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March 5, 2018

James Howard

Chicago, Illinois

Georgetown - 63, DePaul - 85

JAMES HOWARD: Yes, it was a tough game. Tough game for the girls. In the locker room, emotions are there because you've got three seniors who played their possible last game. When we started out here today, I'm quite sure they came to win.

But once the game started, I think after the fourth or fifth possession, they had no legs. We just weren't there from a physical standpoint. DePaul, you know, really did a great job of pushing tempo.

Q. Probably tough to see the season perspective coming off a loss, but given where you started at the beginning of conference play, and the way you finished the regular season going 6-3 in your final nine games, what are you most proud of with this group in your first season as head coach?
JAMES HOWARD: Their fight. I think they were locked in with everything from the beginning to the end. Players like a Dorothy Adomako, could have helped with her length and her size and ability to dribble, shoot and score and defend. We had to play smaller, and playing smaller and for us to probably start the smallest back court in the NCAA Division-I.

I'm proud of their fight. I'm proud of their grit. I'm proud of everything that they represent. They represent Georgetown, and they represented it very well this year because the start to the finish is always something you can look back on, and I look back on there were records that went down this year. I look back on coming to DePaul and winning in something that hasn't been done in 17 years at Georgetown.

I look at being here tonight with this team, semifinal game, something that hadn't been done in 19 years. That's what I'm proud of. I'm proud of their fight. I'm proud of their grit. I think those seniors can hold their head up when they walk out of Georgetown with their degree knowing that they started something, and we're going to continue to build off of this, and hopefully we'll be better.

Q. Coach, do you think that only playing seven players deep is a disadvantage to this team in back-to-back games like this?
JAMES HOWARD: Definitely, yes. I think absolutely. When you're playing -- we had to play a tough game yesterday against Villanova. They run a lot of motion set, lot of popping and stuff like that, so you have to give a lot. You have to exert a lot of energy, and exerting that energy and coming back and playing that same type of style with DePaul, Doug's a veteran coach. He knows. Everything you saw was fast-push tempo. They really concentrated today on pushing tempo hard, and getting down in transition. They went as far as 9 or 10 deep in on their rotation today.

With everyone coming off the bench that can shoot the basketball, you can't make any mistakes. That was one thing that we were concerned about.

But, yes, playing seven really kind of hurt us today because we needed fresh legs. Not just someone coming off the bench who could give you a body, but someone that can really contribute.

Q. Just wanted to get your take on, again, your first year coaching this Georgetown team. Having Dionna White and Cynthia Petke be recognized All-Conference for Defensive Player of the Year in White and Petke's most improved, tell me your thoughts on working with them this season?
JAMES HOWARD: It was great. I mean, to see those kids honored was a blessing. Because Cynthia Petke is one of the hardest working players you ever want to meet. She's probably right now as we get on the bus she's going to look at the game film and see what comes up and see what she could have done better. That's how hard she is on herself.

Dionna White is a blessing. She's one of the quietest kids. She's very loud on the court. She lets her play speak for her.

But I'm proud in many ways of those two young women because they both went through a lot of family loss, I would say. Cynthia Petke lost her uncle when we were at Butler. Dionna White lost her grandmother when we were playing at home on a Sunday. For both of them to continue to play, because they were close to their family, and then changing and saying, okay, when we met, hey, I've been through that.

Because when I lost my mother and father I was able to say, okay, I'm going to coach for my parents. As we talked about they were going to play for their uncle or their grandmother. So the things that they have been able to accomplish is amazing, and then be recognized by the Big East, oh, it's just a story in itself.

Because, at the end of the day, it's not about just basketball, it's about family. It's about people. That's what I'm proud about with those two young women. They set the bar, and they have done some excellent things. I know going forward for Cynthia, wherever she goes, if she goes overseas to play, she's going to be fantastic. Dionna White, we're going to continue to work at her game and hopefully she's even better next year.

Q. What about DePaul's full-court transitional offense made it so tough for your team to handle defensively tonight?
JAMES HOWARD: Well, when you're running, it's like going to a track meet. They were on all cylinders tonight, and that's what -- I mean, being in the game for a long time, that's what a veteran coach is going to do. He's going to look at when you play. He's going to look at how you play.

And those two things right there with the win was you just finished probably 11 o'clock, 11:30, your team probably got back to the hotel at midnight. You probably had a hard game against Villanova running off of screens, so my scouting report is going to be, hey, we're going to push tempo today. We're going to wear him down. We're going to get out. That's what they do.

His kids played the scouting report perfect. That's what a Hall of Fame coach, like coach does. His players knock down shots and they're very good.

They're very good for a reason because they're coached by a very good coach. When you have a coach like that that can get players that fit system, there is nothing you can do. We're building. We're a team, but we're trying to build a program.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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