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March 12, 2008

Marlies Gipson

Shalee Lehning

Deb Patterson


THE MODERATOR: Coach, maybe just talk a bit about the game.
COACH PATTERSON: Well, it certainly was a loss to the team, losing to Iowa State. My hat goes off to them for their great play down the stretch and making those 3-pointers down the stretch when they needed them. They had those shots there at the end that made the difference.
My heart goes out to Kimberly and her family. After the initial shock of seeing her being carried off the floor, then it's regrouping and huddling and figuring out where to go from there.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student athletes?

Q. Shalee, talk a little bit about Kimberly and then Dani coming in, and your continued play in the NCAA.
SHALEE LEHNING: Well, our hearts go out to Kimberly. She has been a great leader and we just hope she is okay. Dani came in and did a great job. I think she had a great game and will continue playing like that for us.

Q. Marlies, talk about your thoughts and where you go from here.
MARLIES GIPSON: We've just got to keep getting better, and knowing that we have an opportunity to play and stay together as a team. Keep competing, having fun.
Dani, feel proud of her as a teammate and my best friend. I have all the confidence in her to step up and hit the shot, and she did very well!
THE MODERATOR: Any final questions for the student athletes? Ladies, thank you. Best of luck.

Q. Can you talk about the injury and what went through your mind and how that affected you guys? Maybe any update you have on her, when you may find anything out?
COACH PATTERSON: Her status is we're still waiting to have her evaluated, and I'm sure we'll get a picture here some time soon after everything winds up here. Obviously, I feel badly for Kimberly. She's had a tremendous season and was obviously as thrilled as any of us were about having the opportunity to compete here in Kansas City in this Big 12 tournament.
Immediately you're surrounded with emotions for her. She is about to be taken off the floor and is not going to go off the floor and isn't going to compete in this tournament if you continue on. I think it was really about that. Once you go to the sideline it's just about continuing to find a way to compete in the game.
I thought our bench, you know, whether it was Zanotti or McCullough or Wheeler, they gave us good quality minutes, and certainly Dani stepped up in a big way, hit the big 3's and wanted the ball down the stretch and got herself to the foul line and put us in position to compete to win it in spite of the loss of Kimberly.

Q. Can you talk about your emotions, watching Shalee's last shot bounce around the rim and also how when the ball tips one way it's a different feeling?
COACH PATTERSON: If you coach long enough or play long enough you live these moments, and as that ball was bouncing around the rim, I kept thinking, "Go in, go in, go in," and it went out. Really I felt an unbelievable emotion of sadness for this team.
The fight that I thought they brought to the floor, you hope the play is going to bounce their way and they're going to have another opportunity, but that's the nature of games like this and, you know, they had just made a fantastic play, and we had one of the best players in the country going up the floor full speed trying to make her own fantastic play and, unfortunately, it just didn't drop for us.
I think more than anything in my mind that game came down to just a little bit of laxness on the defensive end, and it can jump up and get you when a team has the hot hand. Their hand was so hot. We gave 'em 6 inches, they took it. Heather was tremendous tonight and, you know, that really, to me -- those defensive breakdowns were obviously the difference.
We didn't shoot free-throws well over all tonight. That certainly factors in a close game, but felt like we were in position to win it with one or two stops.

Q. Deb, what do you say to the team after a game like this to pick 'em up? How difficult is it now to refocus and think about the NCAA tournament?
COACH PATTERSON: I think it's not difficult to think about the NCAA tournament and have great anticipation and excitement and enthusiasm about that. It's hard when you first walk into the locker room. You have to process the emotions of the loss, and it will obviously take a little bit of time here in the arena, but we'll get the bounce back in our step and continue to look forward to what lies ahead.
I think anytime you walk into the locker room after an emotional, close-fought overtime loss with so much on the line, you're not right away thinking about the next thing, but it is something we did talk about.
We talked about what we've got ahead of us, and at that point I think you're just processing emotions, if you're a player, more so than listening to a rah-rah.

Q. Deb, has there been any team that is more hard to kill than Iowa State, Stacy Frese, Morgan Taylor, their ability to shoot 3's and how difficult they are to defend?
COACH PATTERSON: They put a lot of pressure on you, because even with one or two great 3-point shooters, if they get hot, it's just enough to keep 'em in the game. It's just enough to beat you if you're not connecting on all cylinders, and I don't think we did tonight -- or this afternoon.
So that's the nature of how Iowa State plays. If one or two people get the hot hand, again, it can be all the difference. It will get you, and I think everybody in the league understands that about Iowa State. Down the stretch when kids are a little bit fatigued and working hard not to foul at times, you know, you make mistakes, and I think Iowa State plays long enough into possessions and makes sure the kid that's hot gets that good look. That's really, I think, tonight, the difference in the game.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, best of luck to you in the postseason play.

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