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March 25, 2017

Brenda Frese

Brionna Jones

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

Destiny Slocum

Bridgeport, Connecticut

Oregon - 77, Maryland - 63

BRENDA FRESE: You know, like I just told the team in the locker room, I'm not going to let one game define the season that we had this year, and I'm extremely proud of this team and everything we've been through. But I'll tell you this: Oregon is for real. I thought they were sensational tonight. I thought they punched first. I thought they were fearless, aggressive, confident, really punished us in terms of any mistakes, any breakdowns that we would have.

Most proud of our seniors. You know, 125 career wins they leave with, six conference titles, two Final Fours, and everything that they've meant to Maryland for us.

Q. Destiny, this was your lowest point total of the season. Can you describe what they were doing on defense that held you guys?
DESTINY SLOCUM: I just think it was just one of those days. We were clicking on offense, things were just -- we kind of lost our game, and I think, even though this was a low-scoring game, we were trying our best, doing anything we could do. I don't think there's really an answer for it.

Q. Shatori, was there anything they were doing defensively to kind of throw you off there a little bit off your game?
SHATORI WALKER-KIMBROUGH: Their defense was pretty good, making my shots difficult. I give credit to the defense, their defense.

Q. Shatori, beyond the three-point shots not falling, they seemed to be able to run you guys off the line for most of the night. What were they able to do in that respect? What allowed them to do that?
SHATORI WALKER-KIMBROUGH: I think at times we were maybe overthinking it. It took us a little bit to get in our rhythm, and they took advantage, they scored. And I mean, they played a great game, both sides of the ball.

Q. Bri, the double-teaming through much of the night, was that what allowed them to frustrate you early on? Seemed like you found your footing later on, but was that the key for them inside?
BRIONNA JONES: I think early on, I just wasn't being as patient as I normally was, but credit to them for -- they came out hard on defense, and I think once we settled in, we worked out of the double-team better.

Q. Destiny, you guys struggled to kind of create any momentum, get anything going in transition or fast. Why was that? What was Oregon doing to stop that?
DESTINY SLOCUM: Just like Tori said, they were just playing a good game on both ends of the floor, and they were just being an overall better team tonight.

Q. Bri and Shatori, I know it's tough right now, but four years at this program; what have these four years meant to your life?
BRIONNA JONES: I think I couldn't imagine playing in any other school, and I'm glad that I chose Maryland. And just the player I've developed myself into, and I think credit to the coaches and the players I've gotten a chance to play with, and it's just been an amazing experience.

SHATORI WALKER-KIMBROUGH: Yeah, this definitely has been an amazing experience, an amazing four years. I just want to thank Coach B for everything she's done for me. My teammates this year, my past teammates, I can't repay this University for everything they've done for me. They've opened so many doors. I'm glad I spent my four years here at the University of Maryland.

Q. Destiny, watching you dribble out the last few seconds, obviously not the way you pictured this game going. What's going through your mind during that time, and are you going to lock that moment away and use it as motivation do you think going forward?
DESTINY SLOCUM: The thing that really sucks that was going through my head at that last minute is that we sent them out this way. And you know, it sucks when you have two amazing people and two amazing players, and you know they deserve so much more. And I mean, we clawed and we fought for them, and I wish we could have done more, and that was the thing that was going through my head at those last seconds.

Q. Brenda, the team had such great ball security the last two games, today 21 turnovers. Was that more indicative of what Oregon was able to do defensively or some unforced errors on your end?
BRENDA FRESE: I think it was a blend of both. I think defensively they gave us a lot of different looks with what they were doing, but obviously it's uncharacteristic for Dez to have five turnovers. We were high in the guard area, so definitely a blend of most.

Q. Brenda, the six three-point attempts total is much lower than you guys typically have. What were they doing schematically that allowed that to happen, especially in your half-court sets?
BRENDA FRESE: Well, it's tough to get threes up when you turn the ball over 21 times, so that impacts your offense with what you're doing. But we weren't patient. I mean, we talked about moving the ball and being able to cut and penetrate to kick. I thought they did a much better job on our dribble penetration and being physical than we were able to do. Every time they penetrated on us, they got wide-open kicks and dump-downs against our defense.

Q. In such a low-scoring game, do you think that affected the players as the game went along and they kept trailing? Did they start pressing a little bit too much, or what was going on?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, you know, I thought we pressed early. They took the air out of the ball, which was a really smart move by them. We've seen that in the past. But we didn't handle it well at all.

You know, then it felt like every time we would get it to within six points, we would have some sort of breakdown, whether it was off of an O board, whether it was a defensive stop, and then they would break it back open.

