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March 10, 2019

Brenda Frese

Kaila Charles

Indianapolis, Indiana

Iowa - 90, Maryland - 76

Q. What were your main takeaways from this game that you shared with the team?
BRENDA FRESE: Just I was proud of their fight. I thought a game that had a lot of adversity for us with a lot of foul trouble that we continued to just keep putting our head down and keep battling. I thought Iowa was terrific. I thought we had no answer to be able to stop the All-American in Megan Gustafson. But just proud of the fact that we just continued to keep trying to stay in there and never gave up.

Q. For Kaila to have two (points) the first time you guys played and 36 tonight, what did you see from her?
BRENDA FRESE: You know, just continues to speak volumes of Kaila and just her will to win, her competitiveness and not to be denied. She just wanted to do whatever she could to be able to put this team on her back to be able to help us in any situation possible.

Q. You mentioned the foul trouble in the first half. Can you elaborate how that impacted the game?
BRENDA FRESE: It was tough. I think from the very first possession they showed that the game was going to be called really tight, and that impacted us greatly. Megan is so strong, so physical, and so just a very difficult match-up, obviously, for us. It just really impacted us because of just the tremendous foul trouble that we were in.

Q. It didn't seem like when they would go on runs it was defensive breakdowns or anything. What was your takeaway on defense? Was it just that she is that strong?
BRENDA FRESE: She's just that good. I mean, she's just that good. The first time we played them, we tried to run a lot of triangle-and-two and different looks at her, and it didn't pay off. All the supporting cast hurt us. And again tonight, just trying to figure out who you couldn't guard. I just think Iowa is a great team. You know, if you stop one, they know how to go to their other options.

Q. Gustafson was unstoppable for much of the game. What, if anything, could you have done differently, I guess, defensively?
BRENDA FRESE: Like I said, the first time we tried everything at her, and she still had 30 on us. You talk about -- we tried to front, we tried to have great help-side defense. I mean, obviously we were impacted greatly when you don't have a lot of bodies to be able to go at her when they did a tremendous job pumping it in to her and getting us in severe foul trouble.

Q. Olivia Owens gave you some great minutes. Can you talk about that?
BRENDA FRESE: Olivia was huge. We always talk about be ready when your number is called, and she's been working hard behind the scenes. Her opportunity and her window came tonight, and I thought she gave us a tremendous boost in the first half.

Q. What mindset does this put you guys in going into the rest of the postseason?
BRENDA FRESE: You know, we're excited for what lies ahead. I mean, this is not a bad loss. We got beat by a great team. Selection Monday we get to hear our name and what our seed will be, and more importantly what our bracket is and what region we're put in. For us, it's only our fourth loss. It's being able to take the lessons that we've learned from all four of those losses and being ready for our last tournament.

Q. I think we know how much you guys hate to lose. Do you hope your team holds on to this feeling almost?
BRENDA FRESE: Yeah, I could say when they walked off the court, when I walked in the locker room, this team hates to lose. The beautiful thing, like I told them, this isn't our last game. But I know the fight. We don't want it to end. And obviously for Bri Fraser, we want to continue this ride as long as possible.

Q. How difficult is it to go up against Megan when it seems like everything you do there's fouls? How do you manage your game like that?
KAILA CHARLES: It is hard. She's a great player. She's an All-American. She knows how to finish, either shoulder, great touch around the rim. But it's just we've got to be present. We can't be stuck in the calls. She was getting a lot going her way, but we should have known that might happen because it happened last game, and we just had to be present and just keep moving forward, but we were kind of stuck in the past, and that's just something we have to keep working on.

Q. Did anyone speak in the locker room afterwards?
KAILA CHARLES: I mean, I came in a little later than anybody, but they were all keeping heads up. And I just said, we're good, our season is not over. We still have the NCAA Tournament. We fought hard for 40 minutes, never gave up, even when we were down however many with a minute left. We're not done. We're far from over, and we're going to keep working and try to go as far as we can in the NCAA.

Q. How much are you looking forward to the NCAA Tournament, the type of defense you guys can play?
KAILA CHARLES: I mean, especially after this loss, which you know is going to give us motivation for practicing and going forward, we're excited for the NCAA. I think we have a well-rounded team with so many weapons. We have a team that can play very well at defense as well as scoring, so I'm excited to see how far we can get. I think we're all committed and ready to play again and just get a win back.

Q. They did a really good job on Taylor tonight. How much does that put extra weight on you or the team as a whole?
KAILA CHARLES: I mean, I'm not going to say it hurt the team. Everybody is going to have an off-game. I had an off-game the last time, and they were able to carry us. Even though we didn't win, my teammates were still there to score, and they kept encouraging me, and I just told Taylor to keep shooting. That's the only thing there is to do, stay confident, keep driving, because the minute she's in her head, that's a disadvantage for us. I was just telling her, she'll be good. We still have the NCAA, she still has three more years, and she's going to be a great player when she's done.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about the game today, how you played?
KAILA CHARLES: I mean, the game was a tough game. Iowa played probably their best game ever as a team. Megan is a great player, All-American for a reason. But I think we fought really, really hard. We never gave up. That's what I'm proud of my team for. Iowa deserves this one. They were fighting for their seniors. They were working all season for this, and credit them for the win. But this speaks volumes of our team, that we're never going to give up, not even until the last second. I'm just excited to keep going for the NCAA Tournament and for next year, too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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