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March 2, 2017

Charli Turner Thorne

Sophie Brunner

Quinn Dornstauder

Seattle, Washington

ASU - 72, Utah - 54

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement, and then we'll take questions.

CHARLI TURNER THORNE: Thank you. Well, thank you to the Pac-12 for the championship they're putting on and everybody here at Key Arena. Always nice to get that first one under your belt. Obviously, with injuries this year, we kind of had to work our way in through the play-in game.

But sometimes I think it's actually a good thing. I thought our young kids handled their first postseason game really well. Our seniors, of course, stepped up huge. Great rebounding effort, and just kind of a great team win. Jamie Ruden hasn't even practiced. She's been out for eight and a half weeks, and we just kind of threw her out there because she was cleared. So we're at full strength right now for the first time since probably November. So it's exciting for us to just continue to build and play better basketball.

Q. This was your first year having to play in the first round. What was your message to your team to come out and play hard?
CHARLI TURNER THORNE: I mean, honestly, I didn't really need much of a message. This team is incredibly driven and competitive. And while we're young and we've had our injuries this year, I mean, we've continued to believe in ourselves and get better.

I didn't really have to have -- the seniors take care of that. Sophie, Quinn, Kels, I mean, they help make sure these kids know you don't save anything. It's one game at a time, and you empty out. They did a great job with that. I think we've had so many ups and downs. I mean, we just show up every day trying to give our best effort.

Q. Utah started to climb back at the end of the first half. What adjustments did you make to go on that 11-2 run to start off the second half?
CHARLI TURNER THORNE: The second quarter I think we just kind of let up. We gave them backdoor cuts, we fouled offensive rebounds. It was really more about us than them. I think we just talked at halftime, obviously, just play position defense without fouling. Let's do what we do at ASU, and they took that to heart. And we also stopped running in the second quarter.

So I thought we got out, got our stops, got the transition game going, and kind of controlled the game.

Q. What did you feel of how Jamie Ruden played out there, because there's been such a long layoff since she's last played, and what kind of depth does she provide to the bench?
CHARLI TURNER THORNE: Well, she provides -- she definitely adds depth, because we can play her and kind of swing her. We play her inside and outside. And, I mean, really, I had no -- again, she basically did position shooting and some half-speed defense yesterday, and that is it. So we really didn't know how. But she's just a basketball player. She was a high school All-American. She's very skilled, and she loves the game.

You know, the thing that Jamie said was -- I said, Mentally, do you feel okay? Do you want to try to play? Because she's gotten cheated out of two-thirds of her season. The rule for red-shirt is 30%, and she was at 33. Then she worked so hard and got herself back, and we didn't even expect her to be back. And I'm like, If there's an opportunity, we're going to put you in there. And her only comment to me was: Charli, if I can help the team, I'm ready. Which is amazing.

Q. Sophie and Quinn, you guys fought last time in a close game against UCLA. What improvements do you need to make in order to come out on top tomorrow?
SOPHIE BRUNNER: I thought we played a good game against them last time, we played them really tight. And most of the game we were up on them. But I think not letting up. We let them go on a run at the end of game, so being able to let them finish out games and finish it with key rebounds and key defensive stops, I think those were the biggest adjustments.

QUINN DORNSTAUDER: Yeah, just to echo what Sophie said, I think we had a couple of mental lapses at the end of the game that kind of put us behind. And if we can clean some of that stuff up, I think we might have a better outcome for ourselves.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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