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March 1, 2018

C. Vivian Stringer

Indianapolis, Indiana

Rutgers - 62, Purdue - 60

Q. Coach, can you just talk about today's win, how exciting that game was and how well you played down the stretch?
COACH STRINGER: I'll be all excited once we -- if you can imagine, I was like triple excited and nervous. I told them, you could have a heart attack watching that game, especially with us having that kind of a lead. And we've done this before, so it was good that we were able to pull it out.

Q. Talk about Tyler's play, the last play where she made that basket to go ahead. What did you see in that play?
COACH STRINGER: You know what, as I was telling her today, lots of people just shoot the ball in a given situation, but very few people have a shot called on them and they hit those shots. Those are the ones that -- the heaviest head wears the crown.

She was responsible for the make or the miss, and you're counting on her to make the right decision. But I think that she's demonstrated that throughout her three years; that she's willing to be the victor or the villain. And if there was anybody that I would rather have the ball, whose hands I would rather have it in, it would be Tyler. I'm not surprised.

It was good. You know, it was interesting because she made a lay-up with -- to take us to a National Championship with the WNIT, and she was a freshman, and as I saw her coming down, it was less than three seconds, but I just wanted her to do her thing. It was good.

Q. Getting the win today, you guys play tomorrow, obviously, and this is the 25th Big Ten Tournament. Can you just talk a little bit about what it means to be a part of the Big Ten Tournament and kind of be a part of this milestone?
COACH STRINGER: Well, you know what, I will tell you something about that, but I don't want it to be taken out of context, so I won't. I'll wait until the cameras are off.

It's special that it's the 25th, but I have a relationship with those kind of numbers in the Big East Tournament. It's special.

Q. How do you guys get ready for tomorrow, such a quick turnaround?
COACH STRINGER: They've just got to get some ice and bath water. One of the coaches is going back right now, so he's preparing. I think when they get a nice bath and get some good food in their belly, we'll have a chance to sit down and talk about it. Because that game is late, right? It's not an early game?

Q. No, it'll be the evening game, I believe.
COACH STRINGER: That's right. We're so glad because we've had those early games. Can you imagine, we would have had to get up at 6:00 this morning, and that's not good.

So they appreciate this, and it was good to see this team rise to the occasion when they had an opportunity to win a game that was so meaningful.

And all of them are important, but for whatever reason, this squad of mine tends to play even harder when they know that you win or lose, but any way you shake it, you move on to the next one, and you determine your own destiny. I think that they came out excited and anxious to play, and it was good to see.

Q. How important was defense in tonight's game?
COACH STRINGER: I think it was huge, huge. Every play -- I think every time a shot was taken that someone wasn't where they needed to be, I am much more conscientious of the shot, who wasn't covering what, what we knew they did, and did we do that right.

It was good that I think today for the first time, you might not believe this, but today for the first time I thought every possession we were very conscious of what we needed to do, whether we were showing low on screens or fronting the post or whatever, but it was key. We didn't let one possession go without us really working hard to do what we needed to do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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