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March 4, 2007

Kamela Gissendanner

Brianne O'Rourke

Rene Portland


THE MODERATOR: We'll start out with on opening comment from Rene and then we'll go to the student athletes.
COACH RENE PORTLAND: Well, I guess you can understand why we would say we're very disappointed with the outcome. We're very proud of the way our team played tonight. They played very, very hard. Maybe that's the best we could get from them. But I think they played hard. It was a terrific game, and we obviously lost to a very, very good team in Ohio State, and Jessica proved why she's the Player of the Year in our league.

Q. Kam, how were you guys able to turn things around in the second half after shooting so poorly in the first half?
KAMELA GISSENDANNER: We just knew that there was a whole other half of basketball to play, and we weren't going to be quitters, so we just came out and found a way to hit some shots.

Q. For Kam and Brianne, how much did the play of Davenport and some of the other posts put pressure on you guys as guards to step up because obviously they kind of went off the charts tonight?
BRIANNE O'ROURKE: Well, like Rene said, she proved why she's the Player of the Year. We were trying to help down on our side, and double her sometimes, and it left some other girls open. We were still trying to defend their guards or shooters outside so it was ours inside and --
KAMELA GISSENDANNER: She just dominated the whole time. It's hard to contain a player of her caliber. She's an All-American, and you can just hope that she has an off day, but tonight she was pretty much on, and we did our best to try and stop her, but it didn't happen.

Q. Bri, can you talk about the final possession after the missed free throw? Was that the thought, just to push it up? It looked like you may have could have pulled up, but did you think your teammate had the better shot attempt on that?
BRIANNE O'ROURKE: We had a play designed, but I just passed it off thinking she had the better shot.

Q. Brianne, what do you guys different on Ashlee Trebilcock? Last time, she had 17 points against you, tonight she only had five. What did you guys do different?
BRIANNE O'ROURKE: We just had to key on her a little bit more. The first game we played her she didn't have any points, and the second time she kind of went off and had 17, but we just had to stick to our rules on her on defense tonight and shut her down and make her not a factor.

Q. Obviously just coming off of this, but it was such a close game and you guys played so hard, what do you take from going forward because both you guys will be back?
KAMELA GISSENDANNER: As disappointed as our whole team is, we have to make this a positive somehow. We played the No. 5/6 team in the country, and we took them to overtime and two points. So you have to be proud of yourself in that aspect. But not to come out with a victory is really hard to accept. We're just going to keep working. We have a lot of people coming back, and it doesn't stop here.
BRIANNE O'ROURKE: It's just a confidence boost kind of, even though we were down tonight, just looking forward and knowing that we can play with teams like this. It gives us hope for the future.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Portland?

Q. What did you feel like changing in the second half for you guys?
COACH RENE PORTLAND: We shot the ball better. I thought in the first half we certainly got enough shots, if you saw the shots taken compared to theirs. Not that they were bad shots out of the offense, they were just rushed shots. So we saw more things hitting the top of the backboard, just rushed shots.
We just calmed down better in the second half. We ran things through a little bit better. We were able to shoot 60 percent almost in the second half. We just did a better job.

Q. Did you talk to Charity, and what did you say to her at the end of the game?
COACH RENE PORTLAND: It's real hard to talk to your two seniors. You just tell them it's not their fault. She thought it was her fault. It's not her fault. You just hug them and tell them you love them, and you tell the younger kids to be there for them because it's a tough night for seniors.

Q. Some real tense situations down the stretch and great shots made, and you had this big smile. I just wonder what was going through your head because it seemed like you were saying, "We can do this, we can do this," just with a smile.
COACH RENE PORTLAND: The day I say we can't do it I should get out of the game. It starts at the top when you believe, and I just had a good feeling about this game to be quite honest. But obviously the feeling was incorrect. They played hard. Defensively we didn't do a very good job because there were times when we were scoring, then they'd turn around and score. We had to get it to a good number. So when we got them playing defense, I felt we were in pretty good shape.
But I thought our kids played really, really hard tonight, it's just this is how the game ended.

Q. You were up 70-66 in overtime. Anything you do differently now? Davenport is Davenport and I don't know how you stop that,
COACH RENE PORTLAND: Obviously I didn't know how to stop it, and I don't wear a uniform anymore, so my best bet was going with the five I had out there.

Q. On that last possession after the missed free throw, I don't know if you had any timeouts, or did you just tell your team that you wanted it pushed up?
COACH RENE PORTLAND: They did exactly what they were supposed to do. They knew had she made it, we had it set up for a down pick and a flare pick to get a three. You wish they had just headed to the bucket, because we said to them, if they miss, what do they need? They just need two. We had the ball in the hands of a sophomore and it went to the hands of a freshman. We obviously just need a lot of late game stuff. We need to be a smarter team.
We were lucky she missed it, and then we weren't able to capitalize on it. I guess when I look back, the rebound at the end of regulation, I think there was 1.7 seconds, probably should have called a timeout then to see if we could hit it from half court. I don't know, Amanda got the rebound. That's probably the one question I'll have tonight when I can't sleep.

Q. What were they able to do to contain Amanda? To only have taken eight shots, just talk about that.
COACH RENE PORTLAND: Well, I just think that Amanda is going to be played like that. She's been played like that all year. She tried as hard as she could to be strong and to go out -- we just don't have a high-low presence. As much as we love Charity, next year we'll have a high-low presence because with the recruiting piece there will be freshmen. Everyone knows, go after Amanda, makes things real difficult for her. We had 20 offensive rebounds; that's a statistic that you say, what is that? We had 20 offensive rebounds and we out-rebounded a great team so we just needed some layups and we'd be in better shape.

Q. What were some of the things that you guys were trying to do to stop Davenport?
COACH RENE PORTLAND: Well, the fact that she's graduating I might be able to say. In the first half, we double-teamed her on one side. Like, who cares what we did; she scored 32 points; nothing worked. We sent Brianne in the second half for a little bit and that was okay, but then she picked up two fouls. Then we tried to send someone else in, another guard.
She passes the ball real well, and obviously when she shoots that well, she just has radar. She banks most things in, and I think she made some tough shots.

Q. Finale tomorrow night, do you think Purdue's bigs can do something with her?
COACH RENE PORTLAND: I'll just be home watching it on TV (laughing). I have no idea what's going to happen. It depends on how physical the game is allowed to be. You'll get to see something.

Q. I don't think either point guard came out. They kind of had a man-to-man battle there that was pretty fun to watch. What did you think about each point guard?
COACH RENE PORTLAND: Well, I'm a lover of point guards, and I think both point guards did a good job for their team. Brianne had two turnovers there late in the second half where she just threw it to the other team. Other than that, I thought she played a great game. I thought she had a great tournament. She had zero turnovers last night. Moeller does a nice job for him. We told Brianne sometimes when she gives the ball up not to let her get it back. We did that in a spot in the second half and I thought that worked very well for us, because they throw it back to her, and Brianne was eight feet off of her. Brianne did a better job of not letting her get the ball back in the middle, and that's how I felt we were able to get some things done. But I do think they're both truly point guards, and when you have a point guard, you're in good shape.

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