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March 16, 2018

Gordy Presnell

Shalen Shaw

Marta Hermida

Louisville, Kentucky

THE MODERATOR: We'll begin with an opening statement from Coach Presnell.

GORDY PRESNELL: Congratulations to Louisville. They are definitely a No. 1 seed, and I thought they played outstanding basketball in the third quarter, and I thought we came out soft in the third quarter. I think we gave up nine points in the first minute and a half or something, and that kind of created too much of a gap.

But proud of our team and proud of our seniors and proud of these kids sitting next to me on the right.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Shay, you guys were hanging tough on the board there for most of the game until kind of midway through the third quarter. What let Louisville get that advantage?
SHALEN SHAW: I think we kind of weren't focused and focused in on what we needed to do. I think we let it slip away. And if we would have been focused, it would have been there.

Q. For Marta, did Louisville do anything to force that number of 3-point shots? Were they clogging the middle? What was Louisville's defense doing to frustrate you?
MARTA HERMIDA: I think that for this game, it was meant to be fear. And every opportunity that we have to get a 3-point shot, we did. I think we tried our best. We didn't make those 3s, so I hope next year we can do it better than that.

Q. For both of you, what was Kylee Shook doing out there today that was so effective against your defense?
SHALEN SHAW: She was picking and popping. We knew what she was going to do. It goes back to that focus thing. We just weren't focused in, and she was just hitting her shots and cutting and being where she needed to be, and we weren't where we were supposed to be.

MARTA HERMIDA: Yeah, same as Shay, what Shay said. Like she hurt us in the pick and pop, and we didn't hurt them in that way.

Q. For both of you, this has been a great, incredible season for you before this game. Just talk about the accomplishments that you did get done this year.
MARTA HERMIDA: I think it was a really, really good season. This is why we were really surprised when we were a 16 seed. But we played together. I am proud of every single one of my teammates and my coaches. That's all, I think. We tried our best in every single game that we played.

SHALEN SHAW: Yeah, I think that the beginning of the season, it was a little rough. We took a while to find ourselves. But when we did, we were really gelling together and really playing together.

Like Marta said, I'm really proud of our team.

Q. Going back to Kylee Shook, had you guys identified her as a 3-point threat? She only two 3s for the entire game, but they were both from that corner in a really short span of time.
SHALEN SHAW: Yeah, we knew she was more of a pick and pop post player. And then when she did get on the block, she was more of an additional post player. So she was a little bit of both, and we knew she was going to pick and pop.

When she was on the block, she was cutting and finding the open spot, which we weren't in the right spot to defend it. So yeah.

MARTA HERMIDA: What she said.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you very much.

Questions for coach.

Q. You mentioned your team had come out soft there in the third quarter. They had four lay-ups in the first 90 seconds. Were they being more aggressive to attack the rim, or did you guys ease off the defensive pressure?
GORDY PRESNELL: We went in at halftime thinking that they were getting in trouble, and we knew that they would up the intensity, up their level of performance, and would we be able to go up there with them.

And that first -- it must have been a minute and a half when I called time-out. And all of a sudden, the game's gotten away from us.

So that's them. I mean, there's a reason they're a No. 1 seed, and they just did a great job, and their pressure, the way they defended Riley was terrific.

You know, your question about the big kid, Shook. They put Shook and Durr in a pick and roll, and you've got to be able to stop. You've got to give up something. So we decided we'd give up the pick and pop and try to take away Durr. I mean, Ohio State gave up 47 not doubling her on the pick and roll. So that's what we did. She got free a few times.

Q. Did you want to take as many 3-pointers as you ended up doing? Is that a concession because of size?
GORDY PRESNELL: Right. There's a big difference and size, and they were -- we knew if we got Riley in a pick and roll, they were going to double her. So we thought pick and pops were always going to be open and os that was the shot that they gave us. We probably took too many, but that's the shot that we had we thought we could score on.

We haven't had a post presence since our all conference post player ECL'd in early December. And so that's just kind of the way it is. We've been a very consistent 3-point shooting team through the course of the year, but we haven't played, you know, No. 3 ranked team in the country either.

And so I think the rim shrunk on us, we got a little anxiety and a little tight. That's just the way it is.

That part I would do again because we don't really have a low post presence right now.

Q. Coach, what was it about Louisville's height or defensive pressure? What was the most bothersome, do you think, to your team?
GORDY PRESNELL: I thought we got good shots, but just the -- this sounds kind of crazy, but the sheer strength of the players. You know, if they got a hand on a hip, it's a little different, and they're very, very physically strong. They're very well taught.

Then their recovery, if they break down defensively in their closeouts, are quite good. That could have had something to do with our -- because we are open on a pick and pop, but maybe we we aren't open long enough. You know, they've got to close out, get a closeout.

Q. Coach, they've beaten Notre Dame twice and they played Connecticut, played a lot of good teams. Watching them on video and actually seeing them in person, anything impress you more, or did you see things that you hadn't seen on video?
GORDY PRESNELL: Well, you know, I was asked before the game a couple days ago or whatever, well, do you see any weaknesses or see anything?

And, yeah, I saw a few things, but not for us. You know, I saw what maybe some of the other teams could do against them. But once again, I'm proud of our team, and we're going to get there, and we got a pretty bright future ahead of us. We've got some young kids, got some great players coming in and some kids coming back from injury.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, thank you.

GORDY PRESNELL: Thank you so much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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