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March 5, 2016

Susan Robinson

Yoyo Nogic

Clara Che

Chicago, Illinois

Providence - 53, Creighton - 70

SUSAN ROBINSON: Thanks, guys, for being here. Appreciate your time and your efforts.

You know, poor start there, just gave up too many points in transition, and kudos to those guys. They really took advantage of us in transition in that first quarter. We settled down and then played some really tough defense in that second quarter, held them to 12 points in the second quarter, and that propelled our offense. We just didn't get enough, and then I think in that third quarter there was just a big momentum shift and we didn't recover from that. They kind of ran away with -- the score ran up a little bit there in terms of 15 points, and we just didn't recover from that.

But I thought we got some really good looks at times. We didn't finish some things, and that also hurt us. Got to give credit to Creighton, and I want to give credit to Evi Iiskola, our senior. Evi is the model of the team and she really has given us her all, and really appreciate her efforts over four years.

Q. Clara, what does it say about you guys' mental toughness that you do go down 15-0 and then at one point were within two of Creighton?
CLARA CHE: I think that we have learned a lot about this system. Our record shows that we haven't won a lot of games, so we are learning, and we know that not always it's going to be easy, and we know that we have to fight. So even we were 15-0, we know there's a lot of games, there are minutes that will be there, so we just try to do our best and fight until the end.

Q. Yoyo, this season didn't go the way that you guys wanted it to, but how much have you learned from all of this and how much can you take heading into next season?
YOYO NOGIC: I learned a lot. As a player and as a person, I learned from the coaching staff that I need a lot of things. Also with Evi, she's our senior, so she taught us a lot of things inside and outside the court, and I mean, just every practice we were just learning every day and getting better.

Q. The three-ball was really good to you the first half and then you really barely got any off in the second. What was the difference out there on the floor for you in terms of your ability to find long-range shots?
YOYO NOGIC: Well, in the first half I think I had three shots, but in the second run I think I didn't shoot any balls from three. They were guarding really high on the court, and they were denying, and at some point I think they were face guarding, so it was hard to get shots, but if they were denying me, some of my teammates are open and they will get the shots.

Q. For the players, when you're out there, obviously Creighton hits you with a big run at the end of the game and the beginning of the game, but during those stretches in the middle when you were having some success, what did you guys do to kind of change the tide, maybe get it back to your favor, get yourselves within two points?
CLARA CHE: It's just like the flow of the game. When you are like feeling good and you are playing good, you know that you can do things. Also the defense helps, so if you are having a very good defense, then the offense flows better.

So I just think that we have very good moments and bad moments happen to the offense, but when we were down, we never got the lead. So we was ready for us to go up, and then when we were beginning by 10 or by 12, we were trying to fight but they were also hot, so it was very difficult to get it back.

YOYO NOGIC: Yeah, what she said. When the defense goes well, the offense will also go well. When we tied the game and they got the run again, we just need to get mentally tougher and able to get better.

Q. When you go through a season like you did, as the freshness of it wears off, you'll look at it and see your record and you might forget the way you played down the stretch. Why were you able to play your best ball towards the end of the season despite how difficult a start you had in conference play?
YOYO NOGIC: There was no reason for us to give up or stop playing. A loss is a reason to just keep working harder and just keep getting better each day. We know we have a lot to learn, and we are a really young team, so next year it will get better and we will be more mature and we will have already had this experience of the college basketball, so I think it will be easier.

CLARA CHE: We also know that we will get better and improve the program. It's not going to be done in a year or something. We know it's a long step, and we have like a long road to improve, and I really think that even our record doesn't show we are improving a lot, and I think that we can do great things in the next years.

Q. Coach, kind of the same question that I just asked the players to you. When you're looking at this team, when you're kind of just thinking about it on your own and you're like, okay, well, we've dropped this many in a row or here's where we sit in conference, it's not looking good, what about this group made them not give up, not kind of let it snowball where you were playing your best ball of the season towards the end?
SUSAN ROBINSON: Yeah, I think definitely we were playing our best ball in the last three, four weeks. That's what you want to do. That's the design of the season. You do want to play your best basketball going into March. As a coach that's kind of always been what I want my teams to do.

You just don't give up. I mean, there's no -- there's not an option to give up. I've never had an option personally, and these kids -- if we do that as coaches, as Dan Durkin always says, if we are down in the doldrums, where are they going to be, and they have to learn from us. And being that we're young, even though Evi is a great leader, she needs help. So we needed to really stay positive and continue to grow because Clara is right, this is not going to happen, and I know it's still been four years, but we had to do a lot of stuff in those three, four years that we've been here.

