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March 18, 2017

Tricia Fabbri

Paula Strautmane

Adily Martucci

Jen Fay

Coral Gables, Florida

HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: When we won the MAAC Championship close to two weeks ago I told my young ladies to enjoy the moment, because you never know. We worked very hard to win that title. But I also said, don't be satisfied. We weren't finished yet.

And then today we came down here to win a game and advance into Monday and our goal was to play to win Monday. It's a goal that we started last year when we left for summer and we continued just to move forward with our mission. And here we are getting ready to play in the field of 32 come Monday night.

Q. For any of the players, you had the great first half. You're up 19. You go to the third quarter. What's the feeling on the bench, the huddle, the floor, while they're chipping away at the lead? You had to stay positive during the fourth quarter?
ADILY MARTUCCI: Absolutely. We knew -- they're a great team. And we knew that was going to be a tough battle. And teams usually come back. We just knew that we had to stay strong. We had to stay gritty, mentally tough. And that's actually our identity. That's how we identify ourselves is very gritty, just the perseverance with this team is amazing. It makes me so proud. They're a great team and we knew it was going to be a tough battle.

JEN FAY: Having a really good start helped us kind of get a lead and get a feel for the game. That helped us boost our confidence in the beginning.

JEN FAY: We've been in that position before when we were up a lot. We just had to stay relaxed, stay poised and we got the job done.

Q. I think you guys know this question is coming, but Natisha Niedeman said she'd never heard of Quinnipiac before today. What's the message to her and Marquette now?
ADILY MARTUCCI: They know who we are. I think everyone knows who we are now.

JEN FAY: Yeah. I think everyone knows who we are now at this point.

Q. Adily, you had arguably one of the biggest plays at the end of the game with that big block. What was going through your mind when you saw her go up for the three and just making sure that you saved your season?
ADILY MARTUCCI: Allazia is a great player, I knew that she didn't get any three point shots up. She shoots the ball really well. Really, when it came down to it, I just knew that I had to be in her stuff. And my hands had to be up, because we knew she was going to watch it. She's a play maker. Basically just shading her left hand with my right hand and hoping that that was a block and it ended up being one.

Q. For any of the players, when the last second shot goes up, what's going through your mind? What's going through your mind there?
JEN FAY: I thought we deserved to win, so I was just crossing my fingers that it wasn't going to go in.

ADILY MARTUCCI: It was a great shot. We're glad it didn't go in.

JEN FAY: Yeah.

HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: Welcome to March Madness.

Q. You had fouls to give, obviously in that last possession. Did you think about using them at all?
HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: No, because I think there was 2.6 seconds left and it was a catch and shoot. And we had defended very well all night. I trusted our defense, defending the three-point line on that shot.

Q. Finally, that shot, it was the perfect line. How good was your look at it and did you think it was down?
HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: It was great and it was in and it was out and walked right down the line and shook the coach's hand.

Q. It seemed like through a lot of the second half when you did need a big basket or a big steal, Jen came up with. Talk about her play overall?
HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: Incredible. It's not the first time I've seen a performance by her in that nature. She had it against Temple, and completely talented player offensively, great IQ, and you got to wit firsthand on the big stage just how good she is, you saw incredible spin dribble. The ability to pull a three-point shot. When we need her the most she's been really great all season long. And she just wanted the ball all game long. She didn't shy away from the shot, whether she missed it or it went down, she wanted it. And she made incredible plays for us all evening. And we needed that. And she delivered.

Q. With everyone looking at Quinnipiac now. You're in the round of 32. You're one win from the Sweet 16 with a lot of national attention. What do you have to say to the rest of the nation that is looking at, hey, Quinnipiac I've never heard of them before?
HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: This team deserves the recognition. I think we really flew unjustly under the radar going into the tournament. There was the sexy matchup with Marquette and Miami looming in the game Monday night. And the only way that was going to change that was a win here today. And we took care of business, just like we have not only this year -- well, in a big way -- but what we've done over the course of the last five years, getting into the tournament the last three of the five years. We did. We handled our business. And that's what we had to do to get the real attention that this program and in particular this team deserves. I saw the 81-69 pick, as well. And not only nationally, but this team has been so good all year long in tough spots, and there wasn't a tougher spot with a team like Marquette, how they come at you offensively, and not only did they make their push in the run, but we not only defended in the biggest spots but had the right answer in the clutch spots. And that's what this team has done all season long.

Q. People are going to talk about the run at the end. But how critical was it to go into the half on a run of your own? After 10 or 12 in a row for them in the second quarter, you getting it back to double figures, how important was that?
HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: Not only that, we were dealing with foul trouble. We had Jen Fay on the bench with two fouls. I had Aryn McClure, I had Paula Strautmane on the bench with two fouls, managing all that with two fouls going into the locker room, I believe it was 43-30 and closing out the half the way we did. Credit to this team and my coaches.

Q. You were saying on the radio that throughout the MAAC Conference tournament, falling behind earlier, rally to win, three times. Today you jumped out to a seriously 16 point lead, shot almost 60 percent from the field in the first half. That had to be super important to be the hunted not the Hunter as the game progressed?
HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: It was certainly something that the coaching staff talked about, with us flying so far under the radar going into the match, who was definitely wearing the bulls eye on the back in this game. We were breathing a little easier and we just knew we had a great team, a great preparation. And to be honest with you, our shoot around this morning was the best it's ever been. The laser focus. The ready to go. And my AD said we're going to be hard to beat today. That's on the record at a text at 9:30th morning on the bus back.

Q. What does the step stool signify for this team?
HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: That's been a number of symbolic pieces that we've done, February into going up to the MAAC tournament. And now for this program that we talked about last summer was taking the next step. And it was the step stool with two steps, and that's what we came here to do, take the next step. And that's what we've started every practice with, when we get into our circle, just a message and a real focus on the purpose. And it's right in front of us and it's been really good for us, very rewarding of why we're doing it, front and center. And we took one step today.

Q. You opened with FGCU, obviously it's going to be 90 minutes anyway, but does it matter who you get Monday night?
HEAD COACH TRICIA FABBRI: We're going to play who we're going to play. But Florida Golf Coast, FGCU, we've had a great rivalry going back three years, and we were able to get them the first game in the season. They beat us the two previous seasons and great games. So obviously his team was young and he's done a great job all season long, so I'm anxious to go watch.

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