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March 4, 2016

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke

Seattle, Washington

Oregon State - 63, USC - 53

THE MODERATOR: We will get started here. We've got USC with head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Sadie Edwards and Temi Fagbenle. We'll have Coach make a statement and then questions.

CYNTHIA COOPER-DYKE: Great game. I thought it was a great game. We competed for 40 minutes with Oregon State. But hat's off to Oregon State. They came out, they executed in a hot court. They handled our pressure, and then they shot the ball extremely well tonight. I thought we had a few opportunities in the game to tie it up and really make a game out of it, but they stepped up to the challenge and were able to knock down some huge, huge shots down the stretch.

Q. Obviously Oregon State's big three players did a lot of damage tonight. You have a plan for that and you know they're going to want to play well. But was it something about defending any of the three of those that was giving you that particular trouble?
CYNTHIA COOPER-DYKE: Well, defending any of the three of those was giving us particularly a lot of trouble. You know, when you talk about Weisner and Wiese and Hamblin, you pick your poison. So you try to get them to shoot contested three-point shots and then they knock them down. Or you play aggressive and they penetrate and not only do they have the ability to finish around the basket, but also get rid of the ball in the paint and it's tough to stop Ruth underneath the basket. She's pretty tough. So, yeah, the game plan was to first, we were showing over on the pick on balls. We weren't having a lot of success so we changed to going underneath. But then they stepped back behind a couple of the picks and knocked down some three-pointers. You know, we didn't have a lot of success with our defensive rotation. We probably could have done a better job there. But for the most part, I thought for 40 minutes against a great team like Oregon State, I thought we competed extremely well. They made a run, we made a run, and so I'm very proud of our team and how we competed for 40 minutes. We never gave up. We just never let it -- we never let them take full control of the game.

Q. It seems like all night you kept clawing back in within five or six, but what do you think kept you from getting back over that hump and tying it up?
CYNTHIA COOPER-DYKE: I think execution. I think offensive execution we struggled a little bit. You always struggle with Hamblin inside, and her size creates issues. And Oregon State sagged a lot, which we weren't able to get Temi and Kris the ball on the block because they literally packed it inside. So we had to look for other opportunities to score. But like I said, we never gave up and we always looked for different options and different ways to achieve the same goal, which was to score, to move ahead. But I thought defensively, especially in the third and fourth quarter, we did a much better job with limiting Oregon State touches, certain player's touches, and we really fought hard to contest shots, rebound and then get out on the fast break.

I mean, we held them to nine points in the fourth quarter. I'm sorry, 12 points in the fourth quarter. With the fire power and, literally, they hit a couple huge shots in the fourth quarter that really kind of put it out of reach for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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