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March 24, 2019

Katie Meier

Beatrice Mompremier

Laura Cornelius

Coral Gables, Florida

Arizona State 57, Miami 55

COACH KATIE MEIER: What a gritty effort by Arizona defense. That interior defense and their team defense was amazing. It's a tough team to prepare for in a day, I can tell you that much.

But I love the composure of my team. We weren't gating what we normally got all year. We just checked down. I thought we had great patience. I thought we had great maturity. I thought our guys said, okay, we're pretty good, too, and we'll take this game on.

So I thought it was just a great basketball game with a whole bunch of lead changes. Seems like about half the game, one team was leading, and half, the other one was leading and it went back and forth.

If it comes down to three plays at the end there -- we made one mistake. We made one mistake. The rest, everything else that went on in that fourth quarter, I thought we were super. Super execution.

And then they had players that went out of their role in order to beat us, out of their role by a long -- you know, so that's what happened. We got a stop we needed, we had the ball and I thought Laura was open early and we missed her early and we tried to force it in there, and that's one mistake.

But we still could have recovered from that, and had a chance to keep living there with that last play, which was great. It was a two formation. We had Laura off the play and we were taking either one, going to over time or winning. It was exactly what we wanted. I think Laura was as good as she's ever been. Just a super, super performance.

But listen, now, Arizona State, that was a lesson in toughness. They were as tough as any team we've played all year. They were committed to their game plan. They didn't change it defensively and I said it the other day, when you go up against another coach, sometimes, you know, you don't know them really well or whatever.

But I tell you, Charli Turner Thorne is a really great person and she runs a great program and I thought that was one great team won and one great team lost. Heck of a matchup to go to the Sweet 16, and that's what the NCAA is all about.

Q. Laura, Coach broke down that last play. What did you see on it?
LAURIE CORNELIUS: Had the ball out for us. We were running a play, got me open for the three -- I think I got open early. Checked on them and she looked at Emese and she looked at me and that's when I got denied. That play hurt us, but we still got a shot. I think we got our chance before that, even and I think we played a heck of a basketball game, and it's really tough to lose like this at home.

Q. Great rebounding performance. When you look at the loss, it's tough, but how would you evaluate your performance from today?
BEATRICE MOMPREMIER: I just went out there and tried my hardest, if it was rebounds, rebounding, that's what I had to do to help my team.

Q. When you try and put this season in perspective, this loss is a heartbreaker, the way it finished, but what you were able to do, two top five wins, it seemed every ranked opponent you were in the ballgame. What can you is say about the season?
LAURIE CORNELIUS: The season has definitely been one of the most fun seasons I've ever played in my life. I will go to war any day with my teammates. I love my seniors. I love every single person on this team. We played our hearts out. We had a wonderful season, some great wins, tough loss, but overall, we loved each other along the way.

But right now, it's -- right now it's hard to look back at that, but it will come.

Q. Laura touched on how special this group was, and you fell short on your ultimate goal, but this group, what they were able to accomplished, what will you think most about?
COACH KATIE MEIER: I'm smiling already. I tell you, you can coach a lifetime; every day, when I came to work, I had a team -- and not every day, not everybody, I'm not that naïve, but most of the time, the entire team, or at least 85 percent of the team, was really interested in getting better. Just interested in getting better for two hours or three hours, or whatever time we got to spend together.

And then off the court, it was like a vacation. To be around them, to be on a road trip with them, it's people you want to be around, right. I love them. We had a lot of fun.

Emese and Kayla are, if you don't have the pleasure of knowing them, they are two of the best student athletes that have ever graced this community and their footprint on this campus, they have put their footprint over everything. It's everywhere. It's in community, in community service, charitable work. My heart, they just stomped all over my heart with tons of love. They are in there for ever.

Yeah, it's going to be tough -- it's going to be tough to ever even close my eyes and think of coaching again without Kayla and Emese. It's going to be tough.

Q. What was your message to both of them, and especially Emese? She's probably going to replay that in her head, and I saw you talk to her. What was your message to her?
COACH KATIE MEIER: I whispered something in her, it's between the two of us, but it's so personal with her.

Yeah, I mean, we promised each other every day in recruiting, her dad asked if I would hug her, and I said, that's not going to be a problem. I hugged her more than once. I think our last two shots were Bea and Emese, if that's correct? I executed plays for exactly that purpose. You know, call me an idiot. I know they weren't having a great game, but my God, and you're crazy if I'm not going to those two kids in that moment, and I did. Both of them went in and out. I love both calls. I'd do it again.

I said to our team, I think we really executed very, very well. Arizona State ran a couple things and got a couple shots that those weren't their star players, those weren't their headliners, right. That happens. We were struggling from the three and we were struggling inside and we still had the ball to win or tie. We really worked through a lot tonight, so that shows you the resilience of my team.

Q. You mentioned about Arizona State defense. What were they doing specifically, like Emese didn't get too many touches in the first half.
COACH KATIE MEIER: She didn't have much freedom of movement. She got jammed up a lot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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