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March 20, 2016

Charli Turner Thorne

Sophie Brunner

Quinn Dornstauder

Elisha Davis

Tempe, Arizona

Tennessee - 75, Arizona State 64

COACH TURNER THORNE: Well, I'd just like to thank everybody from the NCAA selection committee. It's always a super special experience to be part of the tournament and everybody at ASU, because it's a lot of work to host.

We just appreciate our administration and everybody for all their hard work, and putting on a great regional, amazing turnout by our fans, we thank them so much for all their support this year.

Obviously not the result we wanted. Credit Tennessee, I thought they really played very well. Any time we had any kind of miscue or didn't do what we needed to do, they took advantage of it in every which way.

We knew the game was about the boards. They ended up plus six. If we would have been plus six, I think we would have won. We kind of softened our pressure a little bit to keep them in front of us. Though we didn't turn it over quite as much; the rebounding was huge.

I love this team. They have been a blast to coach. They have been amazing. Definitely have not under-achieved. They have had an incredible year and have an amazing spirit, and I've just been so proud of everything they have accomplished. Just really, really going to miss the senior class, too.

Q. Elisha, you want to comment maybe about the season in general, as coach mentioned, she thinks the team did not under achieve.
ELISHA DAVIS: I would say definitely we did not under-achieve. It's just our ability to stay connected and stay with each other and stay together throughout the whole season, all the challenges that we faced, that's the beauty of our team, the key (ph) for any team is team work and I think we did that very well consistently throughout the season. And just learning how to stay positive when everything around you is bothering you or wants to bother you or wants to in some way make you be out of character or react negatively.

So just the challenge made us have to really stick together and be positive, I think that was great. A lot of different accolades as far as individual and team. I think we accomplished a lot. Obviously we want to accomplish more, but you know, some things just didn't happen the way we wanted to. So that's all right.

Everything you have to give -- you have to grind harder and get better or just keep your head up and keep it moving. I would say for this program, without them, I wouldn't be the player, person, student, teammate, believer, truster, that I am today. And I owe that all, a lot, to this woman right here, the coaches, my teammates, any staff, administration, my peers.

It's just a beautiful experience to be here and to finish. We always talk about finishing strong is one of the strong suits of our culture, one of our values, and to be one of the seniors that have done that, to finish strong, I feel really accomplished but also feel really humble and thankful for all the people that helped me get to this moment. So thank you Sun Devil Nation, women's basketball program, and just everybody who supported us that are outside of our arena.

Q. Quinn, same question, basically, overview on the season and how it ended.
QUINN DORNSTAUDER: Yeah, disappointed to go out like this, of course. But I just want to echo Elisha. We're so grateful for all the support we had, because the Sun Devil community has been so huge in our success this year. Not just like the fans who show up every day, but like the whole community, you can really feel the Sun Devil community is really all around us and it's been huge for us this year.

Yeah, just really grateful for everything, all of the things that like the team has done, the coaches. Yeah, not what we wanted but so thankful for this year and I'm looking forward to next year.

Q. And Sophie, your thoughts?
SOPHIE BRUNNER: Yeah, obviously it's tough to go out the way we did, knowing what we wanted to achieve this year. But I can't be more proud of what we've accomplished this year and just very thankful for the season and looking forward to next year.

Q. Sophie and Quinn, what can you take away from playing with seniors like Elisha and others in your time at ASU?
SOPHIE BRUNNER: I mean, there's a lot to take away from all of them. They all bring different things to the table and to our team.

I feel like the biggest thing they bring is just the consistency of leadership. They have been around this program obviously for four years and they have seen it at its lowest and at its highest. When we came in in freshman year, they were kind of in that regrouping time, and just seeing how they have grown, just learning from them each day, day-in and day-out. It's been a lot of fun.

Yeah, they have just been a joy to play with and be around and I'm just very thankful for what they have given us.

QUINN DORNSTAUDER: Yeah, I think the seniors are really the heart of this team. They each bring a different aspect and we are going to miss them a ton next year.

