept the team steady.テつ Okay, that's their run.テつ Let's chip away.テつ It started with our defense, and that got us going.

Q.テつ You guys are seniors.テつ Does entering this tournament feel different than it has in year's past?
BRITTANY BOYD:テつ I just, I don't think it's different, but I think it's more of a different kind of a mindset.テつ Just basically, you know being fourth, I think that's not something that we're okay with, and I think just the past games, our past games they kind of helped us define who we are.テつ And I think this opportunity right now to play in a Pac‑12 Tournament is giving us an opportunity to show who we really are, we want to win a Pac‑12 Championship, and that's always been our mindset coming in, so, yeah.
RESHANDA GRAY:テつ It feels different because each year we played, we had a different team and different players and different plays and defense, and I look at it as another opportunity.テつ Once the Pac‑12 Conference starts, it doesn't matter about your record; it's win or go home basically.テつ But it's different, because we have a new team.

Q.テつ Lindsay, did you like the way the trap defense can energize you guys or provide an extra boost there?
COACH GOTTLIEB:テつ Definitely.テつ It's a gamble in some ways. テつYou might give up some looks, but I think it kick starts our energy and our emotion.テつ When we can score in transition, I think that's really tough on other teams.テつ So when we turn people over and score, it takes the pressure off us having to execute in the half court, though I thought we did that just fine tonight with four in double figures and a lot of scoring across the board.
But certainly we'd rather play in an up‑and‑down track‑meet pace, and it helps when you're pressing to do that.

Q.テつ Brittany, unless you guys play in the NCAA Tournament, it could be your last matchup going up against Jaz.テつ I know in the last few years you've had a lot of match‑ups.テつ What's it like going through the battles with her like tonight?
BRITTANY BOYD:テつ Jaz is an excellent player.テつ She's really changed the UW program since freshman year just battling against her.テつ I have so much respect for her.テつ I wish her the best of luck in her future.

Q.テつ Lindsay, this may be a simple question, but how do you choose what games you want to use that zone and when do you like to hold it back and keep it in the back pocket?
COACH GOTTLIEB:テつ I don't think that's a silly question at all.テつ Anytime you're game planning, you think about what's in your arsenal and what you do well and how you want to tinker with that compared to another team's skillset.テつ So we're in some kind of pressure‑changing defense pretty much every game, so I think that's good for us.テつ But obviously you have to kind of make tweaks and adjustments off of what you think the other team can handle, off of what happened last time.
But it's a little bit of what's working for us and what we're confident in, and also what we think can really get the other team out of sorts.
But this time of year you want to feel good about what you do and try to do what you do better than what the other team is bringing to the table.

Q.テつ This is a question about Mercedes Jefflo:テつ She had a great start in the first half and had a rough opening in the second half, but she was able to shake it off and play well again.テつ Can you talk about her growth as a player?
BRITTANY BOYD:テつ Yeah, she's grown a lot since freshman year.テつ I think one thing about her is she's willing to get better and she's willing to learn.テつ She wants to be great, and that is something that I really respect about her.テつ You know, like I think also she's always on top of stuff.テつ She knows the play.テつ She just knows her X's and O's pretty well.テつ And I think she's invested into this program, and I think if you're invested in something, then you're going to produce well.テつ And I just think she's stepped up big time for us.
RESHANDA GRAY:テつ To go along with what Brittany was saying, yeah, she's very coachable and she's very invested in the game plan and just all about winning.テつ When she was a freshman, we told her, "You're not a freshman, you have to play like a sophomore."テつ Now she's a sophomore and we tell her she has to play like a junior.テつ She did a really good job accepting her role and stepping up to the plate.

Q.テつ Coach, Colorado has kind of emerged as the dark horse of this tournament and you guys are facing them tomorrow.テつ What do you see as the most dangerous aspect of their game and how do you plan to prepare it?
COACH GOTTLIEB:テつ First thing is the most interesting thing has to be their mentality.テつ I heard Linda when I was still in the locker room on TV.テつ She said they know they're playing for a postseason berth.テつ They're probably not in unless they win this thing.テつ And that can be a very powerful tool, that motivation.テつ They have seniors who don't want it to end, Lexy, and Jen Reese.テつ So that is the first thing we know when we're facing somebody, we always have to surpass their toughness and their desire.テつ So I'll challenge our players to do that.
The other thing is they have a good inside‑out thing going on right now.テつ We had played them the first or second game in conference and haven't seen them since.テつ So Swan has really emerged as a low‑post presence, and then they put shooters around her.テつ Reese really shoots it well for a small forward, and Kresl she was one step over half court letting it fly tonight at the beginning of that game.
So I think that's the balance that they've had in these last two games has been tremendous.テつ You've seen it on film.テつ They've done it in spurts in the regular season, and now it's coming together for them.テつ So we'll have our work cut out for us.

Q.テつ Lindsay, do you guys ever talk about the opportunity of hosting the first two rounds at home and kind of what these games can mean to that?
COACH GOTTLIEB:テつ I sort of try to find the formula of what I need to kind of get our players going.テつ These two in particular, they like the big stage.テつ They like challenges.テつ So there have been times where I've said there is a lot on the line for us, too, to be able to play games at home.テつ Whatever happens with that, we're going to be ready to go.テつ But certainly we want to cut down nets here, and to do that you have to win the first game, which we did tonight.テつ That's all we're thinking about.テつ Next we'll think about Colorado.
I have at times put that out there to them because I think our teams can handle it in terms of understanding what's at stake and going out there and getting it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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