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March 22, 2019

Endia Banks

Emese Hof

Katie Meier

Beatrice Mompremier

Coral Gables, Florida

Miami 69, Florida Gulf Coast 62

COACH KATIE MEIER: That I just thought it was a tremendous basketball game. We were so prepared for their run. Emotionally and mentally we were prepared for it because they are so talented.

You know, they are one of the top three-point shooting teams in the country, and we held them in check the first half and we knew the second half would come.

I didn't have like our response. We answered their threes with fatigued offense and that doesn't something, with, we're lucky we got a way with that because when they got on that run our answers weren't sharp.

It was two conversations in the huddle before we went up and then I thought we went back to executing crisply and sharply in the timing of our cuts, and our guards sort of had more of a command and a posture. But what a great program, Florida Gulf Coast, what great fan support they have. Everybody knows what a great coach he is.

They always -- I mean, every year, you know, you just admire them. You just admire how hard they play and how much guts they have. You know, I wish they were like, in Alaska so we couldn't draw them, you know, because we seem to draw them.

This is my third time in the postseason we keep getting them and they are very, very good. He's just doing a great job down there.

As far as my team, Endia, what did you say you are now? Big Shot Banks, Playoff Banks? She just carried us. Obviously Emese and Bea have been carrying us all year but Endia was the X-factor by 1000 percent. The timing of her shots and her defensive rebounding.

But I think every shot she hit was huge for us. It was an answer. You in never find a teammate that cares more about her team, in fact, than they are coaches than Endia Banks. She is like the warm fire on this team. Like she cares and cares and cares and cares and gives and gives and gives, and we needed her, and so she came through.

Q. Endia, what about these big moments makes you shine on this stage? The words Coach just said, what is it about these big moments?
ENDIA BANKS: I just feel like that the team needs me the most, like, when it's, like, big-time. So I just try to be there for them, like when they need me the most and today just happened to be one of those days.

Q. For Beatrice, when they made that run, the team huddled. What did you talk about when they made that run?
BEATRICE MOMPREMIER: Just stay composed and everything we worked for in practice would carry us on throughout the rest of the game. So just stay composed and be confident. Be confident.

Q. Coach talked a lot yesterday about how this was going to be a style game. They are a three-point shooting team and you are relying on your bigs all year long. How do you combat the three-point shooting?
THE MODERATOR: Emese, maybe you could start with that one.

EMESE HOF: We worked a lot on it in practice. We had some schemes, but in the end it was just everyone had to be able to guard on the perimeter and alternate times, they got it, and they got us and at times I think we had a very solid D and it was there.

So in the end, it worked in our favor.

BEATRICE MOMPREMIER: We had to run them off the line, not let them shoot easy open shots.

ENDIA BANKS: I feel like what Emese said, we just had to run them off the line.

COACH KATIE MEIER: Great I won't be by running but the wall-ups at the end, 37 defense rebounds, that's ridiculous. That's a real big number for us, and I thought that that was the game. It was these three right here that were crushing the defensive glass for us, and really important rebounds.

Q. Emese, what are your thoughts for Sunday's last home game and Arizona State?
EMESE HOF: I have to say, I wasn't thinking there yet. We are thinking one game at a time. It's going to be special and it's a great opponent. We're going to give it our all, and that's all we can do, and I'm very excited for it, and it that we have another game to look forward to.

Q. Do you know anything about Arizona State? One of the top player's names happens to be I-B-I-S that you guys are familiar with.
COACH KATIE MEIER: They have not talked about anybody.

ENDIA BANKS: One game at a time. One game at a time.

EMESE HOF: I know they three-point pretty good.

Q. How about man-to-man? They are very tenacious man-to-man. Do you feel comfortable against a really tenacious man-to-man defense?
ENDIA BANKS: I felt like that's our type of game plan, man-to-man defense. I mean, when they play man-to-man, we can either -- we can shoot and then we have two big that is we can throw it into and just work up.

COACH KATIE MEIER: Florida Gulf Coast played a really tough man-to-man. Everybody talks about their three-point shooting. They are a superb defensive team. Absolutely superb.

Q. Just for anyone up there. The crowd tonight, how big of a factor was that when FGCU came back, they were able to tie it up and even took the lead? How was it rallying around that home crowd?
BEATRICE MOMPREMIER: Honestly, I guess they hyped us up, too. You know, when they scored, the crowd went crazy and when we scored our crowd went crazy. We had more, I guess.

Q. Again, to any of the three players. You will have a decided home-court advantage on Sunday. Not a lot of travels from Arizona State. How do you think that will boost you guys?
EMESE HOF: I hope everyone who came out tonight is going to come out again and we're going to have an even bigger advantage of having them in our corner. It's great when they are loud there, they are loud and today, too, it was in between their fans and our fans. Like they were rioting --

ENDIA BANKS: Not really.

EMESE HOF: Sounds good. It's great when we have fans out here and our students are behind us and it's just good. And against Arizona State, like they are not going to have a lot of people traveling down here, so that's going to be in our advantage.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you all. Congratulations.


Q. There were several close calls today. What does it say about the state of women's college basketball?
COACH KATIE MEIER: I don't understand. Close calls in my game or --

Q. Other games. Your game.
COACH KATIE MEIER: That's great, isn't it? I mean, you know, you're sitting there watching -- I tried not to watch too much because for me to stay awake at 9:30 is a big deal.

