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March 7, 2019

Amanda Butler

Aliyah Collier

Danielle Edwards

Greensboro, North Carolina

Clemson - 80, Virginia Tech - 79 (OT)

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Clemson head coach Amanda Butler and student-athletes Aliyah Collier and Danielle Edwards. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH BUTLER: You know, we were able to beat a really, really good team today. Virginia Tech is just one of the best performing teams in our league in February and down the stretch, and obviously their performance yesterday. So they certainly put up a great fight and we've got a great deal of respect for them.

Really, really proud of my ugly duckling Clemson Tigers, though. Just fought. It wasn't our prettiest game, but we don't ever really count on pretty. We're just going to play hard and grind it out. And we kind of have this agreement, we're all going to do what it takes and then be okay with where we end up after that.

But tremendous senior leadership. Tremendous balance. Dani got us out of the gates. Aliyah was just doing her thing the whole ball game. Kobi had a section where she led us. Destiny Thomas had a section where she led us.

But ultimately it came down to us being able to get stops. And we're really proud when we can be in that position and then come out on top that way.


Q. Aliyah, you scored eight straight points to take the lead for good in overtime. What were you seeing in overtime to get those three straight baskets?
ALIYAH COLLIER: Wasn't seeing really much, just was going with the flow of the game. Get it out and in. Get down. We know what defense they were running, so we were prepared to attack their defense and at least try to get to the foul line.

Q. What was helping you with the back-to-back 3-pointers there?
ALIYAH COLLIER: The flow of the game, really. My teammates, they seen after the first shot I made, so they was finding ways to get me the ball. And I was just going with the flow and they weren't guarding me. So I wasn't going to shy down from a shot.

Q. Obviously Emery scored the last 17 points for Tech in the fourth quarter. What changed there where she was able to be so effective there late in the fourth quarter? And she didn't score in the overtime until the last second 3-pointer. Did you make any adjustments defending her in overtime there?
COACH BUTLER: Yes, we went zone. We thought that we could switch some screens and keep somebody in front of her. And she just, she played with like a senior with her hair on fire, that sort of urgency that you expect to see in your seniors, just like mine did. But she's a great ball player. Look at the numbers that she's had in the league. Maybe her best game in the league. But she deserves a lot of credit.

Her team did a great job finding her. And we just -- we couldn't keep her out of the paint. We couldn't keep her in front of us. We couldn't keep the ball off the block, so we said, let's play a little zone and see how that works. And it worked much better.

Q. What was your defensive game plan against Magarity today?
COACH BUTLER: Our biggest aspect of our defensive game plan was to try and box her out. She's an elite rebounder, and we did that reasonably well. She still got 10. She's just double figures on the board, seems like, just when she wakes up in the morning.

But I think that her low scoring was because she's a really good ball player who understood what was working. And when we got the ball in to her she took advantage of it a couple of times. But then she was looking for Emery, because she was obviously unstoppable. So I just think really unselfish ball player, making the plays that her team needed her to make.

Q. Was your defensive game plan any different than when you played them at your place during the regular season?
COACH BUTLER: Very similar. We did a much better job of defending them. They did a really good job handling our back court pressure. We kind of expect that at this point in the year. But we wanted to keep pressing so it became a game of who is going to have more energy at the end to make that one last play.

And our team really committed to that. We did probably a better job the first time we played them of pressing them. But, again, credit Kenny and credit their kids for adjusting and handling it really well.

Q. Before you get away, this is your first ACC Tournament game. Give us some thoughts about it and what it means to your program?
COACH BUTLER: Oh, shoot, you know, it's just, I'm happy to be here. I don't know. Is that too simplistic to say? I'm really happy to be here. I'm happy to be a Clemson tiger. This is the best conference in the country. And I just feel really blessed and fortunate to be coaching such a special group of women who compete for each other every single night.

Greensboro puts on a first-class event. I've always admired it from afar. And it's just, like I said, it's an honor and a privilege to be part of it, and it makes it even special when you're part of it and you're a winning part of it.

We're really excited to be playing in the quarterfinals. That hasn't happened for my seniors ever. So we're going to celebrate for another 10 or 15 minutes before we start thinking about the next one.

Q. Playing off of that, Danielle and Aliyah, what does the win mean to you, a win in the tournament?
DANIELLE EDWARDS: Whenever someone has asked me about this postseason, I describe it as special. We've been able to accomplish something with this program this year that hasn't been done in a very long time. So being able to get to the quarterfinals, it's just special.

ALIYAH COLLIER: Same as Dan. It's really special because, like, in the previous years, you know, we've gotten here and we haven't gotten as far in the postseason. So to be here in this situation and to get the win tonight to help us keep going forward, I think that's just something that I'm going to look back on after I graduate.


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