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March 29, 2008

Marissa Coleman

Brenda Frese

Crystal Langhorne

Kristi Toliver


THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started with an opening statement by coach and then take questions for the student-athletes.
COACH FRESE: I tell you, I just really loved our defensive intensity and our hustle throughout the game. And I thought that we came out really inspired and wanted to come out and play as aggressive and focused as we could from the defensive end. And just a credit to this team. We were excited. We were ready to come out and play some of our best basketball, and I thought that we did just a tremendous job on the offensive end as well. The unselfishness that we displayed, being able to get the ball inside, being able to be aggressive and then being unselfish with each and every play that we made. And a credit to this team, also a credit to Vanderbilt, I thought they played really scrappy and were a tremendous team.
THE MODERATOR: Take questions.

Q. Any of you, can you remember the last time you guys played confidently and as dominantly as you did from start to finish?
CRYSTAL LANGHORNE: I have a bad memory, so I'll use that. I can't remember. It's probably one of our best games, but I'm not sure exactly when it was. We're just happy we're playing like that right now.
KRISTI TOLIVER: I also have a bad memory. But a game that really sticks in my mind, it probably wasn't the last game but a great game that we had was against LSU and against Oklahoma. I think we played tremendously from start to finish, all 40 minutes. And I think that we executed the game plan. We played loose and free, and that's exactly what we did tonight. So I think you can compare those two games.

Q. Marissa, can you talk or Kristi, can you talk about the contributions Marah had coming with those 3s early on?
MARISSA COLEMAN: I think she played great today. She had been struggling in our past couple games and I think she came up big for us. She hit key 3s for us when they were going on their runs, and I think a few of her 3s were definitely demoralizing for them and daggers in their hearts and got us going.

Q. Kristi, did you make a concerted effort coming into tonight to feed the post and maybe not take your shot because you didn't take a shot until like the last minute of the first half.
KRISTI TOLIVER: Not consciously. I know that we always go inside and out. We have the best post players in the country, and we were just trying to distribute to everybody. And everybody today was -- I felt like Tom Brady.
Everybody was just connecting. And we had great chemistry, and everybody was executing offensively for the game plan. So I just had a lot of fun just seeing them succeed and finish plays.

Q. Crystal, you guys look especially inspired. Does it even cross your mind before games like this that any of these games could be your last?
CRYSTAL LANGHORNE: You can't help but think about it being a senior. I think that's what our senior class thinks about a lot. Any game could be our last and we just want to go out there and play hard every minute we're out there because you never know when it's going to be your last few plays.

Q. Marissa, you guys talked about playing good defense before but this is the first time in a long time you really played great defense. What led to that tonight?
MARISSA COLEMAN: I think just listening to different people in the media, watching ESPN, and us not really being the talk of things and mainly because of our defense. So I know from us talking we just wanted to make a conscious effort to go out there and get stops. Especially from the guard's end we struggled with our perimeter defense a lot this season, and I think tonight it was 1 through 5. Whoever was in the game we communicated well, and we executed our game plan and got stops after stops.

Q. Kristi, do you always smile when somebody fumbles a pass and misses an assist for you?
KRISTI TOLIVER: You know, that was something I consciously wanted to do today. I wanted to smile for 40 minutes. And they're not going to make them all, and I think that today I wanted to work on my mistake response and not get so negative and not get so down, not scowl because these guys are watching me. And if they're watching me smiling when they're missing, of course I'm going to smile when they make it. And I think that gives them the extra confidence to go up and finish plays.
KRISTI TOLIVER: I know it does.
THE MODERATOR: All right. They will go to the locker room, and we'll hear from Coach Frese.

Q. Laura's defense in particular, I know she got in some foul trouble, but it looked like she was really playing some of her best. Can you talk about her performance tonight?
COACH FRESE: I thought given the limited minutes that she played because of the foul trouble, she was really the energy and the spark on the defensive end and I think you could see that even at times when she had to go out because of the foul trouble just what she brings to the table and I thought she was huge, especially with her play against Wirth, she's very talented and I thought that Laura made her work for everything tonight.

Q. Marissa mentioned not being the talk of things and I guess no one has been really talking about Maryland winning it this whole thing. Do you think maybe they might start talking about you now?
COACH FRESE: I hope not. I love it right where it's at. It remind me of two years ago and it's just amazing that you can continue to dismiss this team 32-3 and not see the positives of how this team plays.
Obviously they're a tremendously talented offensive team and we rebound the ball extremely well. But I hope it just continues right along the path that it's been. I think that's, we work better that way.

Q. Christie's game, especially the first half, how impressed were you with how she was distributing the ball?
COACH FRESE: I thought she was a floor general for us. Really set the tone. And just her presence her poise, being able to get the ball to the amount of touches that she was able to get inside for Crystal was really key in terms of our overall game.

Q. How reliable has Crystal been for you guys down the stretch?
COACH FRESE: Oh, I mean, Crystal's obviously our go to player. The fact that any pass you throw in there she's going to catch and I thought really it was as physical as it was inside she was able to make so many plays and obviously it's no secret she's our go to player inside.

Q. You only had one point from your bench, is that a concern?
COACH FRESE: Well I think that any time we have obviously been able to get great energy. And in any game it's different. To be able to see the energy that we were able to get from Jade in this game and obviously the last game from Ashleigh, but it's all kind of related at times and from our end when you look at the talent that we have the media time outs are about five minutes long and in the tournament, so I just really felt today in the flow, we were well rested, and just that's why really why our starters played so many minutes.

Q. Couple of the players said yesterday that they felt the pressure was off after having getting through the first week. Did you sense that they were a little more relaxed?
COACH FRESE: I could sense it from our last game at home against Nebraska, just the relief that we had. And just coming out here we have had great practices leading up to this and I definitely think that like you see tonight, just from our end, being able to play so freely makes a big difference in our play.

Q. How important was the last five minutes of the first half. You let Nebraska back in the game the other night and it seemed like you put your foot on the gas?
COACH FRESE: We talked about it. We didn't want to lose our focus and we wanted to play, obviously, a complete 20 minutes when we were out there. And we really talked about it in that last time out and just great to be able to see the focus and the intensity that we had on the defensive end.

Q. There was some people saying that Vanderbilt kind of reminded them of you two years ago. Young, kind of nothing to lose and playing hard. Do you think that gave your team a little bit of focus knowing what they were going through so they didn't let them play that way tonight?
COACH FRESE: Our team respects every opponent that we play and we could really tell on film we knew how well coached Vanderbilt was. How their team is, I mean just played very scrappy like you saw tonight and we don't want to underestimate anyone and this team won't. Not with the pride that we have and with what we're playing for.
THE MODERATOR: All right. That will conclude the interview. Thank you, cope.
COACH FRESE: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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