So my energy, I just -- I was watching some games, Carolyn Kieger's game who plays here and coached with me here. And so I had my eye on some games but I tried to not because they were so emotional, Iowa and Drake. These games were just crazy and I was glancing at them but I really tried to stay away because I knew this was going to be a close game too, and I wanted to have all my focus and energy.

You know, but for women's basketball, it's fantastic.

Q. You mentioned the first half, fatigue offense --
COACH KATIE MEIER: Third quarter.

Q. You cut down on the turnovers after that. What changed in the game? Turnover-wise?
COACH KATIE MEIER: From which to which?

Q. From before you got the 11 turnovers in the first half, only four in the second. What changed?
COACH KATIE MEIER: Oh, well, in the third quarter, we were playing so slow, there were no possessions. I was fine with 11 turnovers, but they weren't -- there's a vulnerability, okay. So a bad shot's a turnover, too. That's what we did in the third, so we didn't turn it over but we took tired jumpers and we ran tired offense. So those bad shots, their fastbreak points in the third quarter were from horrible shots and that's a turnover in our book, okay. So we crossed halfcourt; we have the ball we want to score; we get an offensive rebound, whatever.

You know, it's a possession game for them, and that just fueled them and some -- sometimes you'd rather travel and have a dead ball turnover than have them set again. I thought our zone traps were really good tonight, and we just kept giving them live possession, live possession, live possession, off the back of the rim, off the front of the rim, nobody rebounded, nobody getting back, and it hurt us lot and.

We had not played in two weeks and that's a factor. It's very, very hard to keep your team fresh during that break. Just the way our conference breaks it down. But you could tell their third quarter legs were there, and our players were like, don't have my legs. Yeah, it's hard to mimic a game.

Q. Looking ahead, Sunday, I'm sure you've done some studying.
COACH KATIE MEIER: No, I have not.

Q. Not at all?
COACH KATIE MEIER: No, I have not.

Q. I'm sure aware of some of their top players --
COACH KATIE MEIER: I know they are great players -- I'm not lying to you. You have no idea how important this game was and where my focus was.

Q. But does Gulf Coast give you kind of a good preparation for the next opponent because of the three-point shooting, because of man-to-man?
COACH KATIE MEIER: So did Syracuse -- we've had quite a schedule, so I'm going to pick through it. I'll have some bags under my eyes tomorrow but my assistant coach, Tia Jackson, she's fantastic and she's got the scout. We had a little five-minute meeting real quick before I came in here to give me a rundown.

But I've played against -- I've coached against Charli before. I think she's just the greatest. I have so much admiration for her. I know how she runs her program. I know how their defense works. We're not looking ahead.

Q. And you respect the Pac-10, I'm sure?
COACH KATIE MEIER: I absolutely. I do absolutely do.

Q. What impressed you the most how the team responded after their run?
COACH KATIE MEIER: That's the thing that's going to get lost in all this, except for the people who know Florida Gulf Coast and they know, oh, my God they are not hitting the threes in the first half and then they started hitting it and that's going to be a problem for Miami; what are they going to do with the bigs.

The whole problem showed up in the third quarter, the matchup issue. But the maturity, there's a lot of pressure. I mean, we're playing at home. We're supposedly such a higher seed. We knew they are a great team and I think we prepared our team for a close game the whole time.

I was like, oh, boy, ladies it's going to come down to special situations. I never thought this would be a runaway game. So when we got to that moment and we put our fours up for the fourth quarter, when we put our fours up, I said, we're good. I really felt that they were mature and we've been in this situation before and we were going to start making some plays and getting some stops. I really just saw it in my team, their spirit. They weren't beaten. They were faithful.

Q. I know we ask the student athletes about the home crowd. How cool was it, second time in three years?
COACH KATIE MEIER: Yeah, I couldn't -- I just want to hug everyone who came out. Like I'm so grateful. I'm so grateful. You know, I had a moment, just personally, for the journey that has been Miami and the building and the building and the building and the dream and can we ever do this and will we break through.

I felt like, you know, I was really emotional just real quick right before the game just being out of pride and just gratitude for the administration and the student body. There are times when it just gets very humbling and you just really appreciate the support and that was one of them for sure and it helped us win.

Q. I don't know if you got a chance to hook at the student second but Manny Diaz was in the front row. There were numerous student athletes from other sports. How special is that knowing you're getting support from other teams?
COACH KATIE MEIER: Any time I need a re-Tweet I retext many and I said, "Manny, help me out, buddy." He's right there for me. He's so all-in to the culture that's Miami. I use his phrase, the meat off the bone with our defensive rebounding from our guards. I steal stuff from him because he's special. I appreciate that.

I saw a lot of athletes, a lot of people. Coach L. Texted me said he's on the road recruiting but he would have been here. It's a family down here. But people know what it means, you know.

But the other thing, too, is we are very grateful. We say thanks. Thanks for coming. Sometimes that doesn't happen in Big Ten college athletics, but we love the support and we need it..

Q. Don't want to cast a pall on the victory, but how upset to go see what happened in front of your locker room before?
COACH KATIE MEIER: I don't want to talk about that. Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Coach Meier. Congratulations.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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