Q. After the game was over, you kind of stayed and walked around the arena, shaking hands, giving a tribute. What went into that?
ELISHA DAVIS: The realization that there's not another practice. We're not going to meet tomorrow and go over correctibles. We're not going to do the little things -- we're not going to ice bath. We're not going to talk about what's the plan, the itinerary, for next week going into the Sweet 16 or anything like that. Like, it's over, literally. And I don't have another year to have another home game here or to be in front of the Sun Devil Nation.

I knew at that moment it wasn't about -- I learned that it's not but in this program. It's about everyone else. So at that moment, I realized, I can't put my head down and run up the tunnel and not shake hands and not show gratitude to everybody that stuck with me at my lowest freshman year, when I've had my lows throughout each year, and when I've had lows in senior year.

So they have been with me at my lowest, or when I didn't -- when I do not under-perform or when I did do my best. So I just kind of wanted to suck it all up and show them, like, thank you. Thank you for just bringing that great energy, that positivity that we love and need so much.

I kind of wanted to live in that moment because after that, I won't get that. That moment, when everybody is just there to watch us and support us, I won't get that back, especially from Sun Devil Nation. I guess you could say I kind of wanted to suck in -- suck it all in. Like a Capri Sun, just suck it all the way up until there's no more left.

So that's kind of what that was about. But I enjoyed them for clapping and cheering us on. It was really a beautiful thing, and for them to have that support, even after a loss like that.

Q. Could you take about the size issue that was a problem part of the game, and also the shots DeShields hit late in the game when you guys were still within four or five.
QUINN DORNSTAUDER: I mean, we've been under-sized all year, so I would say it was, like Coach said, rebounding was huge. That changed the outcome of the game.

Yeah, so you could say size affected us there, but you could also just say that we didn't do our jobs getting the rebounds and stuff.

And then as far as DeShields, she's a really talented player. Yeah, she's a talented player. We probably could have done a better job trying to lock in and guard her, but she's one of the nation's leading scorers.

Q. Could you just capsule again your senior class what it was like playing with them and what you were able to do as a group for this program?
ELISHA DAVIS: First and foremost, like I said, finishing strong. Coming in, I've seen a lot of players come and go, for not being tough enough to stick it out, not being able to handle the strong discipline that is needed in order to be back at an elite program or elite status, which this program is used to being at.

So I would just say for the seniors, for myself and every other senior that stuck through it, I'm very proud because this is a challenged program in the sense of they are going to make you be the best that you can be every single day, in the classroom, as a teammate, as a person, as a player.

So it is a challenge to try to do that every single day regardless if you have the energy or if you're in the mood or whatever. They just show you, like you don't have time to waste, so why not take advantage of everything that you have because we are one of the most privileged teams on this campus and also one of the most privileged programs in the country because of our Sun Devil Nation, because of the coaches and the players that come into this program.

So basically, as seniors, I know that we are all very thankful for all of the opportunity and the resources that surround us, the great people, the sincerity.

And also just with my seniors, I would say they made me better in the sense of, I had to learn how to calm down. I had to learn how to say, it's okay, it's all good, next play, move on and not be so stuck on the past about me making a turnover or me making a pass and somebody missed a shot versus just get it back on defense.

So just everything I've learned from my senior class is their positivity and their tough responses, and it's just very good to have that of -- surrounded by you, because when you don't, you fall and you might not get up. And when you have support, you have people to keep you in check and to make you better; it makes you be more wear and actually want to be better for them and for a higher purpose, which is our program, our university, our community, our coaches and everyone else who has supported us.

So it has been a beautiful ride and I can't stress how much more that I am thankful, appreciative, happy, everything, all of the good words that you can think of in the dictionary I am about this program.

Q. You said at the Selection Show that even though you got a No. 2 seed, you thought I had maybe the toughest draw. With Tennessee, what were your concerns coming in, and how were those concerns realized tonight?
COACH TURNER THORNE: We just aren't -- I mean, obviously, this is a perennial powerhouse, top-ranked program, and they are a 7-seed, and to have all of the talent of any other Top 15 program in the country.

You know, give them credit. They are pulling it together. They are playing their best basketball right now. I think any coach in the country, that was the team you didn't want to play, and they played well in their conference tournament and that probably helped them either get in or earn a 7-seed.

