April 3, 2005
DEBBIE BYRNE: Take an opening statement from Coach Chatman and then we'll go to questions for the student-athletes first.
COACH CHATMAN: I could sit here and dissect this stat sheet in a basketball game that you guys witnessed like most coaches do when they get up here for an opening statement, but I think one of my assistants mentioned something in the locker room that put it in proper perspective and I'll clarify that. We have a quote when we leave out of our locker room, that says, "You don't always get what you want, you get what you earn." I'm sure our kids wanted to win. Everybody here on this stage wants to win. But we didn't do a whole lot to go out there and earn it and I think that Baylor did. To the tune of 32, 24 points in the paint, we got beat in points in the paint. We got beat on the boards. We got beat in our half court execution. They got to the free throw line 21 times. And that right there basically was the ballgame.
DEBBIE BYRNE: Questions for the student-athletes.
Q. Temeka, were you surprised they played as much zone as they did and was it, did you have some trouble executing against the zone?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: No, I wasn't surprised. Not after we went on the run that they -- that we did when they was in man-to-man. I'm sure she was going to do what she had to do to switch up things and try to cut in our offensive flow.
Q. Temeka, were they able to do something specific to limit your transition game?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: No, not really. I think we allowed them to get second opportunities with turnovers and rebounds and they were scoring the way they pretty much wanted to. So it wasn't no transition there.
Q. Seimone, it looked like shooting tonight the angles sort of flattened out. I was wondering, was there some difficulty adjusting to the sense of depth perception out there tonight? Did you take a while to get used to the arena to shoot?
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS: No. I don't think it had anything to do with the arena. With the depth perception? Is that what you said?
Q. Sometimes with a wide background it's hard to --
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS: No, you can't focus on the arena and how it's made and stuff like that. It's about on the court. The goals. Once you're stepping between those lines. You can't really worry about the arena.
Q. Both of you, can you talk about the emotion; is it anger, frustration, you know?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: All of the above. It's anger and frustration for me.
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS: It's the same. You never are happy when you lose especially on the stage like this. I can't see anything else but anger and frustration.
Q. This is for Seimone and then Temeka. Did Baylor throw anything at you that really surprised you, such as Abiola Wabara, she's not been known as being a scorer and a driver and she came through with some key buckets late in the game; did that surprise you to see her driving like that or did it not make any difference?
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS: We knew that she's a great player and she knows her role. And she started to step up and hit key buckets for her team and started to make things happen. But it wasn't any different than any other game.
TEMEKA JOHNSON: No surprise. She did what she needed to do to help her team advance. She drove, she took it at our -- whoever was guarding her, she played good defense, she did what she was asked, she was a good role player tonight.
Q. Seimone, talk about the defense they played against you; how were they able to keep you out of the foul line area where you hit a lot of your shots and was that some of the best defense you've seen against yourself?
SEIMONE AUGUSTUS: No, I think I settled for shots too, in the first half. But in the second half, as you can see, we started to get to the rim, started to get paint touches, started to get inside. In the first half it was about not executing and just settling for long shots.
Q. Coach touched on this a little bit, but she talked about earning it and the fact that you may not have done enough of that tonight. Can you talk about when things got a little out of sync there in the second half, with the turnovers and so forth, and what was going through your minds after building that 15-point lead?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: The first half wasn't really in our mind. We was concentrating on the second half. And when they got up, when they went on their run, the main thing was to try to maintain our composure and stay together and not separate. That's the one thing that most people do when a team runs on us, the teammates start to separate. Our main thing was to try to maintain our composure and stay together on the same page.
DEBBIE BYRNE: Ladies, thank you very much. We're going to release them back to the locker room. Questions for the coach.
Q. It looked like the transition game was really working for you early. They called a time-out down 24-9. Do you feel you went away from it as much as they took some things away?
COACH CHATMAN: No, I will always credit the opponent. And I think it was both the things you mentioned. It was a mindset, one of the things that's difficult to create transition baskets when you're taking the ball out of the net. You're not getting those long rebounds, transition is reduced a little bit when the speed is closer to your speed. Transition for me is running the basketball down the court and maybe those minutes will come into play late in the game, fatigue factor, so there's a lot of things there. But I think it was some Baylor and some LSU not being mentally tough enough to take what we wanted.
Q. Whitaker's shot right at the end of the first half, you didn't look too happy. Did you feel your players should have been better prepared for them trying that play and also what kind of momentum does a play like that to end the half give a team?
COACH CHATMAN: I can remember a game, a Regional championship game, I hated to see half-time come. This particular game we needed half-time because we totally lost the momentum going into the half. You used the word "prepared." It's not enough to say, you must do. And we basically didn't get it done. There's a scouting report, that you create because you watch seven, eight, nine, ten tapes. And the bottom line was we didn't carry those things out to the best of our ability. And Baylor was just more aggressive in their attack and they took what they wanted.
Q. What did you think of Mulkey's defensive game plan and changing defenses and the way she kept Seimone out of that area that Seimone shoots from a lot?
COACH CHATMAN: I think it's the same game plan that we have seen for 30-plus games because of our ability to execute at a half-court offense. You see man, you see zone, they didn't have to go to junk defense because we didn't quite execute against the zone. We're a team that when someone goes zone, we get paint touches, we shoot less from the perimeter, and that's something that we pride ourselves on. But again, I credit Baylor; it was there aggressiveness that we didn't get those paint touches, get the ball reversals, attack the gaps, play behind the zone, shoot the gaps into the foul line. Be it a mental meltdown or physical meltdown, the bottom line is we didn't get it done.
Q. I know we asked you a bunch last week about having not been tested enough; is maybe this specifically what you guys hadn't seen enough through the years even though you're a team that did make you play half court and kind of eliminate transition for this many minutes of a game?
COACH CHATMAN: Sounds pretty good right now. I think we ran into a very hot ball club, a very hungry ball club. A methodical ball club. A ball club that attacked us and we had, we didn't respond well. I guess in theory that sounds like a pretty good point. But the bottom line is, it's a 40 minute game and we still had our opportunities, several possessions to swing the momentum, to cut into the momentum, to neutralize some of the things that we didn't do well and we didn't seize that opportunity.
DEBBIE BYRNE: Coach, thank you very much.
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