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March 9, 2019

Brenda Frese

Blair Watson

Channise Lewis

Kaila Charles

Indianapolis, Indiana

Maryland - 73, Michigan - 72

BRENDA FRESE: You know, obviously just a tremendous game by both teams. No team deserved to lose this game. But proud of our finish. I thought it was a hard-fought game by both teams. Came down to being able to make one more play and one more stop on the defensive end, something that we've been building for and have put ourselves in a lot of great situations to have great confidence to be able to finish it out. Just really proud of our resiliency there to stay the course.

Q. Kaila, you've been a part of a lot of milestones at Maryland, especially some this year. What does the 1,000th win mean to you, to be part of that for the program?
KAILA CHARLES: I mean, it's just a blessing. I'm glad that I was able to get the opportunity to play for this program under Coach Frese and I'm glad I'm a part of making history here in the program. Like I said, I'm just grateful to have this opportunity.

Q. Blair, what did you see during the first half to kind of give you -- to pull away second half with the lead?
BLAIR WATSON: I'd say like the way we pushed in transition. Coach B was emphasizing that, that we had to get out and run and definitely helping in on the bigs and sinking in on Thome and getting her out of her rhythm and I think that helped us a lot to pull away a little bit in the second half.

Q. Kaila, I spoke to Bri after a couple of you guys' close wins during the regular season. She said she felt like you were never going to lose those games like against Minnesota. Was it the same feeling tonight?
KAILA CHARLES: Definitely. I have all the faith in my team. Especially when we come together, we put our mind to one goal. And we've been playing for Bri all season, and we want to send her out the right way. I had faith, and I think they did, too, and we all believed we could win.

Q. Channise, you had some big baskets in the third quarter. What did you see from Michigan's defense because you seemed to be more aggressive?
CHANNISE LEWIS: Yeah, of course going into the half I was on the bench for foul trouble, so I definitely saw what we could change going into the third quarter, so I just had to be more aggressive going off the screens, more aggressive to the hole, and it was just opening up for me because there was more focus for everyone else on the team, so that helped me out.

Q. Kaila, they seemed to have been denying you the ball a lot in the fourth quarter, but again and again you got open and coming down the stretch you had those last two free throws. Talk me through that.
KAILA CHARLES: It was my teammates setting screens for me to get open. Yeah, basically that, they were setting me screens and then at the end Taylor set me a good screen and the girl happened to foul me and we were able to get on the line to get two opportunities or two shots to get the lead. So just my teammates getting me open.

Q. Kaila, you were emotional towards the end of the game. What were you feeling?
KAILA CHARLES: Yeah, fired up. I'm really passionate about this game. I love it. I love the fact that our league is so competitive. I love competition, and I was just excited. I love a close finish. I love to get the adrenaline, so it was just fun.

Q. Tonight you were able to pretty much take -- more or less take care of Thome tonight for Michigan. She only had two points and two rebounds compared to last game against you guys, where she had 30 points. What was the game plan for tonight to try to limit her?
KAILA CHARLES: Yeah, just making sure we knew who the shooters are and the drivers were. And if we were guarding a driver, making sure we were sagging in to help dig off of Thome because we know she makes a big impact in the paint. There was a lot of team defense on Thome that I think Steph and Shakira and Bri came in and did a good job of keeping her out of the rhythm. On the flipside, offensively, we were attacking her, hopefully getting her into foul trouble, and I think that's what really caught her off because she had to sit most of the game.

Q. Blair, you guys were so back and forth and trading leads so often in this game. Why couldn't you guys get any space or momentum? What were you seeing on their end?
BLAIR WATSON: I would say Michigan is a really good team and they played their best game of basketball against us tonight. Yeah, they gave us their best shot, and at the end of the day, we just came out and got it done.

Q. Channise, then Kaila, you guys find yourselves again going into the Big Ten Tournament championship. What are you going to take into this year as opposed to last year, just trying to get that win?
KAILA CHARLES: We're just going to make sure we stick to our standard and our brand of basketball. Last year we came really close and we lost it, so we have that chip on our shoulder. We want to get back and hopefully get the win. We're just going to stick together and get the win.

CHANNISE LEWIS: We've got to stick together and play for 40 minutes and play to our standards. We're ready for this game tomorrow, and we're just going to play hard from the start.

