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March 22, 2015

Elisha Davis

Charli Turner Thorne


CHARLI TURNER THORNE:  Well, we're definitely excited to be back for Game 2.  We've had some time to break down the film as well as‑‑ as much as we never expect a game to be, the point spread to be quite that big, there's a lot of things that we've looked at that we can do better, so we're excited about that because obviously Ohio is a very good team.  We've had a chance to look at Little Rock.  We've pretty much prepared for both.  We knew that they were an exceptional team and we thought that game could go either way as good as Texas A&M is.  Ultimately we think it's about us, and we think we can rebound better, we think we can take care of the ball better, can play better position defense without fouling.

Q.  Girls, Coach mentioned last night about UALR, their motion offense.  How often have you seen a true motion offense where that's what a team does all the time and what are the challenges of playing a team that does that?
ELISHA DAVIS:  Well, Ohio ran a motion offense, so that's what we've prepared for, so it's helped us a lot.  We played a lot of teams in the preseason like Villanova that had a lot of motion offense, as well.  So we played against it.  The challenges with motion would be just us mostly be us talking on defense about switching screens, making sure we jump to the ball and just make sure everybody is guarding and stay between them and the basket.  I'd say that's the biggest challenge.
KELSEY MOOS:  Yeah, in PAC‑12, Utah did a lot of motion offense, too.  We've played against it fairly recently, too, so we just need to play our team defense, talking, listen to each other, and just play great defense without fouling.
SOPHIE BRUNNER:  I think the biggest key is just to know your scout because at any given time you could be on anyone.  So I think to key off what they said is knowing everyone's tendencies and what they want to do and being ready to switch out on people.

Q.  Elisha, how are you approaching this mentally, especially this being the second year and the second round for you, a little bit different now that you guys are hosting?  How are you mentally preparing for this?
ELISHA DAVIS:  I'm mentally preparing by just knowing that I need to do whatever my coaches and teammates ask of me, so if I need to stop the ball better, if I need to push the ball harder, I need to do better with my decision making, if I just need to make sure that I'm being that leader on the court, that coach on the floor for Coach Charli and our coaching staff, I think that's what's needed of me mentally.  Also just staying poised because at this time there's a lot of emotions flowing into these games, and I know that my teammates look to me and I'm kind of like the spark plug of the team, so if I'm down, they're down, if I'm up, they're up, so being that leader that Coach Charli needs me to be is how I'm approaching this game.

Q.  Coach, could you talk about the luxury of being able to host these first two games and just having that home‑court advantage?
CHARLI TURNER THORNE:  Yeah.  I mean, obviously to earn the right to be able to host is a true advantage.  We have our fans, we haven't had to travel‑‑ with this team we actually are really good on the road, and we can kind of lock them down.  You know, I will say there are two sides of that.  When you're home and you're not away from the distractions of your home area.  But I think it's more of an advantage than anything, certainly just being able to have our Sun Devil Nation here to cheer us on, and again, I can't thank our administration and the PAC‑12 office enough for making that possible because it wasn't going to be.  But yeah, we take a lot of pride in playing at home.  We lost a couple games at home this year, and we don't usually lose more than a couple, and our team took it really hard.  So it's not just the NCAA Tournament, but it kind of promises a second senior day, if you will, too.  You have your last home game and you celebrate and everything, and obviously we had hoped to be back, and now this truly will be her last game in Wells Fargo Arena, so a little added significance with that, I guess.

Q.  You mentioned their motion, UALR's motion last night.  After watching film, how is it different from some of the teams you've seen this year, or is it at all, and what are the biggest complications with guarding them?
CHARLI TURNER THORNE:  Yeah, it's different.  It's definitely different from Ohio, it's different from Utah.  There's some similarities.  I think some of it is kind of based on the personnel.  To me they're probably‑‑ they're the best motion team we will have played all year long from what I've seen.  Some of that is their personnel.  They just have some really good players that at any time can just take you one‑on‑one and create their own shot and do some really nice things with the basketball.  They find each other well.  They know each other.  So they're not reliant on, okay, we have to get open off these screens for each other.  They can get out of their motion and score in multiple ways.
But they execute it well, and they read off of screens very well.  You know, Villanova, the difference between Villanova is they bounce the ball for 20 seconds at half court and then they get into their offense and it's a lot slower‑paced game, and they did execute well.  But I think from what I've seen, they might be the best certainly that we're going to have played against.

Q.  Yesterday you mentioned Promise would be keying in on Taylor Gault.  What would be different on her as opposed to some of the other great guards from the PAC‑12 that you'd be looking at for her?
CHARLI TURNER THORNE:  That's a great question, and I don't know who I would compare her to.  She's a little different than‑‑ I mean, she's a little bit like a Kelsey Plumb, I guess, but probably more athletic.  The fact that she can just raise up above you and hit a pull‑up shot consistently is a really impressive thing that not a lot of players can do.  It's not like, oh, just take away her three or take away her to‑the‑rim game.  Promise and I have been watching a little bit of film and talking about that.  She's a great player so I don't think we're going to completely shut her down, we'll just try to limit her.  It won't be just Promise, it'll be an entire effort keying in on her.  But it's not just her, either.  They've got other players that have stepped up in games and scored well for them, too, and that's why they've won 29 games.  They're a very balanced team.

Q.  Last night you mentioned, too, with UALR just about their level of confidence from them.  Where do you see that most, either from watching a little bit of the game last night or watching film?  Where does that stick out most, I guess?
CHARLI TURNER THORNE:  Well, I think they get it from winning 29 games, and so it just kind of oozes out of them, I guess, because they don't‑‑ they just don't let things bother them.  I think you can see it in their body language, how they respond to a call that maybe didn't go their way or just maybe a team goes on a little bit of a run.  You just see them just keep playing and staying with things like we talked about yesterday.  I think that's the biggest thing.

Q.  It seems like this is a special group.  You've got the experience, the talent, all of it coming together.  How do you keep the focus maintained with this group, especially when you guys have lofty goals of making the Elite 8 and then even more than that?
CHARLI TURNER THORNE:  Well, we're just taking Arkansas‑Little Rock right now, and honestly we don't really talk about those things.  We don't talk about Elite 8 or beyond or even Sweet 16.  We really just survive and advance.  One of the things that I told our team the other day, it was kind of fun that we didn't play the first round and they had seen a couple days of the men's tournament, the women's tournament, all the little details that teams, it costs them.  I just said to them, I don't know this for a fact, but I would hazard to guess that a lot of these teams that were supposed to win, it wasn't that they weren't the better team, they didn't focus on the right things.  There's so much hoopla around March Madness and this tournament and so many distractions and a lot times I think teams just don't lock in to winning and on the process.  That's the biggest thing that we're focusing on, and we're just kind of trying to keep in here, and I know that we have to play better than we did last night or yesterday to win Monday, and they know it, too.
I think shooting, we can shoot the same.  We shot it pretty well, but every other aspect of our game, we weren't really satisfied with.

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