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March 9, 2019

Jeff Walz

Asia Durr

Arica Carter

Sam Fuehring

Greensboro, North Carolina

Louisville - 78, NC State - 68

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Louisville head coach Jeff Walz and student-athletes Sam Fuehring, Arica Carter and Asia Durr. Coach, an opening statement.

COACH MOORE: Just really, really proud of everybody in that locker room. I thought it was a hard-fought game which we knew it was going to be. We came out 10 days ago and just really -- offensively we were unbelievable the first quarter.

And I knew that was not going to repeat itself. You can't expect to have that kind of performance every time out. And NC State's a heck of a basketball team. Wes does a remarkable job. You're looking at three or four starters that are out for him because of ACL injury.

And it doesn't matter. It's next person up. And I've got a lot of respect for their program, for Wes. They're going to -- I'm excited to see where their draw is going to be for the NCAA Tournament, because now you're back to play a game, get a day off, play a game, and if you advance past that you get three or four days.

So, when you're down to the numbers that Wes is down it's hard to play three games in three days or back to back. So really commend them in their performance today and I'm really proud of our group.

It was a fun ballgame. We did some really good things and then we did some poor things. But that's part of this game. But we figured out a way to win and that's what you have to do this time of the year.

Q. You go on a 19-0 run in the first half. You can check my numbers on it if you want. What were you all seeing on their defense that made you all do that?
COACH MOORE: I don't think it's anything that went on with their defense. I think we kind of changed the tempo at times. Mykasa Robinson, I think she changed the entire game. I mean the entire game. Her overall hustle, the effort on both ends of the floor. And it's things you can't even see. You look at her stat sheet and I just told her in the locker room that I was really impressed with the fact that she fouled four times in five minutes and wasn't even trying to. But she comes up with, she has two turnovers and two steals. If you look at that you're going, what in the world did she do? Now she changed the entire complexion of the game for us.

I was really proud of how she came in and performed, and then we started executing. Our problem was we have gotten really sloppy at the offensive end. We're not screening as well as we had the past month. And now we're just flying by and we have to get back to doing what we do well. And that's set screens, use screens, move without the ball.

In that second quarter I thought we did a great job. We ran a few out-of-bounds play. Kylee Shook gets five points off out of bounds, and big five points. So really proud of them. And it's just -- it's the fun time of the year. You've got to figure out a way to win.

Q. Sam, can you talk a little bit about, I know you haven't had anytime to think about this, but it's a matchup that I think everybody's been thinking about, if you guys play Notre Dame again. Can you reflect back -- it's been a while, to that January 10th game and what you guys need to do better tomorrow?
SAM FUEHRING: I feel like we need to rebound. When we played Notre Dame in January, we didn't rebound well. And we kind of got sucked into the ref play instead of our own play. I think we need to move on from whatever calls that they call and just keep our heads in the game and not check out early.

That's pretty much what I think of when it comes to that Notre Dame game is boxing out, containing the ball, contesting shots and just move on.

Q. Sam and Asia, you had the last 12 points of the game, you two. What were you all seeing in that stretch that made it happen for you?
ASIA DURR: We were just trying to make reads. I actually had no idea we had the last 12 points of the game. But we were just trying to find a way to score, try to get a stop, get a score, then a stop. That's what we all were trying to do.

SAM FUEHRING: What Asia said. But I also feel like Coach Walz ran really good plays to set us up that way, too.

Q. Asia, you got off to kind of a slow start shooting. What got you going in that second quarter when you hit a couple of 3s there?
ASIA DURR: You just have to stay patient. That's it. You're not going to make every shot. I mean, everything's not going to be pretty. So you've just got to stay patient, trust the process, trust the game plan and just play hard.

Q. NC State got in foul trouble in the second quarter. Did you all try to make an intentional effort to attack the basket?
ASIA DURR: Yeah, you just want to make reads. If a player has two fouls or one foul, picked up a quick first foul you want to go at her because she's probably not -- she's probably not going to try to foul. And you have to make that read. That's what Coach Walz is trying to tell us; if we have the ball on the wing, just take it.

SAM FUEHRING: Yeah, Asia she touched on everything. So what Asia said.

ARICA CARTER: What Asia said.

Q. Arica, I think you guys got 28 points off turnovers today and obviously won the turnover battle big time. How important is that going to be tomorrow?
ARICA CARTER: It's going to be very important. If we could find a way to make Notre Dame turn the ball over and convert those turnovers it's going to be great. Coach talked about that before the game, how we did a great job of that last game and to be able to come into this game and do the same thing. Hopefully we can keep it going and be smart with the ball.

