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March 20, 2017

Tricia Fabbri

Morgan Manz

Adily Martucci

Aryn McClure

Coral Gables, Florida

Quinnipiac - 85, Miami - 78

COACH FABBRI: Good opening quarter for the Bobcats into halftime with a solid lead. Miami made a great charge and almost an instant replay of the opening-round game against Marquette. Just a great game. Great game I'm sure to watch, one that we're thrilled obviously to win and move on to the Sweet 16.

Can't say enough great things about Coach Katie Meier and her Miami team. But I'm just so proud of our Bobcats and the way they battled and the way that they again responded in the most difficult of situations on their home court, not to lose the lead and make big plays again.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Morgan, seemed like every time they either went on a mini run or seemed poised to go on a run, you guys countered. And you were responsible personally for a lot of those 3-pointers. And were you just feeling it tonight, basically? Is it as simple as that?
MORGAN MANZ: Yeah, I mean, my teammates and coaches, they all have the utmost confidence in -- more confidence than I do in my shots. I just did what my coaches have been asking me to do for the last four years, and that was just shoot it. And I just let it fly because we had nothing to lose.

Q. In the last 48 hours-plus, we've seen this team take, build up double digits leads, time and time again the other team make a serious run. You never relinquished a lead in either game. For each of the players, what's that been like for you guys to withstand the onslaught of an attempted comeback that you thwarted on two occasions?
ARYN MCCLURE: Grit. Yeah, that's pretty much it. On both games, teams came back, cut the lead kind of short. But we stayed focused and we knew our end goal, and we just maintained our lead. And we end up being successful.

MORGAN MANZ: Just to bounce off Aryn, I think we, in times that they weren't going our way, we stayed together as a team and we really just fought it out.

ADILY MARTUCCI: It's nothing that we haven't seen all year. And that's why we are the team that we are, because of this whole season. And it has shaped us into the players that we are today, the toughness that we have is incredible.

I am so proud of my team. I'm so proud of my team because of how tough they are.

Q. Morgan, can you talk about your shot and the evolution of it? The stroke seems obviously to work beautifully, like a long stroke, maybe like a long follow-through. Could you talk about your evolution of your shot and as a career night? And how long it took you to get here, the work that you put in? Just talk about your shooting, please.
MORGAN MANZ: I've always been a shooter growing up. My coaches always, all the time, keep shooting, keep shooting, keep shooting. And honestly I feel like I haven't hit a 3 in a very long time, the last couple of games. Even today in shoot-around, I was missing, and Coach is, like, just keep shooting, just keep shooting.

And the one thing I focused on today was getting it higher than I usually do, because when I do miss, I have a very flat shot. So my goal was the more arc and obviously it helped.

Q. Morgan, I know the thinking all season was get to the tournament, win a game, see what happens. Now that it's over and you've won these two, how realistic, really, was this for you guys when you saw the bracket, knowing that you would have to beat two major conference teams to get out of -- to get to Stockton? How realistic did you really think it was?
MORGAN MANZ: I think we just came in here with a lot of confidence. I have confidence in all of our players and our coaching staff. They prepare us well for each game. And we didn't look at the team name on their shirts. It was we were going to play Quinnipiac basketball, and we were going to do what we can. And if we had to adjust, we had to adjust.

And, I think, I mean, I am at a loss of words that we're at a Sweet 16, but I couldn't be more proud of our team and what we've accomplished.

Q. Adily, Morgan hit a lot of 3s, but the one you hit with less than a minute left, the one-point game, you take us through that shot? And how did you -- did it feel good coming out of your hands?
ADILY MARTUCCI: I honestly didn't know it was going in. I was definitely hoping for the best. But once I saw it release my hand, I kind of knew it was. And obviously I got excited afterwards. But yeah, it was just amazing that it went in, and I was obviously very, very pumped about it.

Q. Last night you're outside of your hotel. It's close to one in the morning. And it's the second time in the last couple of weeks that it's happened. Did you ever think that it was maybe a good luck charm?
ADILY MARTUCCI: Some of our teammates are saying that. It was actually funny. We were just making a joke of it because it did happen during the MAAC Tournament. We had a fire alarm and we were all outside waiting to get back in. So we were like, hey, this happened before. Deja vu basically. So, yeah, we were joking about that. But it panned out the way it did.

Q. For all three of you, I know you're a confident team; you've won, what, 29 games now. But are you feeling more confident now given what you've accomplished here and going forward now to face South Carolina?
ADILY MARTUCCI: Absolutely. I think every game that we win we build more confidence. It's kind of hard not to.

MORGAN MANZ: Yeah, I have to agree with Addy. I think we have a lot of confidence right now, and we're just going to take the next game like the next game.

ARYN MCCLURE: Yeah, the goal at the beginning of the season was to make it to the Sweet 16. Now we made it, so why not keep going.

