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March 24, 2019
Coral Gables, Florida
Arizona State 57, Miami 55
COACH KATIE MEIER: First of all I just want to thank everybody at University of Miami for hosting. Everybody has been wonderful here. Katie does an amazing job. That's a really, really good team that we just beat. And appreciate all the NCAA's hard work in putting on the tournament.
That said, so proud of these guys. I'm so proud of them. This group's been to the NCAA Tournament every year but this has been elusive to us, so to finally take that next step -- not Final step, next step. But we know that we can make the final step.
Just really, really proud of them. If you would have said we were getting outrebounded by 11 and we were going to win, I'd be like, aahh -- but the toughness of this team, I already got a lot of Texes from the coaches in our conference because everybody is just really supportive in our conference, and you know, everybody knows how tough this team is and how we know how to take games at the end.
Our conference, and I think our overall schedule, just really paid off.
Q. Can you take us through what you saw on the last inbound, how you got your hand on it?
ROBBI RYAN: My player was actually open at first. But they are looking to pass into the post, so I had a chance to recover. They are just really close to each other, and I don't know if she bounce passed or not but I was able to leave my hand in there and tip it to Courtney and I just took off running.
Q. Hof got a pretty good look.
ROBBI RYAN: Yeah.
Q. And it hit like 17 times off the rim or something like that. What's that moment like, when you're watching it in super slow motion, I'm sure.
ROBBI RYAN: Yeah, it took forever. You could have blown on that ball and it would have went in. It was a scary moment for sure, but it was a great feeling when it rolled off the rim. I think Courtney grabbed it. It was just great feeling.
Q. Kianna, this game was basically indicative of the whole season. How did those previous disappointments really help you guys this time around, finally breaking through the second round and heading into the second weekend?
KIANNA IBIS: Every loss we've had, we've learned from it, and you know, we just knew it came down, like to a battle of possessions and just having those close games, especially in our conference, definitely helped us and prepared us for like the situation that happened today, and I'm glad we got the win today.
Q. Jamie, you had ten points today. Charli had mentioned you yesterday as a key player to spread the floor against Miami's bigs, so how did you feel your performance went today?
JAMIE LOERA: The game was really exciting. I'm just so happy we got the win. I'm so happy for our seniors, and just like Charli was saying, like the toughness we showed today, and I just tried to take any opportunity my teammates could create for me and they were really encouraging me and hyping me up to keep shooting. That helped me a lot to just keep that confidence going.
Yeah, I'm just really pumped up. I've been yelling for like a half hour.
Q. In this environment, fourth quarter, seemed like the lead was turning or somebody was tieing up on every possession. Do you even in the crowd at that point? Is there a home-court advantage, whether you were in Tempe or here or not, and in a game like that, does anything really matter?
JAMIE LOERA: Like Kianna was saying, just the number of really close games we've had this year has really prepared us for a fourth quarter like that.
In all honesty, I think our team really came together and we just had really good energy in that fourth quarter, and so you just block out everything else. You're just focusing on being connected and just every possession, and yeah, that toughness?
Q. I know that it just ended like ten minutes ago and you don't know who you're playing yet, but has it hit you there's a game for you Saturday in Portland?
COACH KATIE MEIER: Is that when we play? I've been trying to find out.
JAMIE LOERA: I'm just excited that we're still playing, and it's just really fun. I just want our whole team to make the most of this opportunity, and to just really have fun together and just play our best basketball.
Q. We talked inside the locker room, but again, stopping the twin towers, they got their rebounds, but they combined for 12 points, a lot of misses, well below both of their averages. Talk about the critical aspects of the game.
KIANNA IBIS: Their leading scorer, it was in our game plan to stop them. I mean, I thought Nea-Nea (ph) did a very good job. I thought Sophia did an amazing job, and our guards really helped us out today.
So it wasn't just a post effort. It was literally a team effort, and everybody helped to stop the post today.
Q. And Hof, she really did a number --
KIANNA IBIS: Yeah, Sophia's been working, she's tough, we're all tough, but even in the summer she's been working so hard and just to have this opportunity to go to the Sweet 16 and have her on our team and help us get there, I'm very proud of her and I'm happy we could do this together.
Q. Robbi, you started off very strong today. You hit one of your first shots and hit a three-pointer, how hard was that for you after not scoring in the first-round game?
ROBBI RYAN: That doesn't really matter to me, I guess, as long as my team's playing well. I don't really care if I score or not. Just whoever has the open looks on our team, that's who is going to take them. It's not a one-man team. Everybody can score. Yeah, felt good to hit a shot, but I was just doing it to help my team.
Q. Did those shots at the beginning give you more confidence for those free throws at the end?
ROBBI RYAN: Yeah, probably.
Q. The obligatory what-was-the-joke-of-the-day question. You did promise.
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: I did promise. I don't know if you're going to will have. They didn't laugh as much as on this one our whole team was Desert Swarm Defense. I mentioned it -- we kind of change. We do more for our defense pretty much every game and our game plan was to pinch and double and make the guards beat us.
So fun fact for the day, okay, is that aerodynamically, bumblebees to shot be able to fly, but they don't know this, so they fly, okay. So we talked about, you know, "let's get our buzz on in Desert Swarm," and all this stuff.