It's still a growing process and we've got still some youth coming into the program, and the culture has changed, but now we've got to get better at basketball, and we still need to add some recruits to this year's class even. We've got to get more athletic and do something there, and I think these two players will even play better if we can do that.

But giving up is not an option. We don't give ourselves an option, and they needed to focus on just getting better every time they step on the court or in a film session.

Q. Were you impressed with the fact that such a young group, and I know you referenced Evi, that they were able to stay together?
SUSAN ROBINSON: Yeah, I'm really proud of them in this tournament. Of course record-wise, it stinks. Flat-out stinks. But very proud of them because, let's face it, that's an easy thing to do, right, is to give up with our culture the way it is today. That is an easy thing to do.

But you just can't. Where these kids go to school, this conference, it would be very easy for this conference to give up on all the football schools, right, and it did not, and now it's becoming -- I think we're still the sixth RPI or that was the latest. So we've got a bunch of resilient coaches in this conference, some of who have been around for a long time and been through a lot.

Even myself looking at someone like Doug or Harry, he lost Carolyn Coyer and could have said, we're done, and they finished second in the conference. You have that model to look at just within your own peer group, and it's something that we can all learn from.

Q. How is Sarah and was her injury serious?
SUSAN ROBINSON: No, just cramps, so I think she'll be all right. She was playing pretty well when she went out, so that didn't help us any for sure. But she'll be okay.

Q. You talked about getting some recruits. What is your most immediate need in the off-season on the recruiting end, and also what is your most immediate need from a player development standpoint in the off-season?
SUSAN ROBINSON: Yeah, I think just recruiting-wise more athleticism to go with -- we have some players that understand the game better than we've had in the past, but now we need to add more athleticism, particularly on -- this conference is a guard conference. We've talked about that. We need to add particularly more quickness, some more speed on the perimeter. We've got one coming in next year with that speed, but we need to add some more to go with that.

And then I think one of the goals is to be one of the best conditioned teams in this conference. We have a strength coach in the off-season, and then we had a change with that, so Jeremy has been with us really since November. Couldn't really do a time from November until now, once you get in season, so I expect a lot of that to improve in the off-season where he can really do his work here in the postseason and then the summer and then September and October.

So I think that will -- because we've got to get stronger. How many lay-ups did we not finish today or where we're falling out of bounds and we land on the ground. You don't get a call if you're avoiding the contact? So we've got to take care of that, as well.

We've got to look at what the kids did well. They started reading things like offensively a lot better the last month, and that's why our offense improved, but now going forward, we've got to look at, okay, what they did well and then play to our strengths, play to their strengths come next year.

Q. I guess when Creighton went small and put Audrey at the 5, it looked like there was some difficulty identifying her in that position as a player who can stretch the floor and shoot it. How difficult is it when Creighton goes to that small lineup to make sure you're identifying shooters all the time?
SUSAN ROBINSON: Yeah, when you have four or five three-point shooters in the game, it's a difficult period. You really have got to communicate a lot, and they do a lot with their motion offense because it's hard to scout. There's a lot of pattern, and the kids read -- when you switch or make a mistake, they do an excellent job of then adjusting to that and finding the mismatch or slip to the basket or step out for a three. So we helped a couple times when we shouldn't have helped and let her get loose, and then that -- to her credit, she buried it, and so that's something I think she's improved on. She didn't play particularly well the last game we played in. We really held her down, probably in the last two games. But she adjusted, and credit to her that she remained calm and probably stuck to their game plan.

Q. Obviously Sarah hits a pretty big shot towards the end of that third quarter, you guys are still within range. Then she cramps up. How big of a loss was that at that moment because it looked like Creighton kind of stepped on the gas after that point.
SUSAN ROBINSON: Yeah, it's a big loss because I felt -- they have problems matching up to her because of her explosiveness, and if she's got a pull-up going, which she had a couple times, and she made a couple of really good drives all the way to the rim, one to get Rollerson, get another foul on her, I think it was her fourth foul, and then the lay-up that you're talking about that she converted. A lot of times they'll double people in the full court, but with her speed, they have difficulty doing that.

You know, it definitely hurt us. I can't tell you how much. I felt Clara had a nice game today, but you want that speed out there, too.

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