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March 9, 2020

Megan Duffy

Lauren Van Kleunen

Chicago, Illinois

DePaul - 88, Marquette - 74

MEGAN DUFFY: First off, congratulations to DePaul and Coach Bruno. What a tremendous team. They've been so consistent and such a high-octane offense, very difficult to defend. Their pressure on us was obviously a huge key to the game. So congratulations to them, and the tournament, to win another title.

But overall, despite that, I just am extremely proud and very excited for what's ahead with this team and our no-quit attitude, especially in that fourth quarter to try and battle back.

Q. Lauren, what do you do now to kind of put this game past you and look forward to the rest of the postseason?
LAUREN VAN KLEUNEN: Yeah, I think we obviously need to learn from this game, and I think there's also a lot of basketball left to be played. So I think we've got to obviously watch the film, even though it's going to be very extremely hard, but we've got to learn from this, take it with a grain of salt and move on and make sure we learn from it and not do the same thing in the postseason.

Q. You guys had 46 from the paint. What was working for you down low? It seemed pretty physical.
LAUREN VAN KLEUNEN: Yeah, it was very, very physical, and it was -- we knew that we had the size advantage inside there, and so I was just -- every time I got down the floor I was trying to post-up on the smaller girls and try to do my best in that. And we pride ourselves on, the group of four of us, just to be relentless in the paint, on the boards and everything, so that's what we can do.

Q. What made it hard to stop them on the defensive side of the ball?
LAUREN VAN KLEUNEN: Yeah, DePaul, they're a heck of a team. Just offensively they're constantly moving. Anyone can drive it, shoot it. So it's hard to defend them. And I think just communication-wise we just didn't have it, and I think they were constantly moving, and I think we took that second to relax, and that hurt us, and you can't do that against DePaul. They're too good.

Q. (Indiscernible).
MEGAN DUFFY: I mean, we've watched DePaul all year turn teams over and create extra possessions on the offensive end for them. I thought the first time we played them, we struggled with it early on in the season, and then we did a tremendous job when we were at home handling it and really scored lay-ups and easy baskets off of it.

You know, we tried to do some of the similar things we did in that game, too, and then obviously you saw just the passing and we started losing some confidence out there. I thought DePaul's pressure, they kept turning it up, especially in that second quarter. We scored the ball pretty well. You look at our field goal percentage, when we could get it there, we could score. But it really did feel like it was a turnover or we scored and nothing in between.

And then the thing about playing DePaul, especially when you get them on the third day, I don't know if people can tell, but they can wear you out with just their ability to score and the pressure. I thought a little bit of that got to us early on, and playing some youth and people playing a lot of minutes, and they've always been known for that, and unfortunately we weren't able to kind of stop the bleeding with it.

Q. (Question on Jordan King.)
MEGAN DUFFY: First off, I love that kid. For her to be a freshman on this stage as a starting point guard, what we've asked her to do this year with a young team and some inexperience, she's been phenomenal. I don't think her shooting percentage and her numbers is really indicative of what she's meant from a steadiness and a leadership side for such a young kid. She had a great game against last regular season game against DePaul and then in the tournament, was really scoring the ball, which she was really great at that in high school.

And I think she ran out of gas a little bit, turned the ball over a couple times, and just didn't have her A game. But I'll tell you what, I feel like the future is in good hands when she's going to be on the floor for us for three more years. Just a tremendous student-athlete and individual and a kid you root for. Every challenge we've given her, whether that's me getting on her or telling her to sacrifice this for her team or really lock into the defensive end, she's been, "I've got you, Coach, whatever you need me to do." I'm really thrilled despite the tough night tonight and being held scoreless, I'm thrilled to have her on my side.

Q. You guys split the regular season series with them. What was the biggest difference tonight that you saw?
MEGAN DUFFY: I mean, absolutely. I think the reason why we won on our home floor the second time was just the ability to handle their pressure, and we were confident, we were moving the ball, and obviously that was in not a good way a contagious thing tonight, where we turned the ball over, it led to easy points.

One of the things I thought we have been pretty good all year at is our transition defense, and we had some possessions where we were spinning around and I felt like we had to go back to junior high practice and talk about getting the rim and the ball. But when you've got five people on the floor with DePaul who can score, it's challenging.

So that was a little bit disappointing about that when we had the opportunity to still get stops, we weren't able to, especially in that second quarter.

Q. What can you build on moving forward from this? What did you see from this tournament that you can take into the next series?
MEGAN DUFFY: What I told our team was the run we went on to get to the finals is huge growth. We talk about the overall picture of our program and picking ninth because we lost so much, and there were no expectations and they were sick of maybe seeing Marquette towards the top, and we felt like that was our fuel throughout the whole year. I'm just really proud of this group for -- we talk about player development and getting better, this team has gotten better all year, and obviously it didn't show too much tonight too much, but this is a high-quality team and a balanced team and you've got Selena who really stepped up, Lauren Van Kleunen was great inside. And then you have enough freshmen sprinkled in that will really be good for us.

I really, really can't wait. I'm actually going to give them a few days off for spring break, but I can't wait to get back in the gym with them and get back to coaching them up and being in practice with them. I've been on a lot of teams as a player, a lot of teams as a coach - assistant, now as a head coach, and I can't tell you how much I love these girls and how much they're selfless and all the things you talk about in sports and why it's so great, they live it every day.

I know we're going to be back, ready to go here in a couple days, and looking forward to hopefully the NCAA Tournament.

Q. Lexi Held had 31 points tonight. Talk about her ability to score.
MEGAN DUFFY: I mean, Lexi did everything. She got easy shots, she made tough shots, she shot it from the outside, she got to the rim. Always have been a huge fan of her actually from even the recruiting process watching her come up through the ranks.

She struggled a little bit the last couple weeks, and I thought this tournament she really got going and was a concern for us coming in with her ability to score. You know, obviously talented scorer as all of them are, but tremendous game by her.

Q. 27 turnovers for you guys tonight. What needs to be done for the long stretch of the postseason?
MEGAN DUFFY: Yeah, I feel good about our offense when we are executing. I feel that we're a better defensive team than maybe we showed today, and we'll get back to the basics. That's the great thing about when you're preparing for the NCAA Tournament before you have an opponent for postseason, we'll go back to the little things and work on catching the ball and getting our confidence back.

Obviously we're disappointed, but a lot of great things ahead for our program.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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