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March 5, 2007

Jessica Davenport

Jim Foster

Maria Moeller


THE MODERATOR: Open it up for an opening statement from Coach Foster, then we'll go to the student athletes.
COACH JIM FOSTER: I'd just like to congratulate Purdue. I thought they played very sound, a well-played game.

Q. Jessica, obviously you're not going to make excuses, but was there fatigue after that game with Penn State? Were your legs a little heavy?
JESSICA DAVENPORT: Maybe a little bit, but like you say, you can't make excuses. It's the championship game and you go out there to play, play to win. I mean, they were on fire in the beginning, and we couldn't throw a rock in the ocean. That big lead they got really hurt us early on.

Q. Maria, could you speak to what was going on in those first 10 or 11 minutes and what was going wrong at that time?
MARIA MOELLER: Well, first couple minutes like Jess said, we couldn't make a shot. We were just trying to execute, get the ball, have some inside-outside game and just cut into that lead, the 21-0 lead.

Q. Jess, that feeling when a game starts off like that, how often in your career at Ohio State have you had a feeling like that? On the court, it must feel like everything is going right for them and nothing is going right for you guys?
JESSICA DAVENPORT: It might have been the first time. You have to give it to them. They came out hitting shots. I don't know, it was kind of frustrating when the shots that you usually make don't go in. I don't know, we still have the NCAA tournament to play, so we're going to get ready for that.

Q. Jess, did you ever feel there was a point when you were ever going to get back into the game, or did they just control the whole thing?
JESSICA DAVENPORT: There was definitely points like that going back in the game. I think the whole game we had a lot of fight in us. We never gave up, and we kept playing hard no matter what the circumstance was. I give a lot of credit to our teammates, especially Maria Moeller. She played every minute of this tournament and she still pressured the ball for 40 minutes; I went to the floor. That type of leadership at your point guard position really makes you look forward to the next round of tournaments.

Q. Jessica, when you guys did come back, I think you got within ten a couple times in the second half, just talk about what it was that Wisdom-Hylton and Gearlds did to extend the lead back up for Purdue.
JESSICA DAVENPORT: They were hitting shots. There's not much more you can say. They had a big lead and they wanted to make sure we weren't going to cut into that lead. As much as we tried, we just couldn't go over that ten-point hump.

Q. For both you guys, can you talk about how much this is a motivating factor for you guys going into the rest of the season and obviously the NCAA tournament?
MARIA MOELLER: I think it's a motivator just because losing this game is going to want us to get back in the gym, get better each and every day and prepare ourselves for the NCAA tournament.
JESSICA DAVENPORT: I mean, like she said, we had kind of a good run and it was you know, sketchy in this tournament, but we have lot to look forward to. I don't know when the NCAA tournament starts, but we have time to get out there and prepare and rest our bodies and get ready for a deep run in the tournament .

Q. Maria, could you talk about how you guys felt physically after the long game against Penn State?
MARIA MOELLER: We might have been tired, but Purdue was just as tired as we were coming in. They didn't go into overtime, but just needed to pursue through that fatigue and just play, just go out there and play.

Q. Maria, can you talk about some of the pressure they put on you guys, putting the ball the length of the court and what that did to you guys?
MARIA MOELLER: Well they did a 1-2-2 press and then just slowed down our offense, took some time off the shot clock, and that's basically what the press was. I don't think they were looking to pressure, like get the steal as much as they were trying to get the time on the clock and get the ball away from Jess.

Q. Maria, was it hard to get the ball into Jess in the first half?
MARIA MOELLER: I think in the first half it was because when me or Shavelle had the ball in the perimeter they were just sagging, they had a girl in front and behind Jess, but once we got the ball into Stephanie or Packer's hands or A.T.'s or Ashlee Trebilcock's hand, they had to guard them and we got the ball into Jess, and when we reversed the ball we were able to get the ball to Jess, too.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Foster?

Q. Was there anything that you saw in pregame warmups, anything that gave you any indication that your team might start off like that?
COACH JIM FOSTER: I don't watch warmups.

Q. Is there anything that you can do? I know you called some timeouts. Is there anything you can do when another team is on a run like that to try to slow it down?
COACH JIM FOSTER: Well, timeouts are a good start. They just -- they played very, very well and we had a couple players not at their level, not at the intensity level that's necessary in a championship game. You know, we kept looking down the bench to find people, and we found three freshmen.
Well, we knew Maria Moeller. We know how big her heart is, and I thought Shavelle Little came in and did a great job, and Andrea Walker came in and did a great job, so we played a lot of that second half with three freshman on the floor and they were terrific. They gave us the energy that we needed.

