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March 12, 2019

Carolyn Kieger

Allazia Blockton

Natisha Hiedeman

Chicago, Illinois

DePaul - 74, Marquette - 73

CAROLYN KIEGER: Congratulations to DePaul. Stonewall was phenomenal tonight. She was just relentless, very, very tough. They wanted it really bad. You could tell that last five minutes. I absolutely love my team, and I will take them to battle any day. We have a lot of basketball left to be played. We're going to regroup, we're going to fix a lot of things, we're going to watch film, and we're going to get better, and these two sitting next to me right now, it's going to -- it hurts. It stings. They wanted this really, really bad, and we've got to use it as fuel because we've got the NCAA Tournament right around the corner, and I know for certain that they will respond.

Q. Natisha, can you take us through your process on that final play?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: There was like five seconds left, just tried to attack, we didn't have any time-outs left so just tried to push the ball up the floor and put the ball on the rim.

Q. What are the emotions like? I know this is something you guys were circling on the calendar months in advance. What was it like in the final seconds?
ALLAZIA BLOCKTON: It's just heartbreaking, and it just came down to little things, and we just have to use it as fuel. We can't drop our heads because like Coach said, we've got a lot more basketball to play so we've got to learn from our mistakes and capitalize on those moments and take it into the NCAA Tournament.

NATISHA HIEDEMAN: Yeah, we're hurting right now, but like Coach said in the locker room, it hurts so bad because we care so much, but we know that the season's not over, we still got time left, so we're just going to use everything that -- this is a lesson, and use it in the NCAA Tournament.

Q. Allazia, could you elaborate on that when you say the little things, because it seemed like in that third and fourth quarter early on when DePaul would get it close you would have an answer, a fast break bucket or you would get a stop, so what were the little things that when the tide shifted?
ALLAZIA BLOCKTON: Just personally I think free throws. We were 9 for 19, which we've got to capitalize on those points, like we were getting them right where we wanted to, getting them in foul trouble, and I just think focusing on rebounding, we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds tonight. And Coach kept preaching it on the sideline and we weren't adjusting, so I think we've got to be tougher on the boards and make our free throws.

Q. Natisha, so you have to deal with this; how do you wait and see what happens with the NCAA Tournament and where you guys fall in that?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: Whatever happens, our coaches are going to have a game plan. We're just -- we're excited, so we've just got to have that mentality that it's not over. I mean, I know we're all devastated right now, but we've just got to keep our heads up, and like Coach said in the locker room, the next practice we've got to come out even better, stronger, and just keep giving everything we've got until it's really over with.

Q. How important was it to have the men's lacrosse team out there cheering you on?
NATISHA HIEDEMAN: They've been great supporters from day one, and their energy that they gave us is just amazing, and we appreciate them coming out.

ALLAZIA BLOCKTON: Like Natisha said, just great props. They always gave us support. We support them and it shows you how tight knit the Marquette family is, when it's a big game everyone comes out and supports each other, so thanks to them for coming and making that drive to support us.

Q. How would you guys say, whether it be this game or last year's game or the year before, how does that redefine or make this rivalry something more special than what it used to be?
ALLAZIA BLOCKTON: I mean, I just think that whenever DePaul and Marquette step on the floor, it's going to be a great game. The rivalry is going to be for years, just because of the location, we're travel partners. We both play fast. So I think this game just makes it even more special.

I know me and Natisha are leaving the program this year, so we're going to push that fuel on to the next people to take them down next year and give them that support.

NATISHA HIEDEMAN: Yeah, the same exact thing.

Q. Coach, save for say half of the last quarter, the defense seemed to be -- when you needed a stop you would get it or a turnover you would get it. How did you feel about your defense overall?
CAROLYN KIEGER: Well, tonight I just -- I'm really disappointed in our toughness. We got them rattled and got the shots that we wanted them to shoot. Not rhythm shots that they normally do. And we didn't produce on the rebounding end. They had 22 second-chance points. It's going to be hard to win a game when you miss 10 free throws and you give up 22 second-chance points.

Q. You said this is fuel; how do you implement that throughout the week leading up to whatever happens for the tournament?
CAROLYN KIEGER: Well, our whole motto all year has been 200 feet, and it's whatever is in front of you is what you're going to go tackle. Unfortunately, this is behind us now, and we're going to use this as motivation to work harder. But it's over, it's done with, and we've got to regroup and we've got to get better and we've got to figure out a way to carry that chip on our shoulder to the NCAA Tournament because our plan all year was to carry this program farther than we've ever been and that was the Sweet 16.

Q. What do you tell the players in the locker room after this game? Do you want them to move on, but it's also --
CAROLYN KIEGER: Well, first of all, we have to learn lessons. We were saying the same things in every single time-out and we need to be better adjusters. We need to play with our heads instead of just emotion.

You know, like I said, I just told them, we care about them, we're there for them, but we have to be tough. We have to be grown women when it's March. Toughness wins, and defense wins, and tonight DePaul made big plays, we had some good stops, we just didn't finish the play.

Q. It's not very often that your team goes 47 percent from the line, what do you think was the cause behind all that?
CAROLYN KIEGER: I have no idea. I wish I could answer that. If that was the case I would have hopefully helped them more than I was able to.

Q. What does a game like this do to strengthen the rivalry between DePaul and Marquette women's basketball?
CAROLYN KIEGER: We're just two very elite teams right now battling back and forth, and hopefully that continues year in and year out. I know they're not going anywhere, and I sure as heck know we're not. So for us we're going to keep battling every day. My plan is to be back here, let's battle again next year.

Q. After the relaunch of the conference a few years back, programs like UConn and Notre Dame were gone. Could you elaborate on how DePaul and Marquette, getting to this point and what that does for the conference as a whole?
CAROLYN KIEGER: I think it's huge for us, I really do. I think Doug and I both agree that we want this conference to be elite, and we want to be recognized as one of the best women's basketball conferences in the country. And I think we've got, all 10 teams, we've got to keep pushing the envelope and we got to keep going because I believe we can be and I just think we got to keep getting better, we got to keep recruiting the way we are, and if I keep trying to keep up with Doug and he keeps trying to keep up with us, it's just going to make everybody else better.

Q. Coleman was probably the only player who left from last year to this year. What was the difference between the result last year and this year?
CAROLYN KIEGER: I will say this: I thought our team weathered their runs way better than we did last year. We took punches and we handled them. This was a much more exciting game than last year. Obviously still a heartbreaking outcome with many, many lessons for us to learn from. But I'll take this fight versus the fight from last year any day.

Q. Talk about Chante Stonewall a little bit, what about her ability to react in the paint and how she was able to create mismatches?
CAROLYN KIEGER: You know, it's -- we've had to really adjust the last three weeks with Erika going down, and it hasn't been easy. It's been an emotional toll. We've challenged our girls, and I think this is something that we've got to figure out. We've got to weather the storm and we've got to figure out who we can play more, who can rebound, who can battle, who can adjust. We've got to still play small, but in those moments I've got to do a better job as a coach figuring out lineups and situations, because we've got to come up with those rebounds. We just have to. And I know our team will respond and we'll have Erika's back, and we're not going to lose another game the rest of this year because of rebounding or free throws. I'll be dang sure about that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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