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NCAA WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR


April 5, 2015


Lexie Brown

Brenda Frese

Laurin Mincy

Brene Moseley


TAMPA, FLORIDA

UConn -  81
Maryland - 58


THE MODERATOR:¬† Joining us on the dais is Maryland head coach Brenda Frese, student‑athletes Lexie Brown, Brene Moseley, and Laurin Mincy.
COACH FRESE:¬† I'm proud of our fight, and like I told the team in the locker room, when you look at a season and go 34‑3 and you look at two of our three losses are coming from teams that are playing for the National Championship game, that's a heck of a season.
And obviously the score doesn't indicate in terms of the fight, and we've got to be able to do a better job of closing the gap, but I thought we did a tremendous job in the first half trying to put some things together, especially in the adversity of the calls made.  We just kept fighting and we kept battling.
And I thought the runs in the second half obviously hurt us and were really tough.
But couldn't be more proud obviously of Laurin Mincy and the legacy she's left, for her to give everything to this young team, and I know this experience and continuing to play UConn and playing Notre Dame will continue to make us better.
THE MODERATOR:¬† Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Lexie, in the past, when other teams have gotten runs on you, you've been able to come back.  What was the difference today not being able to respond in the second half?
LEXIE BROWN:  I'm not really sure.  I just think we continued to get deflated as they went on their runs.  And the thing about UConn, it's not one person contributing to that run.  Seeings how our team, we would try to key in on one person and then somebody else would score and we'd try to key on that person and the next person would score.  They do a great job of sharing the ball.

Q.  Laurin, what are your emotions right now, and how difficult going out the way you did this game?
LAURIN MINCY:  It's really disappointing.  Obviously we wanted to come in here and shock the world and get this win.  But I'm proud of how my team competed this game and all season and I can't wait to see what's ahead for them.

Q.  Lexie, Coach was talking about Laurin's legacy.  To you, what does that mean?
LEXIE BROWN:  I just see her as a player who is extremely resilient and a great leader.  She had a lot of adversity during her career here.  A lot of people could have rolled over and said:  You know what?  My knees, I'm not going to be the player I used to be.
But Mincy, she worked extremely hard to get back this season, to see her back to who she was before her knee injuries and see how hard she worked and pushed us every day.  I think that's the legacy she's going to leave with us.

Q.  Looking back on your career, what are you going to be most proud of?
LAURIN MINCY:  Just the family I made here.  These are my little sisters.  And whenever they need anything, they can call me.  So it's a family atmosphere, all the support from the coaches I've had over the years.

Q.  Brene, late in the second half you guys started driving the lane and drawing some fouls.  But in the early part of the game you seemed a little hesitant to attack Connecticut that way.  What was going on that was different late in the game or was it just your mindset?
BRENE MOSELEY:  I think our mindset changed.  I think we just wanted to be able to attack in whatever they were giving us.  They were playing pretty well.  We wanted to be able to get inside.  We were doing pretty well, so we wanted to go inside.  That's basically where our mindset was on that.

Q.  Brene, you played with Laurin longer than anyone.  What has she meant to you and what has she meant to the program?
BRENE MOSELEY:  I'm speechless when I talk about Laurin.  Everything she's contributed along the years.  When she first started, I was right beside her.  And we created a bond then.  So tonight was tough just because it's the last game with her, so it hurts my heart.  But I know she's going to go on to bigger and better things and we're going to continue keep doing what we're doing here at Maryland.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Coach Frese.

Q.  Brenda, at what point did you know that it didn't look good for you tonight?  And what led you to think that?
COACH FRESE:  Maybe after the first two foul calls on Brionna Jones.  No, I mean, seriously, I thought it was the second half.  They came out, and their aggressiveness defensively, they were really physical.  Obviously they really clamped us down from the field and we were having a difficult time being able to score.

Q.  Nice season for you guys.  I'd like to talk a little bit about how tough it was because you shut one person down, someone else steps up.  Morgan Tucker, obviously a good player, but you were doing a good job on KML, and she steps up.  How tough were they to play against defensively?  Because they have so many weapons you can't just shut one down.
COACH FRESE:¬† Obviously Tuck was a big‑time X factor for them tonight.¬† You look at the stat line of Kaleena and she hits 13 but she gets seven assists and goes into facilitator and they get everybody else going.
So, it is‑‑ obviously you've got to be able to have five that can match them on both ends of the floor, both defensively as well as offensively.

