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March 7, 2019

Jonathan Tsipis

Kelly Karlis

Marsha Howard

Indianapolis, Indiana

Wisconsin - 73, Ohio State - 63

Q. Coach, you got two wins in two days, the 13 seed. How are you hoping to use that to continue to improve heading into your next match-up?
COACH TSIPIS: Yeah, I don't think necessarily to sit there and say, like we said, hey, we're the 13 seed. I think we looked and said, we get the opportunity obviously to open the tournament up on the first day against Penn State, a team that we're familiar with, had not gone our way in each of the first two match-ups, and you could just kind of see the confidence. The kids wanted that opportunity. It's not ever to say you want to play a specific team, but I think knowing as the course of the season went along, if we got that opportunity to play them again today, and then I think that confidence built up, that we didn't play our best in the first half. Credit Ohio State for that.

Again, I thought in the first half we allowed maybe -- we took too many jumpers. We took good care of the ball, only had one turnover at halftime. But in the second half, just simple things like getting three stops in a row and again, getting a couple transition baskets to make the hoop seem bigger. You know, obviously led by our seniors in Marsha Howard and Kelly Karlis, Kelly with a career day, four from the three-point line, Suzanne Gilreath came in and knocked down a huge three for us, as well. But again, I thought defensively, we're talking about we needed our offense to be better. I thought we gained strength from our defense today. And again, last week we scored 50 points against Ohio State in a game, and we get 51 in the second half. You could just see the confidence building and building with our kids. And again, I thought our bench was great, keeping our kids -- again, you can't look and say how many minutes you played because the reality of it is three of our players won't ever get to experience this again, and the two that are on the floor I think did a great job of making sure of bringing everybody else along with them.

Q. Just the way you guys have been able to overcome the way that the season has played out for you and the way you played in the second half, and in the first half you weren't able to get a lead, but to have that confidence in the second half, what were your thoughts on just their overall effort?
COACH TSIPIS: Yeah, I think we challenged them on things that we know they can do really well. And we talked about if you miss shots and you're taking good care of the basketball, can we get on the offensive glass a little bit more, to help ourselves, to get to the free-throw line, to just give them confidence. It's something we've kind of prided ourselves on all year is being a better rebounding team. We lost the rebounding battle tonight, but I thought we made a much better effort, and I think that activity helped us on the other end, as well. I don't think we gave up nearly as many offensive rebounds in the second half. And I just thought, you know, tipped balls, 50/50 balls, challenging shots, we did a much better job in the second half, and I think that gave us confidence to go the other way.

Q. Overall, just the way you guys came out in the first half, not a lot going for you, but there was a level of spirit and you guys were really inspired in the second half, made some big shots. What do you think was able to lead to that? Did Coach say anything to you at half?
KELLY KARLIS: He always believes in us. He tells us to never give up, even if we are the lower seed, just to keep fighting. We were all calm and collected, and we knew we still had some fight in us, so we never let down.

Q. You guys are the 13 seed, and you've won two. No other 13 seed has ever done that in the Big Ten Tournament. How has that allowed you to be like, 13 seed, we've got nothing to lose, let's just throw the chips out there and see what happens?
KELLY KARLIS: Yeah, that's kind of our mentality. We've got nothing to lose. We're the lowest seed. But lower seeds always come out with a big fight, so that's kind of what we're coming out with every game, just to keep pushing, each team that we just beat we lost to both times this season, so we've got one more to do it to.

Q. Marsha, how does it feel to be playing in your final tournament? How does it feel as a senior to be advancing through the tournament? What does it mean to you?
MARSHA HOWARD: We worked for it. We knew we could do it. We went out there and we competed. Even when we came in at halftime, our heads was held high, and we just talked about one stop, one basket, and just continuing to do that, and then once we took the lead to just continue to hit.

Q. And then throughout your whole four years playing at Wisconsin, what has it meant to you to be playing in the Big Ten?
MARSHA HOWARD: It's a competitive conference. It's what I live for. The love and the will that I have for this game is just tremendous, and to be able to be here with these ladies and these coaches, to be able to fight to the finish and finish out strong as a senior, it means a lot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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