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March 5, 2016

Kurt Godlevske

Blaire Langlois

Chicago, Illinois

Butler - 48, Xavier - 47

KURT GODLEVSKE: We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a tough battle because we've had two terrific games with Xavier, and it was really important for us, number one, to get off to a great start, which we did. I think our kids did a fantastic job in the first half in our zone and covering people and guarding more than one person and anticipating plays, and then secondly defensive rebounding. Even though they had 10 offensive rebounds, I think that's going to happen. But our kids did a wonderful job with that.

And I think the second biggest thing that happen is Blaire was very aggressive with the basketball and attacking the rim and finishing shots, especially when we get Blaire and Sydney going, that's when we have the ability to score points. But more importantly, I was really impressed with our two seniors; Belle playing really on a leg and a half I thought was wonderful, and then our freshman did a really nice job of chipping in.

It's a really good experience. Blaire and I were just talking, it's her and my first Big East Tournament win, and we're pretty excited about it.

Q. Blaire, what exactly was it that was working for you early in this game for you to get such a groove going?
BLAIRE LANGLOIS: Yeah, I think I just kept attacking. We were setting that high-ball screen and they seemed to get stuck on it a lot. I would just keep attacking and either look for a post player or a lot of times I had the lane just to keep attacking, and if not we'd just get onto our offense.

Q. Earlier in the season Aliyah Zantt has been very good against you guys. How did you keep her and Xavier's guards from getting anything going?
BLAIRE LANGLOIS: Well, I think she hit a lot of big shots and we had to really recognize that in the shot clock to find her and Jenna, so it was really focusing on those two. I think the shot clock is really important and crucial to getting a stop.

Q. In the first half especially your zone was really effective. You really forced a lot of erratic passes from Xavier. Could you comment on that?
BLAIRE LANGLOIS: I just think we stayed in the paint and focused on getting -- stopping them inside before outside and they didn't know what to do when we weren't all spread out, and a lot of things they tried to do was high-low and I think that really messed with them not being able to hit it high-low every single time.

Q. Blaire, looking at the starting lineup, I know Belle is listed as an upperclassman but doesn't have a lot of playing experience in terms of basketball. How did you go about preparing this young team for what they should expect in the Big East Tournament?
BLAIRE LANGLOIS: Well, right before the game in the huddle I told them just to have fun. If we're not going to have fun, then it's not worth being here because I haven't won a game in the Big East. We've all got to come out in the tournament -- we've all just got to come out and play loose and we have nothing to lose, really. If we win, it's awesome, and we're really excited about it, so couldn't ask for more.

Q. Take us back to those final possessions where Brittany had missed some free throws and kind of looked like was hanging her head and trying to regroup. What was going on in that moment with your team?
BLAIRE LANGLOIS: Yeah, we were saying nothing but positive things. She has to move on. We told her, nothing matters now except getting a stop. After the game she told me, All I wanted to do is block that shot at the end just to make sure and make up for it, because she really wanted to make up for it, and she did feel down but we weren't going to let her feel down because it's too important to have her to get that defensive stop down there.

Q. Coming into a situation where a team had beaten you guys twice in the regular season, what does that do for you coming in, in terms of trying to turn the page but then also what did you guys really want to do different against them?
BLAIRE LANGLOIS: Well, I was talking to my dad before the game, and he said, The odds are with you guys. I mean, you're bound to win one against them, and we did. I mean, he was really -- I looked at him after the game, and we fist pumped because we were bound to win one against them. I mean, they're our rivals. We come out before the game, it's always heated between the two teams when we match up, so it was awesome.

Q. I covered the game you played here recently against DePaul; you shot the lights out. Today you played well again. Do you just like our gym?
BLAIRE LANGLOIS: Hey, I don't mind it. It's nice. You asked me last time we were here if it's a good shooting gym, and it's not bad.

Q. You had four or five threes in a row.
KURT GODLEVSKE: We like the rims (laughter).

Q. Tell me about the third quarter, you guys overcame adversity by allowing 21 points to Xavier. How were you able to fight on to win it?
BLAIRE LANGLOIS: Yeah, seems to be our kind of downfall as a group is the third quarter. We've just got to hang on and really keep fighting. We've got to keep working on that, obviously. Coming out in the third quarter DePaul, they're going to come out every single quarter, so we can't have one letdown like we did tonight.

Q. I always say with the round-robin in conference play, you get a shot at a team twice, but then obviously this being your third time, coming in what was the one area that you thought you would have to be more effective against Xavier?
KURT GODLEVSKE: It was exactly what Blaire talked about and what we worked on and we're very effective on in the first half of getting out and taking away wings and then immediately taking away short corner. Xavier in the first two meetings did a terrific job of moving the basketball and moving their interior players where they were getting that, and then consequently our guards were having to come way down, and Zantt in those first two games hit big shots against us.

Our wings, Blaire and Belle to start with did such a great job of that that that's really what limited Zantt, and then we had a couple of defensive lapses there with Crittendon, which I didn't think should have happened in the first half, and if we don't have those, maybe the lead at halftime is a little bit bigger because Blaire is right, we are always very cautious about that third quarter. For some reason our kids have always stalled in the third quarter so far this season, and have had poor third quarters.

But one thing that they have done that I would add to what Blaire said is they've been very resilient. We've gone through an awful lot with injuries and not playing with a full roster, and winning 10 games is very difficult on a group of kids, but I've never been around a group that has stayed more positive and really has played very good basketball down the stretch for a very few limited games anyway, and I've been very proud of them for that.

Q. You decided to go big at the end of the game. What went into that decision to put Ward at the 3?
KURT GODLEVSKE: Two things: Defensively I got that substitution in defensively to try to get a big stop there in the stretch, and we wanted to definitely at that point in time play possession by possession, and then the second thing it did is it forced that mismatch with Zantt, and that was our focus to try to go down low then to take advantage of their guards.

Q. What exactly did Xavier do so well in the third quarter?
KURT GODLEVSKE: Well, they ran a set that they have not run in the first two games by up-screening the middle person of our zone as they stretched the bottom wing person out to the corner, and we got a chance to finally talk about it at a time-out and through substitution rotations, and they almost got it again there at the end of the game because Tori fell asleep. But he did a wonderful job of utilizing that.

And then the second thing is they made that run in the third quarter with hitting some threes and then our kids kind of started getting stretched out and maybe weren't rotating as fast, but you've got to give him credit for saving that and then utilizing it in the third quarter.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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