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March 17, 2023

Tara VanDerveer

Lauren Betts

Indya Nivar

Stanford, California, USA

Maples Pavilion

Stanford Cardinal

Media Conference

Stanford 92, Sacred Heart 49

TARA VANDERVEER: We're really excited to be moving on and playing the winner of Mississippi or Gonzaga.

I thought our team really played with a lot of energy today. You know, we obviously were without two players, Cameron Brink and Jzaniya Harriel, but I think everyone stepped up.

Lauren had a great game. Indya had a great game, playing really hard defensively. Just want to compliment Sacred Heart on an excellent season. Very well-coached team.

In the first quarter I think we kind of just able to use our depth and wear them out little bit. Congratulations to them on a great season.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes?

Q. Every season that begins, Tara talks about the journey and preparing every player on the roster to contribute in March, whatever that role might be. How much do you kind of credit her for the depth that you guys have and to be able to perform like this when couple players aren't available?

LAUREN BETTS: Yeah, I think Tara definitely does a really good job of pushing us each and every day. I think all of our practices are super competitive and she knows the depth that we have, so she makes sure that everyone is matched up with someone that will push them every day.

For me, I think Cameron and I, KiKi and I, go at it every day and definitely put me in this position. Today if someone can't make it I'm ready to go, and I know what I have today.

INDYA NIVAR: Yeah, likewise. In practice we're very competitive, and I think that really prepares us for the game so when we have a chance to go in, we're not unprepared. We feel ready to play.

Q. Just talk about how it feels to have your first NCAA tournament game under your belts, having that done and just -- yeah, did it feel different for you even though you played a lot of games? Did it feel different, different energy? Talk about that what first game was like.

LAUREN BETTS: It's just really exciting. Like this is something that Indya and I have grown up watching for a very long time, so it's just an honor to be here and play on this team and just have this experience with the amazing people I get to be with every day.

So honestly it just felt like a regular game. Obviously there is a lot of hype and everything around it, but just have to trust that we're going to go out there and do what we have to do.

So, yeah.

INDYA NIVAR: Yeah, always growing up watching the tournament, looking forward to it. Being in it is kind of exciting because like I really -- I worked hard to get here, and being in it I am just excited every game. This game was kind of like the same as the other ones, but just with a little bit more excitement behind it knowing that this game we have to do what we have to do to get to the next.

Q. Lauren, Cameron wasn't playing but you channeled her with some of the blocks you had. Did that kind of rev you up and do we expect more of that from you?

LAUREN BETTS: Yeah. I mean, it was super exciting. Honestly, yeah, I learned from the best. Cameron is definitely like one of the best shot blockers ever, so it's just super cool get to go watch her do that.

Yeah, hopefully you'll get to see more shot blocks by me. So, yeah. (Laughter.)

Q. Indya, did you at all see what Ny'Ceara did yesterday, and knowing that she almost had a triple-double? Did you get yourself geared up to possibly guard her this game?

INDYA NIVAR: You know, watching the film we always prepare to play great players. She's a great player I would say. Just watching her film, knowing what she does, I think that kind of prepared me for guarding her today.

Q. Lauren, I believe your sister is an NBA Player of the Year in Colorado recently.


Q. Talk about what it's like following her and just having a younger sister that also hoops and your family and how exciting is it for the whole family right now.

LAUREN BETTS: Yeah, I'm just super proud of her. Obviously like not many people know how hard she works every single day. She's one the most competitive, hard working people I know.

So I'm just super proud of her and I'm just really happy that she is kind of stepping to her own and people are starting to finally leave my name out of her basketball journey and she's becoming her own person.

I'm just super proud of her and she deserves everything. So, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: Any more questions for the student-athletes? Thank you, Indya and Lauren.

Questions for coach Tara VanDerveer.

Q. So, Coach, yesterday, two days ago, I'm sorry, Sacred Heart did the same thing you guys did to them in the second quarter. They blew it open pretty much against Southern in the second quarter. How important was the second quarter for you guys to blow this game open. Had a lead as large as 43, so...

TARA VANDERVEER: We had a great second quarter. I thought that some of it is adjusting a little bit to the officiating and how tight things are going to be called. I thought we needed to be more aggressive defensively, and we gave up too many points in the first quarter.

So I think we tightened up our defense. You know, it is really different not having Cam out there, but I thought different people stepped up very well for us.

And we got our defense going. We had great contributions off the bench. Agnes came in, made some really good, big plays. Talana with seven assists was great. Her pass was to Hannah Jump for the last three that set the record for the most threes in a Stanford single season.

