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March 8, 2019

Brenda Frese

Stephanie Jones

Taylor Mikesell

Kaila Charles

Indianapolis, Indiana

Maryland - 71, Michigan State - 55

BRENDA FRESE: You know, I thought it was a tough, hard-fought win for us against a really good Michigan State team. Like you see during tournament time, I thought our vets were tremendous at understanding, knowing the atmosphere without a shootaround being from an early tip. I thought they came out ready to play. Just love our response. Obviously at halftime, specifically with Kaila, I thought wasn't able to kind of work through some things in the first half, but I thought she just kept her poise and composure, made big play after big play to help us separate. I thought Bri Fraser showed an enormous amount of toughness for us, as well. For us it's survive and advance, and we're excited about the 40-minute effort we put together.

Q. Stephanie, can you talk a little bit about was there a concerted effort after halftime to make sure that Jenna Allen was not going to have the type of (second) half she had in the first half? And then if you wouldn't mind, talk about the defensive effort holding Michigan State to only 13 percent shooting in that third quarter.
STEPHANIE JONES: Like going into the game, we knew that her being a senior leader that she was like a big part of their team, and like getting their energy, so we knew that if we just kept her out of the game, kept her rhythm off that they would be off, too, and I think that also goes into keeping them down to 13 percent, like you said, in that third quarter, because I think we did a great job of really locking in and making sure that we got stops in order to get some separation.

Q. Kaila, what did you see at the end there when they went on the 12-1 run at the end of the half? Was it defensive breakdowns on your part or was it more Allen getting hot?
KAILA CHARLES: They're a great team, but I think most of it was just us having defensive breakdowns. We kind of went away from what we were doing in the first quarter, and Coach challenged us in the locker room to just lock in and focus on our defense and it will eventually lead to our offense. It was just basically us not paying attention to the little things. We knew she was a shooter but we would leave her open so we had to just lock in on the scout and make sure we were doing what we were supposed to do.

Q. Kaila, you've been through it before, having the double bye, a team coming in that's already played. What do you make of maybe the first half you guys played, how that may have factored in, not having a shootaround and looking so different in the third quarter, how that may have factored in?
KAILA CHARLES: The double bye is definitely helpful in terms of rest, but being able to play a game the day before gets you in the rhythm, so we knew that we had to lock in, because they already had that rhythm. They played yesterday, and they knew -- they went through just the lull of not playing for a while. What we notice is once we started playing in the first half and we were a little slow, we locked in the second half and were able to create that separation.

Q. Taylor, were you able to get your shots up this morning with no shootaround, and what was the first experience like playing in the tournament for the first time?
TAYLOR MIKESELL: No, I was not, but obviously it was an early tip. But first experience was good. You don't really know what to expect besides what everybody was telling me, how it's a grind. Hopefully we play three games back to back. We responded well in the third quarter, we started getting more into our transition game, and that ultimately gave us a little bit of separation and gave us that lead that we needed at the end.

Q. Taylor, just from the standpoint of the way that the game, the ebbs and flows in the first half, if you look at the score sheet, we're talking about one time you go on a 6-0 run, 7-0 run, they come back and do the same thing. How do you explain how that happened in tournament play in the first half, the way it flowed?
TAYLOR MIKESELL: I mean, that's just the way the basketball goes sometimes. We started clicking a little bit in the first quarter, and then we locked out a little bit, like Kaila was saying, with our personnel, and they started going on a run, so coming into halftime we had to lock back in with who our shooters were and we had to get back to our own, the way we wanted to play.

Q. Coach, you're a veteran at the double bye, but I don't know if you've ever had or not had a shootaround before. What's key that you've noticed over your time as a coach to handling this well and to come out in a better rhythm? It wouldn't be the first time a team lost basically being one-and-done. What's key from a team perspective to handle this facing a team that's already played in a different sort of rhythm?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, you know, we talked about it, you know, because we have been in those situations, and with an early tip, being ready to go, it starts in your preparation. Obviously our warmup, we wanted it to be very hard, so once the ball was tipped we had the energy and the aggressiveness to be able to go. I thought we responded well in parts of that in the first quarter. Obviously the second quarter I thought got away from us a little bit. But I do think they responded well, being ready to go.

Q. Brenda, it looked like your game plan to start was to pound, pound, pound Michigan State and make them guard your inside game. Was that it, and was your goal to overwhelm the inside game?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, you know, we thought we did have an advantage obviously with Kaila and Steph in there, some of those match-ups were match-ups that we really wanted to be able to go to, and then I think our mentality was to be on the glass. That was an area that they exposed us the first time we played. So definitely one that -- wanting to be aggressive on the glass.

Q. That loss to Michigan State this season was obviously a big turning point for you guys. How much was that a motivation?
BRENDA FRESE: You know, they might have seen a few clips from the first time. What I love about this team is yesterday this is who they wanted to play, and so again, they're just extremely competitive when they learn lessons. They take those lessons and want to get better, and I thought they were able to do that today.

Q. Which is more impressive, holding them to 13 percent shooting in the third quarter or you shooting 81 plus?
BRENDA FRESE: I'll take them both. You know, definitely for us, I would say our defense, to hold a team so talented like Michigan State defensively I think is huge. Obviously offensively we feel like we have a lot of weapons that we're able to be able to go to. But I thought our defense, holding them to just 18 field goals in a game I thought was critical to our success.

Q. You went small today with Channise in the starting lineup. What did you see going into the game that made you make that choice?
BRENDA FRESE: Well, you know, I mean, obviously our depth has been impacted through Bri's injury. So more strategic of just trying to -- we saw we've been in some early foul trouble and just kind of protecting our bigs. I thought we were able to use that to our advantage in this game.

Q. On Bri, do you like how she was moving, and do you feel like she's back at 100 percent?
BRENDA FRESE: Nowhere near close to 100 percent, but I thought -- we needed every single one of her 13 minutes that she gave us today. I thought she was big. Now we evaluate obviously how she comes out of this, and with multiple games in a row. But I thought she played like a senior should play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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