Q.  I just wanted to get back to Morgan.  It's tough enough to prepare for UConn.  Did Morgan give them something that you might not have expected, how do you prepare for her?
COACH FRESE:¬† I mean, I was just thinking she was one of their 3s that wasn't an All‑American, right, had an All‑American night.
It is.  Obviously we planned, obviously, in terms of their ability to be able to score.  But she's such a difficult matchup.  She took us inside.  She took us out.  She was able to score.  She recognized when Brea was in foul trouble.  She drove her.  Showed a really high IQ.

Q.  You had said yesterday that you thought it would be really good for the game for you guys to beat them.  I guess I'm wondering why that is and whether you think it's bad for the game if this is the same title and game from last year?
COACH FRESE:¬† Obviously to be able to grow our game we have to start having parity.¬† And I honestly‑‑ you look at the men's side and you can't predict from year in, year out.
And I think that brings a level of excitement.  Brings a level of enthusiasm.  We're getting there.  When I look at players out there that are kind of starting to go to a lot of programs, just like our kids, A'ja Wilson going to South Carolina, starting to have that type of depth in our talent pool.
When you look at our game in the NCAA Tournament and you look at Dayton getting as far as they did, you're starting to see some parity that our game desperately needs.

Q.  When you reflect on Laurin's career, what has she meant to you and what has she meant to the program?
COACH FRESE:  Gosh, I couldn't be more proud of Laurin.  When you talk about to watch her this season grow into what she became for us, a leader by example, a leader vocally, but you look at the fact that she's a fighter.  I mean, I thought all the adversity that she went through in her five years, to be able to lead this team to new heights, to a season that nobody expected is something that I'm going to cherish forever in terms of her legacy.

Q.  Was it difficult to see her finish her career that way today?  And she didn't play a lot in the second half.  Was it a difficult decision for you not to play her much in the second half?
COACH FRESE:  It was a tough night.  She was very anxious.  I thought nerves got the best of her.  When you look at six turnovers by Laurin Mincy, that's not a stat line that you see this season.
So it was, it was tough.  I mean, because I could feel where she was in the game and it was hurting the team but she's carried the team throughout this entire season.
So a tough night for her but at the same time the growth for our team is we have to be able to carry on without her now as she graduates.

Q.  Two straight Final Fours but having not quite reached the National Championship, what do you need to take the next step and get back there?
COACH FRESE:¬† The next progression, it's where obviously Notre Dame has gotten themselves to and it's the next step for us.¬† Obviously the consistency factor for us was key in terms of being able to get back‑to‑back, but there's that one more percent in terms of where we need to go.
But I'm excited when you talk about our future and graduating one senior, to be able to have the sophomore class come back, I'm really, really excited about this future.

Q.  Maryland had one of the best seasons in school history.  Yet UConn wins pretty handily.  Does Notre Dame stand a chance in the championship game, and if so what do they have to do in order to win?
COACH FRESE:  I'm trying to remember that first game with Notre Dame, if Turner played.  So obviously I think that's a different element.
But I think when you talk about the National Championship game, both teams are going to be ready to compete and two phenomenal coaches that are going to be ready to play.  I think it will be a really competitive game.

Q.  It's one thing, when you're looking at parity, you're 1 seed for a reason.  But UConn consistently beats the best teams in the country by substantial margins.  What is it about them that makes them that just more better players than everybody gets or what?
COACH FRESE:  It's a blend of everything.  Obviously Geno is the best of the best.  He's a phenomenal coach.  I think as you talk about our talent pool, you know, I liken it to Kentucky men except for the fact that UConn's able to get every year a top 10 player, they don't lose them to the pros.
When you're able to build that kind of roster and add the coaching and with what you're doing, to insert that into your lineup every year, it's huge, when you're able to build a roster like that.
So our game is coming.  There isn't that depth of the talent pool yet to be able to kind of spread that amongst the different programs.  But it's definitely coming.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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