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March 2, 2018

Tara VanDerveer

Kiana Williams

Seattle, Washington

Stanford - 69, USC - 59

TARA VANDERVEER: This is a great win for our team. We had a lot of different people step up. I thought Ki (Kiana) and Di (DiJonai) had really outstanding games for us. Marta I thought started out strong too and great defense. You know, USC is a very dangerous team, and I think they're an NCAA Tournament team, so we're happy to have the win.

Q. DiJonai, maybe a big basket at the end of the first quarter doesn't decide a game. But how big do you think that shot ended up being just in the tone of the game?
DIJONAI CARRINGTON: Yeah, I think it just brought a lot of energy, everyone was excited. It's always nice to get the last shot. And when it's something that's kind of not likely to go in, it's even more exciting. So I think it was awesome just to see how pumped our team was, and we carried it through into the huddle and through the rest of the game.

Q. Tara, you held them to 26.8 shooting from the field. They had 3 for 18 on threes, and yet they hung with you right to probably 4 minutes to go. Was it just their defense, their hustle, their speed? I don't know. How did they make a game of it when they weren't shooting?
TARA VANDERVEER: They shot 29 free throws. I mean, they got to the free-throw line a lot. We didn't keep them off the line. I thought our defense was good, except for that, our fouling. Thankfully both Ki and DiJonai helped us defensively, and I think DiJonai did a really nice job of rebounding.

For the most part we took care of the ball pretty well, because they can turn people over 20 times. But we didn't get stops defensively when we fouled. Then it was allowing them to rest when they have, basically five players.

But offensively, you know, we had some really good looks. We had some people miss some shots that they ordinarily make, and that's a credit to them. They play hard defensively.

Q. This was your first Pac-12 tournament game, and your first experience in a one-and-done setting. Were there butterflies at all, or did it feel fairly normal at this point?
KIANA WILLIAMS: I wouldn't say I was nervous. I was more excited than nervous. Yeah, it's tournament time, so there is a little pressure, win or go home. But we're just out there having fun with my teammates, so.

Q. I saw you sort of hobble in with an ice bag on your foot. What is the status of that and how are you feeling?
KIANA WILLIAMS: My foot is fine. We're just being cautious. It's fine.

Q. How would you describe the defensive job that Mazyck did on Brittany McPhee in this game?
TARA VANDERVEER: She's a very aggressive, athletic, quick hands. I think that she worked really hard against Britt. I thought Britt battled. I think the best thing that Britt did was she didn't try to do too much. She had three assists, which was good. When she got people on her, she looked for open teammates. She had some real nice passes.

But Mazyck is an outstanding defensive player. Britt has scored more in other games against them. But in this game, other people picked it up. Ki picked it up, DiJonai picked it up, Alanna finished with double digits. So I don't think we really ran our offense very well, to be on honest with you. But we got out running early, and then that gave us that big lead. Then we kind of, I thought, got very tentative.

Q. Since there is a game to be played and you're not sure who you're going to play yet, will you take your two potential opponents one at a time, for the sake of looking ahead at who you might play? They're pretty different teams in terms of playing either Oregon State or Arizona State?
TARA VANDERVEER: I mean, you know, assistant coaches are out there watching. Obviously we've played both teams before, but we only played Oregon State once. I'm not sure of the question. We're just going to get ready as soon as we know who the winner is. We're going to get ready for who we're playing. We're really excited to be in the semifinals, and we know we'll have to play well against either team. They're both playing really well.

You know, I think this is -- for our team, I think DiJonai, besides her defense, her rebounding, obviously she hit a half court shot, but her free throws were probably more important than that half court shot she made when they were making their run.

But getting great contributions from Di. I think we're going to need more help off the bench. I think she's got to lead the way. She's a team leader, and someone that gives us everything, offense, defense, rebounding, and it was great to have her come in and do so well.

But against either team, Arizona State, who plays a lot of people and on the second day, or Oregon State, we're going to need great help off the bench, and I think Di can lead the way.

Q. You've never played in the first round of the tournament.
TARA VANDERVEER: Nope, don't like it.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about kind of similar to Michelle, when you come in and you don't really know who you're going to play in the quarterfinals, do you just focus on what you do best or your team does best? Is there any thought into trying to prepare for two teams at once?
TARA VANDERVEER: Our team really absorbs scouting report very well. They work really hard watching video. I think my assistant coaches do a great job of scouting.

So, we've played these teams before. We have film on them. We'll be ready for either team. If you really want to win, USC did win coming in not seeded. They were 5 one year playing us. But I think it's to our advantage to play three games as opposed to four. So now I think we're at a point where on the second day and the third day that could really pay off.

Q. Tara, in this game starters got into foul trouble fairly early in the third. You're forced to switch over to your bench. You kind of mentioned a little bit about the bench right there. But what kind of confidence does it give showing the bench can compete? Alyssa hit a big buzzer beater there in the third. What kind of confidence does that do moving through the Pac-12 tournament and into the NCAA Tournament?
TARA VANDERVEER: I think, first of all, Di is a fantastic sixth player. She was out there, basically, when we had four guards. But her understanding of her role coming in and making big plays and playing as much as anyone else, basically, and getting double digits and rebounding for us, that, to me, she can help other people. Like say Nadia, we need more help from Nadia. Maya, we need more help from Maya. But Alyssa gives them confidence to come in.

During the year we've played a lot of different lineups because of Britt and di both being out. So I have confidence going to our bench, and I need them to back me up when they go into the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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