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March 18, 2017

Carolyn Kieger

Natisha Hiedeman

Allazia Blockton

Erika Davenport

Coral Gables, Florida

HEAD COACH CAROLYN KIEGER: First I want to give a lot of credit to Quinnipiac. They played fantastic, very confident. And they came out with a lot of fight the first half. I also want to give a lot of credit to my players and my staff for how far we've come. I'm really, really proud of our whole entire program. We've come a long way in three years and I'm glad we've got to have this experience here at the NCAA tournament, because we've worked really hard for it. We know we're just getting started. We talked about in the locker room we have to remember this pain. We have to remember what this feels like and use it for motivation.

Q. You were a big part of the come back, what was the mindset after being down 19 to rally the team back?
ALLAZIA BLOCKTON: We're a team that just keeps fighting. We've been down before, this isn't the first time we've been down at half. So we just said we need to leave it all on the floor. And I think we rallied together. I wish we could have played a little stronger the first half and had the same fight in the first half we did in the second half.

Q. Natisha, on the last shot, it just looked like it was dead center. What was the view you had, and did you think it was good when you let it go?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: Yeah, coach threw up the play for me to hit the three to tie the game. When I shot it it looked good. It was halfway down. I guess it wasn't supposed to go in, I guess.

Q. What was it like to play on a stage like this?
ERIKA DAVENPORT: I feel like honestly it was a blessing to even make it here, to even play on this stage. I feel like we learned a lot of lessons on this stage. Honestly, I wouldn't trade any of them.

NATISHA HIEDEMAN: I would say the same thing, making it here is a great accomplishment. We came a long way from last year to this year. I'm just already ready for next year and looking forward to it.

ALLAZIA BLOCKTON: Like they said, it's a blessing to even get here. But we're not satisfied. We'll be back next year and better and stronger.

Q. Natisha, you said you'd never heard of Quinnipiac before this game. Now after playing them, what can you say about them, and their mentality a Mid-Major to come in and knock off a Big East champion?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: Quinnipiac is a great team. I give them all the credit. They played hard. They had a great first half. They had a great everything. They played with a lot of fight. I give them all the credit and I wish them best of luck in the tournament.

Q. Natisha, can you go over, I think about 18, 20 seconds left the blocked shot. Did you feel her there or what happened on that play?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: I just tried to create space and it wasn't there, it was a forced shot.

Q. Is this game sort of a microcosm of maybe the first three years? Such a hill to get over and you could see it coming, see it coming, just sort of ran out of time? And how nice is it to already hear your kids talking about what this is going to mean going forward to you guys?
HEAD COACH CAROLYN KIEGER: I mean definitely. I think you could see they were nervous to start this game. I think everybody in the building knew it. We just tried to keep them confident. We try to get them to calm down little bit. Obviously I feel like if we had more time we would have came out on top. Unfortunately you only get 40 minutes.

But the fact that they're hungry and the fact that they want to learn from this, as proud as I am of them, I didn't want to go in that locker room and say congratulations, we made it, because I really do believe that there's a phenomenal amount of potential in that room. And we are just really getting started. And I want them to know that this is a step and we should be proud of where we came, but we got to think of ourselves as an elite program. And that's what I want them to do. And that's how we've got to think. We've got to learn from this.

You're right, the last three years have been a lot of ups and downs. To be here is amazing, but in our mind I think we all thought we deserve to be here, and we wanted to still be playing.

Q. It seemed like Erika was a big part of your offensive game plan, what did you see in that matchup?
HEAD COACH CAROLYN KIEGER: They do a great job of packing the paint. And they front a lot. We knew Erika was going to be able to use her athleticism and strength down low. Obviously she had a great game. I think sometimes we forced it to her in the first hatch. And I think that was kind of jitters and whatnot. I give a lot of credit to Erika's fight. And the way she attacks that rebound, she's relentless, she's really hard to guard.

Q. Quinnipiac seemed to do a good job in the first half of controlling the pace, and slowing everything down. Did you tell your team anything at halftime about controlling the pace and speeding the game up?
HEAD COACH CAROLYN KIEGER: Definitely. We tried to make as many adjustments as we possibly could there at halftime. And I think our players did a great job of focusing and kind of honing in on that second half of listening. Obviously they did a great job of packing the paint and really keying in on our leading scorers. Like I said, I give them a lot of credit. And we've got to learn from it.

Q. What do you think changed for your guys in the fourth quarter to enable you of being three to tie that game?
HEAD COACH CAROLYN KIEGER: We started playing the way we always do. And that's fast and that's frantic and that's getting up in full court pressure. That was the game plan to start the game. Obviously to start out in our press, and we just didn't have the energy and the fight we did in that fourth quarter. Nothing different.

The biggest key that I see, though, is our points in the paint. We had 34 in the paint. And our whole defensive game plan was to pack the paint and not let them in there, and we did not do a great job of doing that tonight.

Q. McKayla went three for four on three pointers, I want to know why she wasn't able to good get more shots off. And I don't think you had her down at the end when you were hunting that three pointer to tie. If you could talk about that?
HEAD COACH CAROLYN KIEGER: Yeah, I think McKayla was open quite a bit and our guards missed her, to be honest. She scores a lot off from behinds and a lot off open windows and drift passes. And I think we missed her a lot. That play that we drew up and we run it all the time and Natisha, I'll give that look again. And I can't tell you how many times Natisha has made that shot in practice. We use McKayla as a decoy and we run her off. And we've made that shot several times in practice, and I definitely won't second-guess that

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