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March 6, 2016

Carolyn Kieger

Allazia Blockton

Natisha Hiedeman

Chicago, Illinois

Seton Hall - 93, Marquette - 86

CAROLYN KIEGER: First of all, I just want to tip my hat to Seton Hall. They played a fantastic game tonight. Tiffany Jones obviously looks like an All-American. She was great along with they had three people in the 20s tonight, so give all the credit to them.

I love my team. I wouldn't rather have a different group that I'd want to coach than these two ladies sitting next to me. We had some heavy hearts in the locker room. It was tough, but we know that we don't lose a single player, and we talked about the off-season, and we talked about getting back to work. This is a family, and we're going to fix the things we need to improve on, but I couldn't be more proud of the group.

The girls we've had this year in one season has been fantastic, and I credit everything to my staff and my players.

Q. Coach just mentioned you don't lose a player coming back next year. Obviously it's a tough loss and that's what's most fresh on your mind, but with six freshmen and you guys playing big roles, how excited are you to know that you're coming back with all these same girls next season?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: Well, we were just talking about in the locker room that we're not losing a single player, so the only way to go is up, so we're excited to get right back at it and get ready for next year.

ALLAZIA BLOCKTON: I'm ecstatic. It's just crazy. I wish we could snap our fingers and start the next season because it's crazy how good we're going to have. It's just that experience that we're kind of missing this year. And just to have all my family back, I consider them like family, it's just great to see them in the locker room again next year.

Q. Allazia and Natisha, you guys have both seen it throughout this season just grown tremendously so well. How have you been able to create such a great culture, as well, because it really looks like this team played together throughout the season?
ALLAZIA BLOCKTON: Just great because we love playing with each other. Every time we go in the locker room and practice, it's always laughs and smiles. You don't get that rarely with teams, and we just love being around each other. After practice, we hang out, we text, have fun together. It's just great seeing everybody in the locker room and having fun like we all spend all our time together. It's just great being around them, and that's how we've been able to grow through the year to play.

Q. Did that come early?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: Yeah, like she said in the locker room, she'd never seen anything like it. Like the first two weeks, we were already clicking. Everybody is super close. If we're not on the court together, we're out doing stuff together, too, so it's a nice family feel.

Q. Natisha, what do you think the biggest thing is that you and your teammates will work on in the off-season?

Q. Allazia, anything other than that?
ALLAZIA BLOCKTON: Defense. (Laughter).

Q. Coach, there are a few freshmen classes that have made an impact in the Big East Conference than this one has at Marquette. I know you come up short today, Seton Hall's experience obviously mattered a little bit down the stretch, but how much are you just looking forward to working with this group and seeing that they've got the potential to really be a major factor in this league?
CAROLYN KIEGER: I mean, it's very exciting, and that's what we talked about as a team is we wish like Allazia said that we could snap our fingers. Obviously we've got to take some time off to recover and regroup our bodies, but we just can't wait to be back in the gym with them. That's my favorite part is being able to player develop and work on our weaknesses, so I can't wait -- we said as a staff all season long, we can't wait until the off-season when we can get our hands on them and really improve on our skills instead of just team skills. I think individually each player on our team is going to improve drastically, and that's the fun part.

Q. Other than bringing these freshmen in, was there a difference that you yourself noticed just as a coach from year one to year two?
CAROLYN KIEGER: Yeah, this off-season we spent a lot of time on our culture and really creating a family atmosphere, and I give credit to my players, I give credit to my staff because they really bought in and they really love Marquette. They really love what we're doing, and they really are enjoying the process. We're just getting started and we know it's going to be a long road and we know we're not there yet, but the process is part of the fun part, and we're looking forward to earning our success, and that's what we talked about in the locker room is this off-season we really want to keep building our culture and really do it the right way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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