So we're excited about that.

But our defense got going. Again, I think that they had a game two days ago, they traveled out here. You know, I thought they gave us a great game in the first quarter and then we kind of put the hammer down.

Q. Tara, just two questions on Cameron. First, at what point did you know that she was not going to be available to play? Two, any status update on her going forward?

TARA VANDERVEER: I knew this morning when we came to shootaround. I think that (indiscernible) said this, but she has a nonCOVID kind of illness, so she's day-to-day.

Q. Kind of along the lines of the depth, you really strive in September, October, to prepare everybody to play on the March stage. How pleased and proud are you of all the different contributions you get up and down you have down the roster?


Q. I know you work at that.

TARA VANDERVEER: I think people work hard every day in practice. It is very hard to get minutes for 15 people. It's really impossible.

I feel sometimes like when I watch the Warriors play, you know, sometimes someone might play a lot in this game, not that much in the next game. That's really hard on a young person.

But we're led by Cam and Haley and Hannah Jump, and I think Talana is doing really well. Indya had a really great game. Lauren Betts came in and filled in beautifully. Fran did really well.

There wasn't anyone that did poorly. So it was very -- you know, we needed this for our team to kind of bust out a little bit, remind ourselves this is what we can do.

Q. Two questions for you: First, with one All-American out, it probably helps to have a second All-American. Do you feel like Haley maybe sought out more offense to fill in for Cam?

TARA VANDERVEER: I thought she was looking to be aggressive, which is a good thing. I think other people were, too. We took care of the ball really well which is a great thing. I think only two turnovers at halftime. I thought we were getting some really good shots.

But, you know, I don't feel like she was pressing in a bad way, but just being aggressive in a good way.

Q. And then you mentioned Hannah set the three-point record. She does it with a halftime buzzer beater. What's that moment like when a record is set and you have people...

TARA VANDERVEER: I didn't know that was the record but it was a great shot, and credit Talana for pushing it and being aware. That's a backbreaker type of shot, and we've had shots against us like that so it was kind of fun for us to get one.

Q. How impressed were you with the way Fran played in this game? Double-double, came in and started.


Q. She's had weird minutes throughout the year. I don't want to say she's been a pro because you guys are still amateurs, but how impressed have you been with the way she's handled coming in with Haley and all of the hoopla? Her minutes have been less this year and she came in and performed really well in this tournament game.

TARA VANDERVEER: I think sometimes it's really trying to fit the puzzle together. You know, sometimes it might depend on what people are doing, but if she keeps doing this, she's doing the right thing. Her rebounding has really been great. She was our leading O-boarder shooting 50%, not turning the ball over.

So I think she's playing really well. You know, there have been bumps in the road for this team and for individuals, but that's kind of life. So I think that Fran has handled it well. She's been very mature. But I'm not going to tell you it's easy, but she's all about our team. She has been a great leader.

Q. I asked Ny'Ceara Pryor about what you talked to her about after the game when you went through the line. She said it really meant a lot to her --


Q. -- coming from you, the things you said to her. Why is it important for to you take that time out with teams like that? You do it a lot. The kids really take it to heart. Why is it important to you?

TARA VANDERVEER: I think she's a great young player, and so when I go through the line I try to talk to all of them in some way, just encourage them. But it's a really hard time when your season is over. I think their team has to feel excited about coming out and winning the first game and being here.

I think they feel good about themselves, and I just wanted to reiterate that to her, that she's an outstanding young basketball player and keep working hard and doing what she's doing. I was very impressed her team, with her, but more the poise of their team. They stayed together, kept running stuff. Coach was extremely positive.

I think that's a reflection on their program and their coach.

Q. Going back to Hannah Jump, just there have been games where she's not gotten going much offensively. She's had tough times scoring some games. How huge was it for you guys to get her going like this in the first game of the tournament and see -- how huge was it in the first game to get her going to start the tournament like this?

TARA VANDERVEER: I mean, Hannah, she's a great player. She is an extraordinary shooter, but she does a lot more. She had assists for us. She rebounds. Talks out on the floor. Runs the floor hard.

I think some of it is, again, the times that she maybe didn't score were times she was tired, and that's on me maybe giving her more rest. Try to give her a little more rest. So I'm looking at that, and that might be one of the lowest numbers she had all season long.

Just to rest her more and keep her fresh so she has her legs for her shot. You know, I was excited to see her get going. She looked very confident out there.

She's been shooting the ball really well in practice. You know, it was fun to see her knock it down.

THE MODERATOR: Any more questions?

TARA VANDERVEER: All right. Great see everybody Sunday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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