Q. Arica, you nailed four 3s out there today. You end up with a total of 16 points. What were you seeing on their guard play that was allowing you to get those shots off and in?
ARICA CARTER: Really just focusing on how my teammates have pumped my confidence up. Read the defense when I was open. I shot it confidently because of my teammates and how they're always telling me, like, you've got this. So really just trying to take my time, read the defense and not rush any shots.

Q. Coach, you were up about 10 with about 30 seconds left. Jaz was on the bench with about five fouls, but you were still coaching her. Can you talk about the team dynamic and how that works with your players even when they're on the bench out of the game, you want to coach them up?
COACH WALZ: We're just trying to teach them as the game goes at every opportunity. When I was talking to Jaz about was about two possessions before that, NC State had a sideline out of bounds and our goal was to make them throw it in the back court towards our basket so we could use more clock.

We went for a steal and they throw over the top. Now you're speeding them up and they need points. The last thing you want to do is get the game going faster.

I was trying to make sure I explained that to her and everybody on the bench because we try to use every opportunity we can as a teaching moment. And I just think it's important during the moment, if you can do that, to try to explain it to them. Because at the end of the day, you know, you've got to make smart plays.

I've got a good friend that always tells me all the time, dumb loses more than smart wins. You've got to make the smart plays. You've got to make sure -- limit the number of mistakes you're going to make and you can give that credit to Beth Burns, okay. That's her favorite line she tells me all the time.

And it's true, it's like, guys, just eliminate the foolish and silly mistakes and let's see what we can do. Now I'm sure Beth will be really thrilled that I quoted her on that.

Q. You mentioned obviously Wes Moore having to go to reserves late in the season after losing several starters. What does it say about the talent level of NC State to have two players in Elissa Cunane and Kai Crutchfield have such good performances after being bench players the start of the season?
COACH WALZ: They're really good. I was hoping that Cunane, this was her senior night also. I mean, she's really, really impressive. Just her composure on the floor. She played the 38 minutes. Crutchfield stepped up and made big shots. I love the confidence that Rogers is playing with at the same time.

They're a really, really good basketball team. I think the only thing that saved us at times tonight, we went in and pinched in on Cunane, not every time but at moments and we got her to turn the ball over which is what you have to do.

You've got to figure out a way. You can't let her get comfortable. She loves to turn it over the left shoulder. We did a great job of it 10 days ago of not allowing her to do it. And then for some reason in the first half she turned over the left shoulder every single time and scored on us. You have to give her credit being able to what she does well and she kept going at it.

Q. Looks like -- likely for the second year in the row you and Notre Dame will be No. 1 seeds. It's turned into maybe the premier rivalry in any conference considering the success you both have had. Can you just talk about how in some ways I guess maybe you bring out the best in each other?
COACH WALZ: All these kids know each other. That's really what's changed over the past 15, 20 years, is the fact there's so much travel ball being played in the summer. They all know each other. A lot of them play USA Basketball with each other.

So it's a great competition. And it's really what's fun to watch. I mean, I watch the fans go back and forth like they hate each other. Then the kids all know each other and they're actually friends. Now, do they want to win when you step out on the court? Of course you do.

But it's fun to watch them when they compete. And Notre Dame's playing fantastic. I mean, offensively they're really fun to watch when you don't have to play them. I've never seen a group of kids push the ball as hard as they do in transition.

They get it and go. They can go on a 12-0 run in two minutes. And that's where you've got to be smart at the offensive end to make sure you're attacking but you can't take bad shots. We talked to them in March. You can't come up with empty possessions. You've got to get shots.

And that's one thing over these past two games I'm really excited about because I think we had five turnovers in yesterday's game and we had eight tonight.

Q. Sam, you got your double-double today, 12 and 14. You were battling Cunane in there tooth and nail the entire game. Just talk about her as a freshman and that experience playing against her.
SAM FUEHRING: Yeah, she's an incredible player. I even told her after the game. She's so talented as a post player. I know when I came in my freshman year I wasn't, personally I feel like I wasn't nearly as good as she is.

I don't want to say that she has a long way to go, but she's going to make a really good four years -- well, three years because it's like three years left. But, yeah, she's going to be really good by her senior year.

COACH WALZ: It's going to be scary.


COACH WALZ: I mean, I'd be shocked if that kid's not an All-America by her junior or senior year. She's that good.

SAM FUEHRING: I'd like to see her shoot more, like shoot more outside shots I feel like.

Q. You or some of the other posts (indiscernible) as a freshman? Is that meanness there?
SAM FUEHRING: Yeah, she's tough. She got me with an elbow. But we were battling down low. I feel like she was battling with my other posts, too. But, yeah, she's a really tough freshman.


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