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March 8, 2019

Scott Rueck

Taya Corosdale

Mikayla Pivec

Las Vegas, Nevada

Washington - 68, Oregon State - 67

COACH RUECK: From Beaver Nation, walking out and seeing so much orange reminded us of Seattle, honestly. Just an honor to have a fan base that supports us the way they do. Wondered what it would be like down here, and it was unreal. Just to see that much orange, and for that reason, that's what I'm most disappointed about is letting those people down tonight, which I kind of feel like we did.

All the credit in the world to Washington, though. They played a phenomenal game. They hit huge shots all game long, answered everything we did. I told Jody before the game last night I was impressed by the way they played, not only did they play like they had nothing to lose, they executed, and they kept it up. So it's a funny thing that happens in March, especially in conference tournaments is that you get hope.

So for teams that there's no postseason beyond this unless they win it, you get hope, and hope is a powerful thing.

They clearly are playing with a renewed energy and with a lot of passion. So it was an impressive performance. These two next to me did everything they could to get us going. I was so proud of them and our team in general, of course. But you've got to give all the credit in the world to Washington for finding a way to win tonight.

Q. For the players, in that bizarre final sequence there, after they hit the three, would you have preferred -- while the technical was correct, would you have preferred to get a clean shot? And, Scott, same thing. Would you have preferred, frankly, for them to even ignore -- while the call was correct, would you prefer in that moment, rather than to get set in the delay, and I'm sure you guys were somewhat stunned, to just try to get a clean shot in that spot?
MIKAYLA PIVEC: I would have preferred getting a stop defensively, but after she hit that shot, we probably wouldn't have gotten a great look up if we had gone right away. So two more points gets a little closer.

TAYA COROSDALE: Yeah, as Mik said, getting a nice, executed shot would have been ideal.

COACH RUECK: I thought we had a chance while they were laying on the ground nobody was playing defense. So look up, throw the ball, you're two dribbles from a lay-up, and you can do that in two seconds. So I was trying to tell them to go, go, we hadn't heard a whistle yet. They're distracted.

But it was odd. That was the first time we've been in a situation this year without a timeout in that situation, which is so weird in the women's game. There are so few baseline out-of-bounds situations where you're going the length of the floor anymore, and it's very odd.

So the whole thing was chaotic, odd. And I'm with Mik: Get a stop, and you don't have to worry about it.

Q. It seemed you guys had them not dead and buried but in pretty good shape for you in the first half. You're up 14, and everything was going your way. What changed to get them back in this game to have what happened happen?
COACH RUECK: Well, scoring drought. We just talked about that in the locker room. You can't give a team hope. That's the word of the day, I guess. In a situation where we're in control, they switched their zone and that gave us trouble, and we did not respond to the zone.

We had some reserves in at the time. I subbed our first group back after a couple -- after a couple of their stops, but then we still could not generate offense. We still had a lead, but it was different, of course, than before. So we just didn't adapt to their defense like we needed to.

Q. Mikayla, did you feel like the longer they stayed in it, the more confident they were getting as it stayed close and it was getting later in the game? And did the opposite happen for you guys? Did you feel like you were getting tentative the longer they stayed in it?
MIKAYLA PIVEC: I think definitely on their part they felt more and more confident as the clock got to zero. You could feel it from the crowd, from the bench, from the people on the court after Missy hit that shot, all of them collapsed on the ground.

But I think us, I don't think it was more tentative. I think as we got closer to the end we were more aggressive because we realized we need urgency, and we should have played like that the whole game. We attacked, and it was too late because they had gotten ahead of us.

Q. I realize this is going to be hard to shift the attention so quick after a loss like this. But you guys were projected to be in the top 16, this is certainly the worse loss on paper for the season. What is your message not only to your team, but if you want to say anything to the committee at this point about where your program stands relative to trying to stay in that top 16 seeds?
COACH RUECK: Well, I think if you look at our resumé, it's pretty good. This is the only loss outside the top 20 RPI, and three of our losses are to top five or six -- Notre Dame, Oregon, Stanford, two on the road -- you know, against those.

So what this team has done, if you look at the success all year long, the resumé, I think it's strong. I think everybody knows March Madness is a bit odd. And you look at this game, look what it took to beat us. I don't know. Those things are out of my hands. I don't know all of it. But based upon what this team has done and the fact this is a conference tournament, if we didn't host, I think that would be criminal.

Q. On the play that Missy hit that three on, what were you guys figuring they were going to do? It seemed like it was a pretty good play by them to get it right back to her with the deep three that she had?
COACH RUECK: Yeah, we assumed they'd go to the rim. That was one part of it, anyway. We assumed maybe an on-ball screen. There was still five seconds, so there was time to make a play. That was clearly a quick look. We still had 2.3 on the clock. Where she shot it from, I mean, we were in the vicinity. It was somewhat contested.

In that situation it's kind of pick your poison a little bit. If you extend out, they can throw it behind the second level of your defense and get a better look. It's not often you see a shot like that go down though. That's pretty rare. In my career I'm trying to think if I've been beaten by a three like that. I can't remember.

Sabrina hit a huge one against us in Gil last year, but it was off the bounce, off the top. This one was just kind of a gutsy move, a gutsy shot in that situation.

I'll have to look at it again, but to me it seemed like it was somewhat contested even, so great shot.

Q. For Taya and Mikayla, to have now a game like this over, can you recall a time where you've seen especially Katie and Aleah miss this many good looks? Like I said, now that this game is over, how much can you take from this to maybe apply this to the tournament to say there may be another night where some of the shots aren't going, and we have to find a way to play through it, or find a way to get buckets?
MIKAYLA PIVEC: I would say it was definitely uncharacteristic to miss that many good looks. We got a lot of great looks from the three-point line, but when that isn't falling, we need to attack the rim and get to the X and get lay-ups because we know those are a much higher percentage shot.

TAYA COROSDALE: Yeah, and I think everybody else just needs to step up and play their role and do everything you can to get a win at that point.

COACH RUECK: It's basketball. There's nights like that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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