For us, probably the worst matchup we could possibly have asked for. I mean, just being honest. I didn't want to say that, but it was. We just don't -- this year, we don't really have a stopper, you know, and then a balance with DeShields and then the size. That was kind of -- at the same time, we rebound, we win.

And like Quinn said, we've been under-sized all year long. I think they were definitely that team, anybody that knows women's basketball is like, Oohhh; I'm sure everybody was relieved not to have them, because you knew you weren't going to draw a really high seed.

But again, credit them. They are playing their best basketball right now, and we needed to play better. We needed to play better. We did not play our best basketball. To advance in the NCAA Tournament, you see a lot of these press conferences right now on the men's and women's side, and a lot of us that are done, we're like, you know what we didn't step up. We didn't hit the shots we needed to hit. We didn't execute. We broke down on defense and credit Tennessee.

But yeah, I mean, I would rather be -- yeah, so it's all good. I mean, then when you have Ohio State, you have a team that's -- I mean, they play all great teams in the tournament. And obviously basketball is a game of matchups, so matchup-wise it was like, bummer, okay. Maybe not the best one for us.

But it was a great challenge and it was a fun game, and obviously they really stepped up big time. They have done that all year. I mean, they had the one-possession games. That's the thing, you look at their record, it's like, it's so similar to us, and it's been like a one-possession game. I mean, they are definitely a great team.

Q. You didn't start Quinn but you had to keep her out there quite a bit of the time to play against Russell. How did you try to work -- to keep her fresh enough --
COACH TURNER THORNE: We wanted to start Neci on DeShields, and Sophie has defended players that size all year long. We really weren't looking to front her. Kind of low side denial, maybe shove out, maybe kind of dig a little bit on her.

Obviously we just wanted to take her transition looks, second shots. We knew she might hit a few inside. Again, anytime -- we had Kianna out there for a second, we had a soft switch on a trap. They did a really good job executing and taking advantage of things, probably better than they have done all year. Because I watched probably 20 hours of film on them and a lot of the shots that they hit and the things that they did, they did more consistently than they have done all year.

Again, just give them credit. They stepped up. I thought we did -- we had a really good first quarter and then I don't really feel like after that, she really hurt us that bad. And you know, yeah, rebound, rebound, rebound.

Unfortunately for an under-sized team, we actually have been very lousy boxer-outers. It's more been like hustle on everything and just sheer will. And it caught up with us today. We needed that weak side board. We needed to put bodies on people, and we didn't.

And then we were worried about their transition game, so we sort of -- our guards didn't rebound that much. And usually our posts get most of the rebounds anyway, and you know, we really often only had one person on the offensive boards, and for us, it's hard for us to live off one shot. We're not quite that efficient.

Q. Given the fact that all senior classes are special I think to coaches, how would you capsule what makes this class special to you, and their significance in the context of the history of your program.
COACH TURNER THORNE: Well, I think it's very -- it's not five kids that have gone through together. Katie transferred in, Eliza is a fifth year, Peace is a second year. But collectively for this year, the best way to characterize this class is: None of them came in as preseason All-Americans or really, probably, I don't know if any of them -- I mean, obviously Eliza had some great accolades, and then had two -- went back-to-back years with injuries. Her body is just completely, like you guys can not imagine her medical file. I mean, that kid is so tough. (Pausing, tearing up.)

A lesser kid would have quit. But she's a great leader. What Lili said, that's them. They don't have maybe the most talent. This season's been three years in the making. It's not like, oh, next year's class, oh my gosh. But these guys, they just worked and worked and got better every year and better every year, and just really, really earned this season, this championship that they got, the Pac-12, which they had not had for however many years, 12, 13, 14.

I mean, that's what's incredible about them, just the way they have worked to earn this season. Because anybody that watched us play is like -- no one afraid to play us, right. You look at us and go, okay, good, we drew ASU.

We just work our stinking tails off and we're disciplined. We had our best game today obviously, but for that, the character of them, and just the way they built to get this, and overcome -- just earned it more than probably any team.

Our '09 team, that was a Final Four team, if they don't lose their starting point guard, leading scorer, right, last game of the season. That was the most talented team we've had by far. And this group, honestly on paper, you know -- but what they did, incredible.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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