Q. How tough is it when you fall behind 21-0, just the energy to get back into it, were you demoralized at all?
COACH JIM FOSTER: I think -- all these things just make excuses. I mean, there's four two-minute timeouts. There's plenty of time to get back in the game. The game is set up today where you've just got to keep battling and keep getting after it.
We had three or four opportunities to get it in the single digits, and I think psychologically that would have been a big deal, and we didn't execute necessarily the way we needed to and maybe take the shots that you would like to take, but that's the price you pay with three freshmen on the floor. They may not understand that. This is a big possession.
But they played with such spirit and such heart. I really think our guards rebounded well. Little goes out there and gets six and Moeller gets four. I think that's a big deal.

Q. Did you ever get the feeling that just today maybe wasn't your guys' day?
COACH JIM FOSTER: Well, no. I mean, you just keep pushing buttons. You know, I'm just happy we came back competitively and that we had a group out there that was forcing the issue.
I'm happy that Katie Gearlds had to work her tail off to get her points, and she made a couple of incredible shots, big-time shots, but I thought Shavelle Little really did as good a job of guarding her as you can do. Katie is a great player, and she made the little fade-away on the block, and then the three that she made going left. I mean, that's big-time stuff.
Shavelle really came out and changed the tempo, and I thought Walker did -- as I can say, Moeller played every minute of every game and the Malone kid is aggressive, she led the league in steals, and Moeller's got five assists and a turnover and handled that situation very well. I like the feistiness of a freshman, and it allowed me to stay feisty.

Q. You touched on Gearlds when it got close there at the end, what she did. But what Wisdom-Hylton did..
COACH JIM FOSTER: They're terrific players. I'm on the selection committee for USA Basketball, and Wisdom-Hylton was -- she wasn't there for the first couple days, wasn't doing the stuff she normally does, and I kept telling the committee, "Wait a minute, this kid can play, just be patient, she can play."
I wish she would have played like she did the first two days, but she played like she did the last day. She's got a game. She's got a game. She's got a little face-up, she can drive it. She's got a style of how to play. It's not just about talent. She's a very, very intelligent player.

Q. We asked the players earlier if they faced a deficit like that before. How often in your coaching career have you faced a deficit like that, faced a start like that right away?
COACH JIM FOSTER: Maybe my first year, second year. We played Old Dominion with Nancy Lieberman and Ann Donovan when I was at St. Joe's. They won the National Championship. So that's 28 years ago. I'm glad -- if it's 28 years before it comes around again, somebody else is going to be getting it because it's not going to be me (laughter).

Q. You talked about the energy your freshmen brought you. Why did you need that from them? How did that happen that the people you would normally look to for that energy didn't bring it?
COACH JIM FOSTER: Good question. We'll try to figure out some of it, and hopefully they're going to try to figure it out.
But the good news is we really liked our freshmen class coming in, and they have done nothing to disappoint that excitement when they came in, and I just like their upside, I like their competitiveness, I like the way they get after things.
I think you need very competitive people to be a very, very good program, and I like the corps of competitive people we have and I like the corps of competitive people we have coming in next year. Some people have got to get their act together, which is a lot of competition in the gym.

Q. Can you gauge the disappointment level of a conference tournament loss as opposed to maybe an NCAA loss or a loss that would throw you out of the loop for a conference championship type deal?
COACH JIM FOSTER: Well, we won the regular season, and the NCAA tournament ends the season. We're still very much a factor. We're still very much alive. You know, our body of work is what it is, you know, and for a ten-minute blip today we were not where we would have liked to have been. But that doesn't negate the rest of it.
If this was the last game of the season, you'd be sitting there being very optimistic about your freshmen. But it's not the last game of the season. I think it bodes well for our next ten days of practice that we've got that feistiness and that spirit.

Q. Obviously Star and Ashlee bring some things offensively when they're in the game that when they're not in the game you didn't have that tonight. How much of a concern is it going forward to make sure that they're back where you want them to be?
COACH JIM FOSTER: Well, we shot 62 percent without them in the game in the second half. So, I mean, I agree with your assessment.

Q. But they've been two players who have...
COACH JIM FOSTER: Yeah, but the assumption was that we're not a good offensive team without them, and the fact is we shot 62 percent without them. We're getting some mileage out of other players. Any game you can look down and say Erin Lawless usually scores more than six points. Games always take their shape and form and somebody steps up within the framework of the game and has a bigger day.

Q. Purdue has closed the season with obviously a big win here, a very strong schedule throughout, they're the No. 5 RPI, do you think they make a case for maybe a No. 2, maybe even a No. 1 seed?
COACH JIM FOSTER: You know, there's a lot of discussion at this time of year by people that really should have no business discussing those things. There's a tournament committee that's in place, and their job is all year long to evaluate teams. They work very hard, they're very good at what they do, and I'm satisfied that they'll make good decisions relative to the body of work that's presented to them. That's their job.
My job is to coach my team. Too often today people try to do other people's jobs.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Jim. Good luck in the tournament.

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