March 30, 2001
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
COACH KRISTY CURRY: I would like to compliment Southwest Missouri on just a great season and a very good basketball game. They just made us earn everything that we got, and certainly, have to just give our team all the credit in the world because these kids have all year long just fought and fought and fought and I thought they really executed our game plan to a tee. I am very, very proud that we are going to have a chance to play for a National Championship.
Q. Camille, in the second half, the offensive rebounds, you just went right to the board, four baskets. Did you just find yourself in good positioning?
CAMILLE COOPER: I credit my teammates. I think everyone was crashing the boards and we knew we would have to continue to out rebound them and it paid big dividends. We got second and third opportunities and it really helped out in the offensive end.
Q. Can you talk about what you guys did against Jackie and how you were able to contain her a little bit?
KATIE DOUGLAS: I think we just rotated a lot of people on her. You know, we've been watching a lot of film, and you know, we've been watching what other teams were doing and were unsuccessful and I think at times we made other players beat us and we really got on Jackie and got two people on her, and it's tough to score when two people are on you. So, that's what we did. You know, you couldn't say enough about our great defensive effort tonight as a team.
CAMILLE COOPER: I think their guards really stepped up on the perimeter, we had a freshman guard in there at times, people switching after. They just really played hard. Credit her because you really have to put two or three people on her. It was a total team defensive effort.
Q. Can you just talk about playing point guard for a long stretch in the second half?
KATIE DOUGLAS: Coach Curry switched me to the point, and -- which was fine, because I'm comfortable playing there. I've played there throughout my career and I think it was a good decision, because coming into a trap, a bigger point guard, I could see over the traps and obviously we got it inside and were successful. Just give her the credit, I suppose.
COACH KRISTY CURRY: Players make plays.
Q. Did you get the sense coming in to night that you were the uninvited house guest?
CAMILLE COOPER: I think so. We joked about people saying we kind of snuck in, but we have learned to expect the unexpected and we believe in each other. That's what got us here. I don't know, just a total team effort, if no one else believes in us, we believe in ourselves and we are going to play hard for each other.
KATIE DOUGLAS: I think so. You know, everybody is always counting Purdue out, and like Camille said, we always have the consistency to believe in ourselves and that's what made us successful. You know, we like being the underdog. Keep making us the underdog, because we have been successful thus far, but we know that we belong here and we are just excited about being here.
Q. Katie, can you talk about your first half? I know you've had some slow first halves, but this one you just came bursting out?
KATIE DOUGLAS: I really wanted to be aggressive tonight from the get-go. I think that helps me throughout the game, if I'm aggressive at first, and then, you know, I was hitting some shots tonight, which is good. I didn't have a great shooting performance in the Final against Xavier, I really wanted to come out and be a spark and be the aggressor.
Q. How excited are you to advance to the championship game?
KATIE DOUGLAS: Very excited. Excited for our team. Excited for our program. You know, it really, it really feels good to know, you know, all of the preseason stuff that we went through, all of the stuff, the up-and-downs we had throughout the here, and to be playing in the National Championship game is unbelievable.
Q. What does it say about your program and the enduring nature of your program, the assisting coaches that through all of the change and all of the stuff you've gone through, you are back in the championship game for the second time in three years?
CAMILLE COOPER: I don't know, I think Purdue recruits great coaches and great players. The school has remained committed to us and we have remained committed to the program. It speaks loads for Purdue's tradition of excellence, and just playing hard and playing together and trying to go as far as we can.
Q. It looked like Wright and Parks all the way on Jackie. Can you talk about that?
COACH KRISTY CURRY: I just thought that, you know, Shereka, goodness gracious, she's a freshman and coming into that situation, she's just been a huge presence for us defensively, as far as her long arms and her size, we feel like we had a little size advantage there and that might bother her a little bit. I thought that Kelly Komara, Katie Douglas rotated well off Campbell at times and certain things that we wanted and the -- our goal was to hold her under average and hold everybody else in single digits and we nearly did that as far as single digits and I think we held her under average. Just got to give Shereka and Shinika a lot of credit. The kids were outstanding.
Q. Were Wright and Parks your stoppers?
COACH KRISTY CURRY: Yes. Most definitely.
Q. Is there a Big-10 style of play with the women as well as with the men, and did we see that tonight?
COACH KRISTY CURRY: I think definitely. You know, it is a very physical style. It's big post players that do bang on each other and just really a lot of tenacity defensively. I think that's a style in the Big-10, and that's something that we've really tried to do a good job this year with, is just being very tenacious on the defensive end. When we do that, we are very successful.
Q. Can you talk about how Katie bounces back? She had the big turnover where she threw it cross-court, but then she comes back with a big 3 just minutes later, how she responds to that stuff?
COACH KRISTY CURRY: I just think that a turnover to Katie Douglas is something that's very minute, when you consider what she's been through. You know, she just keeps coming back. You know, she has faith in herself and belief in herself and her teammates. A turnover is nothing for Katie because of so much that she's been through, and I know that may sound silly, but you have to understand this young lady, how much she perseveres through adversity, personally and on the court. Turns it over, she'll come right back at you.
Q. Comment on Shalicia's defense tonight?
COACH KRISTY CURRY: My goodness, she was all over the glass, wasn't she. She did a wonderful job, and I thought Shereka and Shalicia just really, really took up the slack from not sending -- (inaudible) -- Wright into boards tonight really understood that we needed them back in transition, and Shalicia was outstanding defensively and on the boards.
Q. What did you see on film when you were watching Jackie Stiles, and what were you guys able to do that other teams were not?
COACH KRISTY CURRY: I think we did a nice job of respecting everybody around her. Jackie is going to get hers. We did some things that we wanted. We thought we limited her. No. 1 thing we did against Jackie was stop her in transition, and I think that's where she has been so successful in the past is getting a lot of transition buckets. She just got a couple, but we wanted to meet her at halfcourt, and I thought the kids did a nice job in transition and tried to shut down everybody else around her.
Q. Apparently the last time they lost before tonight, Northern Iowa used a jump defense on them. Did you consider that at all, or did you pretty much figure you were going to play the man with help?
COACH KRISTY CURRY: Play the man and just double ball once in awhile with some help, walled her off. We knew had to get back in transition. We didn't watch the Northern Iowa film. Didn't have time to get it.
Q. Stopping Jackie was a big part of your game plan, but I don't think you could have expected her to not score the last 16 minutes and 40 seconds in the first half?
COACH KRISTY CURRY: You know, the first four minutes, she came out and got 10 pretty quick, if I'm not mistaken. You know, we just tried to wear her down. And I think something else the kids did a nice job was on her high-court offense, we really set a lot of screens and ran her a lot, making her try to guard us. So we made her the aggressor and made her work hard on the defensive end, because she's a great defensive player.
Q. Just how excited are to you make it to the championship game?
COACH KRISTY CURRY: Well, I think it's every coach's dream to have a chance to play for a National Championship. I'm so very, very proud for everyone at Purdue and our entire Purdue family, because it is going to be a special day for us to lace up our shoes and play for the one that matters.
End of FastScripts....