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March 29, 2019

Aaron Johnston

Macy Miller

Myah Selland

Madison Guebert

Portland, Oregon

Oregon-63, South Dakota State-53

THE MODERATOR: We have with us South Dakota State. Coach, we'll begin with your opening statement.

AARON JOHNSTON: Well, congratulations to Oregon. Played well. They just really defended I thought very well against us. I thought controlled some of the tempo offensively.

Talked to our team real briefly afterwards about the game, not so much about the season or that idea, but just about the game. I thought we played hard enough to win. Did a lot of good things. Held a team that scores an awful lot of points to 63. If you would have asked me that at the beginning of the day if that would be a good thing, the answer would be yes.

Rebounded the ball really well. Just great effort throughout the entire game by our entire group. I just think they defended really well. Made it really hard for us to get to the basket and score, either transition or halfcourt. That was tough for us. Just weren't able to get enough offense to really hang in there.

Proud of the team. Collectively just had a phenomenal season. We had a good night tonight, but not a great night. We ran into a really good team, so we needed to be better.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Madison, can you describe what it's like defending Sabrina.
MADISON GUEBERT: She's running off screens. She's coming off handoffs, ball screens, down screens, all kinds of screens. Yeah, it's tough because she's always constantly -- she moves so well without the ball. They're always looking for her.

Yeah, she just is constantly moving so it's tough to defend her.

Q. Macy, you guys put up 75 shot attempts. You can't be upset with that performance. Are you frustrated those shots weren't falling?
MACY MILLER: Like AJ said, defensively we did everything right we wanted to. Offensively it stinks because we struggled today. I wish shots would have fallen for us, but not tonight.

Q. Myah, how much did their length bother you inside? They're so tall.
MYAH SELLAND: I think initially we were probably a little passive. They're long, they're athletic. I think that maybe disrupted some of our shots. Then maybe took us out of our flow there right away in the game.

As the game went on, I thought we kind of got back into it and were able to take some shots. They just weren't falling tonight.

Q. Macy and Madison, this is a tough moment, but how proud are you of the careers you put together, that your final act was getting this team to a barrier that hadn't been broken before?
MACY MILLER: Right now, I'll be honest, this really stinks. I'm proud of Madi. I'm proud of the seniors, what we accomplished. Proud of our teammates. We made history this year, so there's nothing we can be sad about.

MADISON GUEBERT: It's a tough one tonight, but that doesn't take anything away from the phenomenal and special season that this team had this year. To make it to the Sweet 16 and make history like that is something that none of us are ever going to forget.

I just couldn't be more proud to be a part of a team that is so special. We've had such a strong community of supporters. Everyone was painting the town blue back home in Brookings. I know we had a ton of people watching, had tons of people that traveled out, former players, friends, family. The support we've received this year has been just absolutely unbelievable. Couldn't be more proud to be part of this team. Going to miss being out there. But as Macy said, can't wait to watch where this team continues to go.

Q. Madison, you were familiar with the Ducks. You played each other back in December. What was the difference between the two games, if there was one?
MADISON GUEBERT: Yeah, you know, I just think that both teams were a lot better since December when we played the first time. Like AJ said, defensively we were in it right there, and it wasn't a matter that the effort wasn't there, because it was. We were just kind of out of our rhythm for a little while offensively. Had a tough shooting night.

But, yeah, we were just a little bit out of rhythm offensively especially.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you very much for your time.

We'll continue with questions for Coach Johnston.

Q. What did you see between the first game and this game, how Oregon attacked you, maybe what they did different defensively?
AARON JOHNSTON: Well, defensively they were a lot more -- you know, in that last game in Brookings, it was just a little different, a little more free flowing. They were mixing between man and zone a little bit. I think we kind of caught them in some of those transitions. We were able to score. They really settled in and just played man-to-man defense a lot here and I thought defended much better.

We got a lot in transition back in Brookings. They got themselves back and got themselves set. To me that was just the big difference. Their defense ramped up from where it was back in Brookings.

I thought we defended well. I mean, we're playing against some really phenomenal players. So to think you're just going to lock somebody down, that's not going to happen. But we just couldn't generate enough offense. I thought their length, somebody asked about that, that was a big factor in the game. They challenged shots at the rim, contested shots at the rim.

We had some good ones, but they also forced us to take some tough ones, especially in the second quarter, we got out of sync, scrambling the rest of the way trying to play catch-up.

Q. What do you think this season will mean for your program going forward, what these seniors did in getting past that Sweet 16 barrier?
AARON JOHNSTON: I mean, it's a great opportunity to really grow in a special way as a team. They've set a new bar that we'll try to aspire to every single year. Everybody goes through that process. I can remember, I'm trying to think now, probably the fourth time we've played Oregon, it was several years before we played them, they've come a long way in a short period of time. They've broken some barriers and set some new standards for their program.

Everybody goes through this as you're trying to move forward. Really disappointed that the season came to an end, that we say good-bye to three phenomenal seniors. But there's no doubt, everybody that comes from this point on has a new standard, a new target.

If we can do that a lot, that would be a really good thing. We've done that a lot. As a program, I feel really good about where things stand, I feel really good about this team. A bunch of great people. Played really hard today. Just love how hard they played. Just didn't work for us on the offensive side.

Q. Talk about your team's resiliency. You mentioned the fight they had. Talk about how important that was.
AARON JOHNSTON: Yeah, you know, we got down. We got down in the first second round, too. We made pushes. We got down in this one. I thought we hung in there. They did make a big push in that third. We found a way to kind of finish, get it back, so it was still a game.

Still to their credit, I thought they controlled a lot of the tempo, a lot of the things that went on. They just play at a great pace all the time. Sometimes it's fast, sometimes it's methodical, trying to get a certain matchup. Our team has really competed all year. I wasn't surprised to see them play that hard here today.

Great people do that. Both teams I'm sure have great people, but we certainly do, I know that.

Q. Officially neutral site game, but did it feel like a road game with all the green in the stands?
AARON JOHNSTON: Well, yeah, of course. I mean, they had a great crowd. Somebody asked me that yesterday. I think that's great. I think that's where you want to be at this point in the season. You want it to matter, not just to the two teams on the floor, but you want it to matter to everybody in the stands. And they had a great crowd.

We had a great crowd. But we had a lot of people from Brookings come to this game. We had a handful of past players, a couple of them I think came to the game today. Asked where they're staying. They said the airport, we're flying out tomorrow morning. I thought, Do you need money for a room? Can we help you out here?

We had a lot of people come. It mattered to both fan bases. One fan base was a couple hours away so they could drive. Both fan bases really support women's basketball, that's great to see for everybody.

Q. As you said, you were able to contain Oregon to a degree, you kept it relatively close for most of the game. What do you think the teams going forward in the tournament will be able to learn from your performance that will help them?
AARON JOHNSTON: I mean, that's hard. Everybody plays a different style. We kept it close, but they were really efficient offensively. They were still very good. So there's still some ground to make up.

But every team is just so different. I think for us, we played pretty physical. I think that's a good thing. Game was physical I thought both ways. But they're just hard to stop. Like I said, they have such great tempo and great purpose about what they're trying to get done. They have so many key players that can make plays.

Having played them twice this year, they're awfully good, for sure.

Thank you.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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