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March 5, 2017

Carolyn Kieger

Natisha Hiedeman

Danielle King

Chicago, Illinois

Marquette - 80, Georgetown - 66

CAROLYN KIEGER: I'm just so proud of my team's toughness today. Obviously it was started by Natisha Hiedeman. For her to roll her ankle and come out there and just play for her team in postseason play, she set the example for us.

Points in the paint, Georgetown had 22. We talked all week that we were going to protect our paint, and everything is going to be cluttered and we were going to make them jump shooters.

How our team has progressed and how coachable they are in one year says a lot about them, and I'm just really proud of the fact that they can follow a game plan much better than they did a year ago. I just can't say enough about our balance. That's what I just talked to them in the locker room. It's nice to know that every other possession somebody else is stepping up, and you don't have to rely on one person to take the load in scoring. They just play so well together. They share the basketball. They're fun to watch. They're fun to coach. I'm blessed.

Q. Danielle, this was a career high for you in assists. How have you evolved as a floor general for your team, do you think?
DANIELLE KING: I just attack more, and that way it opens up for my teammates. When I look to be a scorer, it opens up for them because a lot of people collapsed and the assists are there just by that mentality alone.

Q. Natisha, you go gown with an ankle injury pretty early but you come back out, hit a couple big shots, what's your mentality in a moment like that?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: We've been talking about toughness all year, and I just -- you know, it's a big game, and I want to be in it. You know, I just know that my teammates were going to bring the energy back, and I was ready to go. So good.

Q. Natisha, how painful was the ankle injury? Did you think you were going to be able to come back?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: I think the adrenaline -- I knew I was coming back regardless, so either way I knew I was coming back.

Q. Danielle, how does the tournament format set up for you as somebody who leads the team?
DANIELLE KING: Well, it helps us a lot being able to play the teams two times already, so we just know what we have to fix, and we know the teams like the back of our hands, so it's just about execution.

Q. What does it mean to win your first Big East Tournament game?
DANIELLE KING: I'm excited because last year around this time we were out of the tournament. I'm excited to get to play Creighton again.

NATISHA HIEDEMAN: For me, too, I'm just excited. I want to keep playing. I want to go as far as we can. So I know that this win means a lot to us, and this is just a start.

Q. You really got out on the Hoyas in transition 21-14 on fast break points. Was that part of the game plan going in?
CAROLYN KIEGER: It's always part of our game plan. We play fast, and we know that we're at our best when our tempo was flowing, and we're not stagnant. So for us, it doesn't matter who we're playing. That's always our pace of play.

Q. Coach, what's the word on Allazia, it looked like she got clocked pretty hard there at the end of the game. Is that serious or just a nosebleed?
CAROLYN KIEGER: Just a nosebleed. We're fixing her up. We're fighters. She's good.

Q. Also, have you talked to Danielle a lot about developing as a facilitator? Seems like the past couple weeks she's really come into that role strong and she's getting up to double digit numbers in assists.
CAROLYN KIEGER: Yeah, she's so improved and I'm so proud of her. We talked at the end of last year about having her go to point guard college. She went to that, and her and I spent a lot of time. We spent a lot of time in the mornings shooting. We spent a lot of time watching film, and I couldn't be more proud of her. She's really developing. I tell her that she needs to have a general mentality, and she's really starting to take that over.

The team is really responding to her. You can see in huddle she's really trying to direct and lead.

Q. You also broke the single season record today for threes made for Marquette. Was that a goal headed into the season?
CAROLYN KIEGER: I didn't even know that. No, our goal is to share the ball, so if it means that we're penetrating and we're kicking out for threes, we just want the best shot for Marquette. So if it's in the paint, great, if it's a three, excellent. So we just want to take the best shot.

Q. When you guys are playing like you are today or when you want to play that up-tempo offense, when Danielle is playing like she is, how helpful is that for you guys?
CAROLYN KIEGER: Yeah, she sets the tone for us no doubt, so we know when she's pushing tempo, everything is kind of falling into place. Last year I think it was funny because some of our players were like, we can't keep up, Coach, she's going too fast. And I think they're starting to learn how to play with each other. You can just see it now. There's so much chemistry on the floor we might have not had even at the beginning of this year, and they're really starting to play off each other well. So she sets the tone. She's our X-Factor, no doubt.

Q. When you guys last played Georgetown they forced you guys to commit a lot of turnovers. Today early on it seemed like that was happening again. What is it about that Georgetown defense that is so pesky and how were you able to correct that in the second half of the game?
CAROLYN KIEGER: Yeah, I give a lot of credit to Georgetown. They're a great-coached team and they're really scrappy and they play really hard, so they get their hands on a lot of loose balls and they get down low, and they just do a phenomenal job with being aggressive and being tough. So for us, we knew that was going to happen. We knew that that was going to be part of their game plan. We weathered the storm a little bit, but obviously that's something we'll look at in film going into the Creighton game.

Q. Coach, two of their highest scorers, Woodard and Adomako, were held to pretty inefficient shooting. What was the game plan to hold them down tonight?
CAROLYN KIEGER: Yeah, pack the paint. You know, we wanted to be in our gap defense, and any time anybody drove we wanted to stunt and make sure we had two on the ball at all times, so I think that really helped.

Q. As a coach, can you quantify the advantage of being the home team here, what this means for your team?
CAROLYN KIEGER: I mean, it's phenomenal. First of all, our girls to play in front of their fans, they love to play in this building, so for us we get really energized here. So I'm hoping that we can keep getting more crowds every round. So hopefully the Creighton game is packed and they feed off that, I feed off that, and it's one of the best venues in America, so we're lucky to have it here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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