ADILY MARTUCCI: It's honestly addicting. It really is. Something about this tournament, you just want more and more and more. And we're going to try to get some more.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. Obviously this game is beyond great for the program, for you and the players. Can you also look at it as being good for the sport itself, women's basketball, with the parity we talked about yesterday, and a 12 beating a 4 and all that kind of stuff?
COACH FABBRI: I think anytime you can get a new name moving forward in a bracket creates an excitement. And that's really, ultimately, what the March Madness is about, right, when you have those upsets and what everyone looks forward to. And the buzz that it has created and what it's become -- the excitement. And that's what everyone looks forward to. And we're happy to do our part in creating the March Madness and move it forward.

But definitely, again, I think we flew under the radar getting into the tournament. And I just saw the teams in our pod and really liked our opportunities down here. So this team was very confident coming into the tournament, coming down here to see our opponents and made the most of real opportunities down here this weekend.

Q. You're supposed to be a hockey school. And you kind of shot some holes in that one over the last three days. I know you're not going to be on campus for long, but what do you think the reaction is going to be when you get back up there?
COACH FABBRI: I think it is going to be over-the-moon thrilled. The outpouring of support that we have received while we've been down here has been like none other that I've ever witnessed.

And I know that when we get back to campus and what's going on back there, the buzz, the buzz up there has been incredible. So we're excited to get back and see everybody.

So they love their women's basketball. I mean, us going down to the tournament. They already expected us to win. You know, our fans expect us to win. So that was almost like no surprise to them. They were excited to see what happened tonight.

Q. As a follow-up, when Katie was in here, she said in the handshake line you were trying to keep it so together. And she had to say to you, please go enjoy this, please go celebrate. In that immediacy, what was that moment like for you?
COACH FABBRI: Be professional. Be professional. Be professional. Go down the line. Shake the hands, congratulate them on a good season. Obviously there's a disappointment. But do the right thing, and then get into the locker room with your team, and then that's where you have your moment with your team.

Q. In the beginning of the third quarter, your team picked up a couple of fouls real quick and you had Adily and Jen on the bench with four. How do you make sure your team doesn't get discouraged and stays disciplined?
COACH FABBRI: It's what we've done -- I think we sound redundant, as a broken record. Again, this team has epitomized a true team. I'm up here because I have head coach. But I have an incredible staff. It's a team.

I have to remind everybody, we didn't have a player named on the first-team All-MAAC because on any given night, I think the debate that hurts us is, you'll talk to coaches in the league, that it was a different player on a different night that had a big game.

And for those who are not as familiar with the program, you see that tonight. Jen was great at first, had the hot hand. Then Morgan had the hot hand. And then you had the mainstays that always chip in and do it. But we do it together on defense. And it's whoever is going to get the ball and put the ball in the basket.

The team is so unselfish -- we ultimately epitomize what a team is. They can't take away two or three people and beat us. And that's why we win a lot.

Q. Coach, you have a very good passing team. You had 24 assists today. What did you think early on, maybe it might have been first minute or two, Miami goes into a press, pretty much full court -- did you think that played into your hands? What were you thinking?
COACH FABBRI: Well, that's a tendency of theirs to do. I thought they came at it a little harder. I think they saw some things on film that they thought they might be able to do and have some success. But it does allow us to get out. And go once we took a deep breath against the press, it allowed us to get out in transition and really score and get us going offensively in transition for some good looks and open up a nice lead.

Q. Coach, you started the Gold Rush four or five years ago, and that kind of propelled you guys on to the mid-major scene. Have you ever thought about the irony, that you've gotten to your goal and you didn't use that these two games?
COACH FABBRI: No, because we've played players all year long that were in a position to make the play when we needed it the most. And Morgan is a perfect example of get the ball, look at the rim and take and make the shot. So I think it's developing players who are comfortable to be in a position to get the ball to make the play.

We got out on the 5 and 5, and still had its benefits even tonight, because it's everybody else who has the ball in their hand, like, we don't turn the ball over. It's not just two people who are touching the ball. It's everybody touching the ball.

You saw us multiple times adjusting what we were doing with the pressure -- bringing the ball up the floor and how versatile we are. And, again, it's just having kids that have experience that put them in positions that -- we've run things through these two people. We run things through everybody. But we know who we want to have the ball when it's going to be on the line.

But it's them being confident to go out when it counts the most in situations when people are in foul trouble, to go make plays. And that's what you saw in two games, when we were managing foul trouble.

And we were out there with four forwards and a guard. And I was, like, going, okay you be the 2, you be the 3. And I couldn't keep it straight, and everyone else is trying to keep it straight. That's why we're good because we have that versatility and we play a lot of players.

Q. How surprised were you when you turned the corner in the locker room and got that shower from your team?
COACH FABBRI: I saw it on the monitor. I was hot. I got cooled down, so I was happy to get it.

Q. Do you anticipate any trouble keeping your kids in the moment? I mean Sweet 16, it's a lofty, wonderful place, of course. But do you guys expect any problem keeping their minds on what's coming Saturday and not really much more than that?

ADILY MARTUCCI: We're focused and ready to go.

COACH FABBRI: We are going to enjoy this. And then we will get focused and get down to work and stay in our routine with what we've done all year long and get prepared to see South Carolina.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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