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March 7, 2019

Mark Trakh

Kayla Overbeck

Mariya Moore

Las Vegas, Nevada

Arizona - 76, USC - 48

COACH TRAKH: You've just got to give all the credit in the world to Arizona. They played well. They defended us well. They ran their offense well. They've got a kid that's really hard to guard in McDonald, and we tried.

But I thought defensively we weren't really that bad, especially in the second half. It was just offensively a combination of their defense, and we hadn't shot like that in a long time. We've been playing offensively pretty well.

But hats off to Arizona. They played great. Best of luck to them against Oregon tomorrow, and we've got to see if we're going to get a WNIT invite because I know these kids don't want this to be the last memory of a decent season. I think we had a pretty good season. But hopefully this won't be the last memory of this season, and we can get in the postseason and move on.

But you kind of get a game like this, you've got to see what you did wrong and how you can improve and coach the kids up. I think the important thing is to coach the kids up after a game like this. We just had a great weekend, and we didn't play well, but it's a total team responsibility from the coaches to the players. We all didn't do the job we needed to do. But like I said, we correct everything by just coaching them up and getting ready for the next game.

Q. Coach, that second quarter just got away from you guys. Was it anything they were doing specifically that got them that huge advantage, or was it just the defense wasn't working, the shots weren't falling and they were able to add to the lead?
COACH TRAKH: Our defense wasn't good in the first half. I thought it tightened up in the second half. But yeah, we've -- early we would have quarters like that, but I think we corrected that problem in the last month and a half, and we had a bad quarter. It was 23-7. That's when they kind of extended the lead. But yeah, I think it was a combination of we couldn't defend them, or we didn't defend them well, and we didn't make shots.

Q. Kayla and Mariya, I saw you both on Sunday, an incredible overtime win over Utah. What was Arizona doing that was making things so difficult for you out on the floor today?
KAYLA OVERBECK: You know, to be honest, looking at this sheet, we weren't really hitting it. We weren't making shots that we make in practice, that we make in shoot-around, and just like shots that we know we can make. But then defensively we weren't the team that we know that we could be.

And it's heartbreaking because to lose a game like that and know that, wow, I wish I had one more quarter, or wow, I wish that this play of the game I would have called a coverage sooner or I would have done something differently defensively, and then offensively making shots or trying to get rebounds extra hard.

Like now it's too late to say that. But it's time to like change that mindset, and okay, maybe we can do it next time, you know, not them but our next opponent. And then for Mariya in the professionals.

But we really -- I'm going to be honest, felt like we shot ourselves in the foot because we know we can play better, but we did not, you know.

Q. Coach, you've seen the Cats now three times. What's the biggest improvement you've seen over the course of playing them three times?
COACH TRAKH: Two times. We only played them twice. Played them once this year. I think the improvement of the players around McDonald. I think that's the biggest thing that those four players are -- I hate to use the word supporting cast because they all played well. It's not her supporting cast, it's her teammates, and I think her teammates have really improved throughout the year, and I think that's what makes them so good right now is her teammates are really -- I mean, if you look at the stats sheet, she got 19 points, but Reese, Cate, got 19 and Tee Tee Starks got 14 and Sam Thomas got 10. So her teammates have really picked it up, and that's making them very tough at this time of year.

Q. For both the players, Kayla, you mentioned that -- is it more frustrating that you guys didn't give your best shot today, and hopefully you will have another game to go out with your best as opposed to not having the game you guys wanted to end on?
KAYLA OVERBECK: Most definitely because as a player, like knowing that you -- yes, like you give it your 100 percent but maybe I could have given it 5 more percent. Like that couldn't be in you? But still like try to get as much as you can out of yourself.

But at the same time, you have to be happy that I gave everything that I gave, you know, and then as -- like personally, but then as a team, it's like, next time we'll get it. I don't know, it's just a positive-type mindset, you know.

Q. Anybody can answer this: If you had to make your case right now to the NCAA Committee about why you deserve to be in, what do you want to say to them?
COACH TRAKH: We don't deserve to be in. Let's end that conversation right away. That conversation is over. We would be fortunate to get an invitation to the WNIT, so there is no case to be made.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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