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March 7, 2015

Promise Amukamara

Sophie Brunner

Charli Turner Thorne


Stanford – 59
Arizona State – 56

THE MODERATOR:  Coach Charli Turner Thorne, Sophie Brunner, and Promise Amukamara.  Coach, I'll have you make an opening statement.
COACH THORNE:  Yeah, I mean, I'm just really proud of our team.  Obviously we were having kind of a tough day offensively shooting a really low percentage, and we worked hard, got to the free‑throw line.  Hard to beat a team of Stanford's caliber shooting 31%.
But we still fought back, gave ourselves a chance to win, and just kind of heartbreaking.  I mean, we really had our eyes set on winning the Pac‑12 Championship this year, and we have fallen short for the second time just a little bit, but credit Stanford.  They're obviously a very good team with a lot of postseason experience.  There are a lot of good things we'll take from this game heading into the NCAAs, that I know we're going to be that much better for it.  We haven't lost a lot this year, so some good learning opportunities.

Q.  This is the third time you've played them; you won the first two.  What did you think was the difference in this game the third time, and what was different about this game the third time?
PROMISE AMUKAMARA:  Like Charli said, Stanford's a great team.  I think shooting the ball, like Charli said, we're only shooting 31%, and our defense really wasn't there.  I know personally I was hitting a lot of screens on defense.  I've got to get better at defending on‑ball screens.

Q.  Coach, what was the conversation before that missed free throw from Johnson that ended up being rebounded by Stanford?  What was the conversation before that and what happened during that conversation?
COACH THORNE:  Well, I mean, we called a play.  Obviously, things like that you see every day in basketball season where you have your hands down, you have a soft box‑out, and the ball bounces right to the other player.  We just didn't get our box‑out.  We didn't have our hands up to go grab the ball.  We knew‑‑ I mean, we know games are won and lost by rebounds and rebounds on the free throws.  So tough pill to swallow for us on that one.

Q.  For any of the players, Promise or Sophie, when you're down double digits, the clock is running down, what did you have to do to get back into the game?  How would you assess that?
SOPHIE BRUNNER:  I just think we knew we had to go at that moment.  We couldn't keep waiting and waiting to get the lead back.  So we just started chipping away slowly but surely, and we gave ourselves a chance at the end, but we just couldn't finish.
COACH THORNE:  We called a timeout at 7:30 or so, and we were down by 13.  Basically told them, like, you better decide if you want to win this game or you're going to get blown out, and they decided.  I think from that point on, if you look at it, we had a huge run.  We came back, and we even took the lead.  So that's just such toughness and resiliency for this team.
You know, we haven't been in that situation a lot, and again, I'm just really proud of the day when we were really off and they were really on, how we fought back and gave ourselves a chance to win.  You can only put so much pressure on our defense.

Q.  Along that line, did you feel like both teams were‑‑ I mean it seemed for a while there was a lot of tough defense being played.  They were defending you well.  You guys defended well.  It was really a back‑and‑forth from a defensive standpoint.  Is that what you saw as well?
COACH THORNE:  Yeah, that was a little like our second game too where both of us were really taking away each other's strengths pretty well.  Yeah, that's in‑season basketball.  You're not going to score 20 points in transition.  It's going to be half‑court execution, great defense and rebounding, and obviously we're down to that last possession and we just fell a little bit short.

Q.  I would imagine most coaches would love to be in a situation in the last minute of the game where only one team fouled.  Just talk about that a little bit whether you've been in a situation like that before.
COACH THORNE:  Yeah, I actually liked it because I thought it gave us a lot of opportunities to get a steal, and we finally did.  Honestly, at that point I really thought we were going to win the game, and so did our team.  We just got a little too deep.  Obviously they came over and made a great defensive play at the end, so, again, credit Stanford.  We just kept saying, get the steal, get the steal, and we eventually did.
So, again, I thought just a great job of our team of staying with things and giving ourselves a chance to win the game.  And that's something we pride ourselves on, playing great position defense without fouling.  We were very disappointed in yesterday's game.  We had four starters with two fouls in the first half.  Just we had to adjust, and we did today, which I thought was great.  We did the same thing the last time we played Stanford.  We didn't give them any free throws.  I mean, even at the end it's because we had to.  So I thought that was a highlight, definitely, of our defensive performance today.

Q.  I saw the official talk to you about that one out‑of‑bounds thing that they reviewed for so long.  What did he tell you?
COACH THORNE:  They just said that they all agreed it was off of us.  You know what?  I thought it was too, it was just what happened before that that I had a problem with.  I mean, it was a physical game, whatever.  But, yeah, yeah.  They just said they reviewed it.  They all thought it was.  Yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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