Q. You've had your own spectacular freshman with Destiny this year. Can you talk for a second about the duo of Hebard and Ionescu and what it was like playing against those two?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, I said this coming in: I thought Oregon -- I likened them to our 2006 National Championship team and how they played when we started two freshmen and two sophomores. They're just fearless. They don't know any better, that they should be nervous about this moment. They're confident. They're really disciplined, and they make you pay for your mistakes.

But they are beyond their years when you talk about as freshmen in terms of how they're playing.

Q. A lot of the conversation coming into this bracket was about Maryland-UConn and Duke-Maryland. The fact we didn't see those match-ups come to pass, what do you think that said about the depth of talent in the game?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, no question, when you talk about the depth. I was thinking about that. When you look at the teams that are in the Sweet 16, and you look at the talented freshmen for Oregon, you look at our freshmen with Destiny and our freshman class. And if you went across the board with the teams that are out there in the Sweet 16, our game is getting there. It's not all the way there in terms of top-5 talent, but in terms of the depth, it's starting to get there. You've got the Cinderella teams with Oregon and Quinnipiac now in terms of what they're able to do.

Q. Bri has faced double-teams all year and done pretty well. Was it something about them having someone who's 6'4", 6'5", did that kind of throw her off?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, I thought their length and physicality gave her some problems. I think in the other positions, we didn't relocate and dive and cut as move as much also to offset that to be able to help her play through the double-teams.

Q. I was wondering, what was the game plan coming into tonight, into today, playing them that didn't work, that made you switch to full-court press and double-team?
BRENDA FRESE: I have to pick one thing? You know, disappointed in terms of the different areas we've been able to excel, obviously, that they took away, our transition game, obviously rebounding, to be only plus one on the glass.

But for us we really felt like the pick on balls in terms of defensively was going to be a big area as well as us attacking it off the bounce on the offensive end. I really thought those actions we didn't handle well. We didn't defend like we had in the first two rounds, and credit their aggressiveness on the offensive end.

Q. At three-quarter court you went to relatively early on, and then the full. Was that just an effort to speed up the game?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah. You know, I mean, when you watch us play, that's something we've been very successful with over the course of the season, and yeah, I knew they were going to try to take possessions away from us to be able to stop our transition game. You know, when they were working the shot clock, you're definitely trying to speed them up in terms of their possessions.

Q. Bigger picture, this team seemed like it was built in a lot of ways to face UConn. We've talked about that in the past, in terms of limited possessions, rebounding, Destiny at the point. How disappointing is it for you not only to see the season come to an end but to not get that chance at a team that you guys played really tough this year and last year?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, you know, it's disappointing, like I said, in terms of our ending because we haven't played like this for a long time. So for it to rear its ugly head tonight. And obviously as competitors, yeah, that's why we continue to put them on our schedule. If you want to be the best, you've got to play the best, and we definitely wanted to have another opportunity and felt when we play Maryland basketball that good things happen for us.

Q. There was a lot of talk about this year the Big Ten maybe not getting respected by the Committee, you getting sent here, McGuff's team being a 4 seed. The Pac-12 seems to be doing really well in terms of conferencing. I know these things are cyclical. But what does the Big Ten conference have to do to play the seeding game a little bit better, for lack of a better word?
BRENDA FRESE: Well, it starts -- obviously, we had some uncharacteristic, out of conference, non-conference losses that impacted the Big Ten as a whole, so it starts there in terms of how we're all trying to be able to schedule. And then in the tournament, when you talk about having two teams in the Sweet 16 is a great thing, but we've got to be able to get more depth to be able to advance out further.

Q. Kind of the same thing I asked to Bri and Shatori; what have they meant to you and this program the last four years, and how much will this team miss them going forward with such a young team now?
BRENDA FRESE: Well, I mean, everything. Like I told them in the locker room, you know, they -- that's why we're in coaching. When you talk about their four years and their progression and how they came in as freshmen and where they were, to be able to see them lead this team to new heights, six freshmen this year, their leadership, everything that they put on the table.

But I know, as we have all year, Bri and Shatori didn't come in like this. It was a progression, and like we talked about in the locker room, they're going to hand the baton off to the next wave of players. They have a perfect example all season of how to work and how to get here early and stay late and how to put yourself in a position to be really, really successful.

But I can't say enough in terms of what they embodied on the court, off the court, and I know they're going to continue on and do great things.

Q. Do you see Shatori as the best wing in this draft and Bri as the best big in this draft coming up?
BRENDA FRESE: Gosh, I haven't really studied it. I think the draft is more about what each team needs. I think obviously the two of them have solidified themselves in this senior class as just dominant players that can come in and have a big impact. I'm confident wherever they're selected they're going to have really successful careers.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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