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March 8, 2019

Charli Turner Thorne

Reili Richardson

Sophia Elenga

Kianna Ibis

Las Vegas, Nevada

UCLA - 73, ASU - 69

COACH TURNER THORNE: All right. Thank you. Well, first of all, I just want to thank everybody here at the MGM in Vegas. I want to thank the Pac-12 for putting on the tournament. It's always first class. You guys do a great job. We really appreciate it.

As for the game, I mean, we're very disappointed. We're not a team that turns the ball over, which is very uncharacteristic of us today. And we're not a team that fouls, so we were just not a disciplined team that we normally are. So it's a little tough to swallow, but give UCLA credit. They're playing really well. Very aggressive team. They made some plays when we didn't, and they're going to do really well in the tournament, as will we.

I thought we had a great weekend last weekend, and came back this weekend. The break will do us a really -- the break will be really good for us just to kind of, I think, get our offense going on all cylinders. Again, just the things today, this team has been amazing all year long at not putting people on the free-throw line and not turning the ball over. So tough day for us in that regard.

Q. Can you talk about the fight your team had today? From what I've heard, it's kind of what it's been all year, but to be down 13 in the first half, 14 in the third, and battle back down 9 with a few minutes left and battle back. Just the resilience this team showed?
COACH TURNER THORNE: Yeah, thanks. Incredibly resilient team. You add discipline to that, and we can beat anybody in the country, and we know it.

So we do have that. We're experienced. I mean, these players have played the best teams. Played four, five top 5 teams in the country. There's nothing they haven't seen. We haven't usually been down this much. Usually we're back and forth. But we are tough, we're resilient. We do know how to make plays at the end of the game, so we're going to be very confident going into the NCAA Tournament.

Q. Reili, because you primarily run the offense, how would you say communication was on the floor today?
REILI RICHARDSON: I think we were just inside our heads too much. So that affected the whole team. I think we need to carry more energy to our team and make sure we feel each other on the court.

Q. Charli, the bench had 25 points today, what was it about the performance, and how important is that moving into the NCAA Tournament?
COACH TURNER THORNE: Well, really important for us. Especially with the offense. We're getting Jamie Ruden back healthy, so that's huge. Sophia is playing hands down the best basketball of her career right now, and she was amazing today. So, I know if we, you know -- with this little bit of practice, I'm very excited. Because I know Reili and Ki, they're better if they can be at 27 minutes or so, and not plus minutes. So that's going to be key for us.

Q. Sophia, you had easily one of the best games of your career today. Can you kind of just elaborate a little bit on what your thought process was coming into this game, and what really clicked for you in that second half when you guys were on that big comeback?
COACH TURNER THORNE: You should have saw her against Louisville? I'm just saying.

SOPHIA ELENGA: Thank you. I think just coming into this game it's like postseason, like what you did before doesn't matter. Like you came here with your recourse, just especially as a senior, just don't think about anything, just play. I mean, it's either you win or you lose and you go back home.

So just really playing all out, not thinking about everything else and just really wanted to make it for the team and just feel my team and just play every minute like it was the last minute because tough games are coming soon too. Just want to enjoy it as much as I can.

Q. Coach, what are some of the early issues you had in the game that allowed them to go on such a big run early on?
COACH TURNER THORNE: We just got off to a slow start. Really, our defense. We weren't locked in. We were switching screens we shouldn't have switched. We were playing soft. So we let them throw the first punch and kind of jump on us. And then we came down. We didn't get terrible shots, but we kind of settled. They like to come out pressuring, so we talked about it, hey, let's really jam it down their throats, and we kind of settled. So we weren't really going well on either end of the floor to start the game.

We settled down. We fought back.

Q. Kianna, what got you into foul trouble so quickly?
KIANNA IBIS: I would just say that maybe I was just not really focused and wasn't ready most of the time, I guess. Just a little undisciplined. Yeah.

Q. Coach, UCLA had 40 points in the paint. What are some of the takeaways you guys can have after playing such an inside oriented offense, especially a team like UCLA that only took like four threes altogether?
COACH TURNER THORNE: Well, usually we're really good at that, and that was our game plan, don't give them lay-ups. So we know what we need to do, we just didn't do it. And usually, we're very good at it.

Q. Kianna, how did you feel today physically?
KIANNA IBIS: Well, I mean, I bet everybody in the Pac-12 right now is feeling -- it's the end of the season. Everybody's feeling a little beat up and sore and stuff. I just have to play through it better.

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