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March 22, 2008

Fantasia Goodwin

Quentin Hillsman

Erica Morrow


COACH HILLSMAN: First of all, I want to give a line to Hartford. I thought they played really well. They are a very strong team. There were a lot of plays down the stretch and they are very physical, like I thought they would be. And we got to give them a lot of credit because they really hung in there and continued to fight and continued to play throughout the game and made some plays down the stretch. They made a few more. It was a great game.
First of all, we enjoyed the game. Coaching for me is fun. I do it because it is fun. If I can't have fun, I can't get up in the morning. So for me it is fun. Just the love I have for my team and my kids, how hard they compete, what they bring to the table every day is just remarkable. It was one of those things where when you look at Hartford on tape, you get ready to play them, they keep coming at you and bringing that type of intensity. It is like playing one of our teams in our conference.
It was a great basketball game. It was fun to be a part of it.

Q. Take us through the remaining minutes of the game, the emotions you were feeling. Fantasia hits the big shot, and they come down and get the 3 from Schaefer, the ups and downs of that.
ERICA MORROW: I mean, it is really an up-and-down game. They made their plays; we made our plays. Like Coach said, they made more than us. We got to be able to stop them, and Schaefer comes out and hits a 3. You were thinking about defense and now you got to turn it to offense. The emotions were up and down. She is a great player and she made a great play down the stretch.
FANTASIA GOODWIN: (Indiscernible). It was a big shot. (Indiscernible). I thought we played a great game. (Indiscernible).

Q. (Question regarding game plan and shots not falling.)
ERICA MORROW: We got the shots. They just weren't falling. They play great defense and our shots just weren't falling tonight.

Q. Fantasia, I guess the toughest thing about a loss like this is going from complete anticipation to realizing that your career is done as a senior. How are you feeling right now?
FANTASIA GOODWIN: I had so much fun playing. I love all my teammates. I am trying not to cry right now. It is my last game. I'm done. It's over. (Indiscernible).

Q. Both of you made all your free throws and you hung in the game despite the spots weren't falling. Take us through your mind in a tournament game like this and making all the big free throws.
ERICA MORROW: Free throws are part of the game. That's what we needed to, I guess, stay in the game, then that's what (indiscernible). It is just -- I guess our minds were thinking how do we just stay in the game. As long as we stay -- you know, when we were down two points or whatever it was, we still had a chance. I think it is part of us being mentally tough and coming down the stretch.
FANTASIA GOODWIN: (Indiscernible).

Q. Fantasia, you said the emotions are with you right now. Can both student athletes take a step back and appreciate what this program did this year, no matter what happened today? You guys just had the most successful season in school history.
FANTASIA GOODWIN: I am blessed to be a part of this program. The coaching staff, the University has been great with everything we've been through. (Comment about offseason).
My career has been awesome. I love (indiscernible).
ERICA MORROW: I am proud to be a part of this team. A lot of people didn't believe we would be here, even do half the things we did this year. I think we came out and showed we are a great team and we are a great program. The coaching staff and the players, everybody was great. This experience, we take back the bad and learn from it and get better and get ready for next season. Try to get back. We will be back next year.

Q. How much was today resourceful? You were shooting 30% and still in the game at the end of the game. Can you talk about shooting the ball from the floor.
ERICA MORROW: We're just not a shooting team. We have different players who do different things. We have people who can shoot, go to the basket. I think it is important that we played at the rim today. We showed them at the basket. It was the NCAA tournament. No scholarships here. All teams are a great team. It is the last 64 out of 300 and something. So I just think coming down the stretch, you know, we tried to do what each individual player did nice and add to our game.
THE MODERATOR: We will excuse the student athletes.

Q. Coach, I think -- I'm guessing if someone had covered you before the game and said you would make 21 out of 41 free throws and out-rebound them by 14, I suspect you would say I'm all in on that.
COACH HILLSMAN: No question. What we try to do, we try to remain aggressive and play at the rim. A lot of steps that you did did not (indiscernible).
(Indiscernible). We tried to attack the rim and be aggressive. That's our game, just trying to stay close to the basket. Trying to stay at the rim and take the ball, that's what we do night in and night out, get to the basket. That's part of our system, let our athletes get to the basket, Erica, Tasha (indiscernible).

Q. Coach, the end of the game situation where you guys were down, trying to get the ball in the hole, just talk about that play that you were trying to set up and did you think about calling a time-out to try and set a play up? Or were you going in the goal there?
COACH HILLSMAN: We practice this situation every day in practice. We don't call time-outs in those situations. (Indiscernible) when the ball goes no matter what the situation is. I am really nervous when we got the ball inbounds. Why take a time-out? We practice these situations every day (indiscernible). Get the ball out of the free-throw situation with 7 seconds (indiscernible). They did a great job with Erica. They did a great job of getting out (indiscernible). Nicole popped out and got the catch. We were in good shape. We put time on the clock and run 7, 8, 9 sets straight through with the same look. So I'm real comfortable not calling time-outs in a situation.

Q. What was the explanation for the technical foul?
COACH HILLSMAN: Explanation was that I was too animated. Watching the tape, it is very animated. What do you say to that? Somebody gives you a technical in the coach's box, it is what it is. She did the best job she could.
Even after that, with the type of game, you can't lose like that. The basketball gods, they are going to do that to you, so I'm not going to worry about it.

Q. After the season ending like this, what do you tell your girls in the locker room after this?
COACH HILLSMAN: I tell them to make sure we will be back here. I told them we will be back here and to be strong. (Indiscernible). That's pretty much what I told them.

Q. Coach Q, your freshmen came up big and made plays at the end of the game, Tasha with the shot, Erica with the free throws. How proud are you with them under that kind of pressure to make the plays they did, despite losing?
COACH HILLSMAN: Very proud. We got a lot of building with this team. We have to practice situations. We did what we had to do to get here. (Indiscernible) be able to do that, you have to impact players who are unafraid. To be in conference -- in the Big East conference, recruiting is so important. (Indiscernible).
You got to continue to get young kids that can compete at this level and definitely have a future.

Q. Coach, can you reflect on the seniors now that you have to say good-bye to them? I think they have played together for ten years or something.
COACH HILLSMAN: It is unbelievable. (Indiscernible) so obviously.
She grew up into a fine young lady and turned into a great kid. Talking about Fantasia, I'm sure, especially local media, you understand -- you know what she's been through. To sit here night in and night out and face you guys (indiscernible). She embraces opportunity. What can you say about her? You think about the choice you have (indiscernible). To come back and be able to compete at this level and to be aggressive. (Indiscernible).
Hopefully you can continue to play, compete at this level.

Q. You won a rebound and battled. How frustrating was it?
COACH HILLSMAN: Frustrating that that wasn't the game plan. We got in foul trouble. (Indiscernible).
And, you know, down the stretch, the last play we were talking about taking that shot. Are they going to have the guts and the courage to take that shot? That was a tough shot to make. You miss it, you go home. You make it, you got a chance to advance. Making a big shot down the stretch, that's in the tournaments and that's what it's all about.
She made a good adjustment and (indiscernible). She makes (indiscernible).

Q. Take us through your emotions, knowing how close it came to you beating them.
COACH HILLSMAN: (Indiscernible) we have been in that situation before. Erica made those shots in that situation. So we got to get the ball in her hand.
This has been a really good experience and we've enjoyed being here. And I have to give credit to Hartford. They are a tough team and playing and being aggressive. I thought my kids really competed at this level of the situation and this experience, to give us this opportunity. We would like to make it next year.

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