Q. Channise, at the end of the third quarter, Kaila was taken out, and then Coach came up to you and Taylor about like a minute and five left in the third quarter if you can remember. There was a message that she sent to you guys and then you immediately drove to the basket after she met with you. What was the message behind that, and what did you try to do to take advantage of it?
CHANNISE LEWIS: I don't remember, but I'm pretty sure it was to be aggressive, and that's exactly what I did, and I got to the hole.

Q. Kaila, since you scored a lot of points, what was the hardest thing you had to do during the game?
KAILA CHARLES: Just make sure -- honestly, just stay present. We knew Michigan was going to come out and score baskets, and they would go on their run, but as long as we stayed present and I was able to be a good leader to my team, we could ultimately come together and get the win. I was just trying to be a good leader and not get focused on when I made a basket or when they missed a basket and just try to be present.

Q. Coach, could you really just put into words what 1,000 wins means and I guess really you hoped to celebrate it with cutting down nets tomorrow, right?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, that would be a special feeling. But I think it speaks volumes of the University of Maryland and the program and the legacy. And I can't say enough about the two coaches before me with Dottie McKnight and Chris Weller, who set the bar and set the standard for me to follow. It's all of us that have continued on that tradition, the great tradition that we have here at Maryland, and obviously we're one of very few programs in the country to be able to own a milestone like this, so it's pretty special.

Q. Coach Frese, how relieved were you late in the game there when Kaila went to the free-throw line, making seven free throws already and then knocking down those last two?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, I don't know if relieved was the right word. I was relieved that she was the shooter at the free-throw line, but I knew there was still a lot of time left that we were going to have to be able to get a stop defensively. So just staying in those moments, but if there was anyone out there that you wanted on the free-throw line, I knew she wanted that opportunity.

Q. Going into halftime, you guys were down 40-37 and then you guys came out of halftime on a 16-8 run. What message did you give the team?
BRENDA FRESE: You know, we were actually -- I mean, we just talked about poise and composure. We kind of became rattled in their press. A big piece of that was having Channise on the bench. Just kind of collecting ourselves. We needed that time at halftime and just knowing what we were more than capable of and being able to go out and being able to execute it.

Q. What was it like playing and defending against Amy Dilk? She's a freshman, but it seemed like she was playing kind of beyond her years and seems like she's been doing that all year long. What was it like having to try to stop her?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, I mean, obviously an extremely talented player. I thought she played with even probably more energy, probably with a lot of family in the stands, being back home, and she's just a hard match-up with her length and her size, her court vision. Obviously when you look at her 11 assists, she had a tremendous presence for them I thought on both ends of the floor.

Q. Late in the game there, you guys made a basket, but referee blew the whistle and there may have been a mistake timeout. Talk me through that and what happened or what didn't happen.
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, I mean, a timeout was called. That's what they heard. And so it's -- I mean, there's really nothing else you can do. At that point the decision was made, so we had to move forward. When you talk about moving to the next play, just moving through that.

Q. I understand it's a big win today, but I want to look toward tomorrow a little bit. Can you talk to me about how you plan to get your players ready, and what mentality you want them to come with tomorrow?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, well, I think if you don't have players that are motivated for tomorrow, you probably have the wrong team. It won't be hard at all. This team is highly motivated and excited for the opportunity that we have that's ahead of us for tomorrow. We know every time you advance how hard it is, that we're going to have to play a complete game. We need to play better tomorrow than what we did today. But it won't be hard to motivate our team to be ready to play.

Q. Brenda, how much did those games against Minnesota and Purdue prepare you guys for today. And then I think Steph's left leg was taped up to her knee. Did she just get hit or something?
BRENDA FRESE: We tend to tape a lot of bandage, so she probably just had blood and a cut. So it wasn't anything significant. You know, there was just never any panic from anybody, between players, coaches. We've been in these situations so many times that there's actually just a calming, peaceful, collective mindset of what we need to do, and I think that's obviously because we've been through so many intense games this season. The conference has prepared us, just so many great teams, like you see the 4 seed with Michigan and everything that they threw at us today.

Q. The media timeout when you guys were up 67-65 and you guys came out of that timeout with a layup, what was the huddle like?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, well, first of all, I've got to tell all the junior journalists that you guys have done a phenomenal job asking your questions, and that time-out for us, again, was just getting one more stop. We wanted to put Shakira on the ball. She's 6'5", use her length, and we had a collective poise to ourselves of just wanting to be able to finish it with one defensive stop.

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