So then when we got in the huddle -- what kind of bee is -- gosh -- what was it? Oh, what is the bee that's never heard. The mumblebee. And so we were just saying, like, "Get loud, get connected," just defensive things. Sorry. I'll have it better for this next weekend.
Q. You said "mumblebee"?
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: I said mumblebee, yeah. Telling the joke, I said a mumblebee, a loud team is a winning team, blah, blah, blah, yeah, it wasn't one of my better ones. I'm going on a theme. That's the hard part.
Q. A basketball one, if you'll indulge me.
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: Please.
Q. Improv is done for the evening, I promise. Your view, you had a great angle of it obviously when she sticks her hand in there, and then the ball starts going the other way right by you. How much does the mood, the feeling, everything -- because they have a chance -- Miami has a chance to win the game, and then don't even get the ball in obviously. I'm sure you didn't anticipate getting a steal off that. What's that moment like when you see it unfold?
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: I felt bad for Sophia. We do a lot of end-of-the-game situations, and obviously when they got that rebound, our whole team knew to kick it out and she was just not quite in tune.
We're pretty confident in our defense, so if we've got a tie score, it's like, okay, we're going to overtime. That particular lineup, and we just went with who was in because we thought they were in the flow, and they were.
They were just really connected. You'd be surprised at how many times we've made some plays like that at the end of games. We did it at Maples one year. It's knowing how to take games, knowing how to take games, knowing how stay aggressive and this team does know how to do this.
Q. I hope you have a good heart, but how was your heart like on that final shot, its rolling, it's rolling, it's rolling.
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: I'm like, don't let her iso -- I was fine if we went into overtime. I thought we had depth, you know, and I was just overjoyed when it went out.
Yeah, I mean, it was halfway down. It was literally halfway down, obviously, and you know, it was -- and it was a tough shot and she can make it. I've seen her make that shot probably in all my film last night, you know, at least 50 times.
Q. Was it like a spinning layup?
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: She's very good at the long layup on the left. She's very good at the long layup on the left. I always joke, a little luck, a little bit of luck.
At the same time I thought it was solid defense and it was a contested shot. We didn't let her get around us. They are very good at getting around you and they like the clean looks. I thought we did a great job on two amazing post players.
Q. So this mission is accomplished. What's your next mission?
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: Well, the next mission is to get to the Elite 8, yes, and you know, this is the fun thing about this team this year, is you know -- I think in other years, it's like okay, great, that's probably what we can do.
This team, they have played, you know, Baylor, Oregon, Louisville, to the last possession right there. I mean, we've had four games like that, Stanford. I mean, I think that they know, if they do what they need to do, they can beat anybody in the country.
So we are going to take it one game at a time. But you know, we are just excited to be dancing right now.
But I honestly, going into the tournament, it's like, okay, whoever, we'll just play whoever, we're good. We've seen it all. I think Mississippi State or Clemson, they are playing right now? Okay.
Q. How proud are you of this team, to finally break through, to defeat that elephant in the room and make it to the Sweet 16?
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: I'm just so happy for them. Again, you guys have followed our season and know how close we've been. We could have been a 2-seed or something, just close out a few more games.
They are a great group. I've been asked a lot what defines this group what defines this group; their selflessness. Zero people worried about playing time or anything. Everybody on that team is overjoyed. We never have any, you know, anybody disgruntled after a game. I've never had that in my career. Usually there's maybe somebody, "Oh, I'm happy we won but I'm not" -- this team is amazing that way.
So they have been incredible, and the seniors, this is a great senior class, as people. They are better people even than they are as basketball players.
Q. How excited to be heading to Portland?
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: For any of our fans tuning in that said you were coming to Portland, book your tickets. A lot of our fans -- it's a pretty quick turnaround, so it was tough for them to get out here. But a lot of our fans assured us that they would be making it to Portland.
It's fantastic. We have players from the northwest and we'll have a little bit better fan base and West Coast time zone. Seriously, I don't care where we play. We're just happy we get to keep playing.
Q. You mentioned yesterday about bringing in Jamie to play four. What did you think of her impact on the offensive end scoring double-digits?
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: It was incredible. Notice I waited until the fourth quarter and then I put my dual threat in, and I thought it worked really well, and then Jamie got a little tired.
But Sophia was having a great game at the same time, so you know, it worked beautifully, because obviously their bigs are not used to defending shooters on the perimeter. They actually did a good job a lot of the game, especially on Kianna. They are not -- pretty much for the whole season, they don't really guard, and whoever was switching on and everything, and they started switching everything, which they don't usually do. They made some great adjustments. Took us awhile.
Obviously we didn't score very well. Took us awhile to make some adjustments. But Jamie and Kianna really worked well.
Q. You've talked all year about how deep your team is; talk about how the depth of your team makes such a better team and how it helps you guys?
COACH CHARLI TURNER THORNE: I thought, you know, we had maybe a little more energy. I thought they, you know, they were a little -- they are used to playing those minutes, but I said -- I said our bench, I think our bench is going to be the difference in the game going into this game, and I think they were.
It's so amazing to sometimes be able to sub and get better in certain areas, and we do. I mean, Nea is a phenomenal defender, rebounder, but we needed to score and here comes Sophia and here comes Jamie.
You know, it's huge for us, and it's going to serve us well, obviously in Portland.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports