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March 7, 2009

Rae Lin D'Alie

Alyssa Karel

Tara Steinbauer

Lisa Stone


Purdue – 70
Wisconsin - 56

THE MODERATOR: We will open up for general comments from Coach Lisa Stone, and then we'll go to the student-athletes for questions.
COACH STONE: I couldn't be prouder of the Wisconsin Badger women's basketball team. For the second time in school history we reached the semifinals and we left it on the court. We gave it everything we could. And Purdue is a very good team. They're experienced. They have five seniors. They've won seven Big Ten championships.
Players, their senior class has been in the Elite 8. And the experience that our team faced in this tournament and our representation, we did something that nobody thought we could do, to even get this far. And we fought right to the very end. And I couldn't be more proud of this team.
We've done well, and we're going to play some more yet this year. And with one senior, we'll be back and hopefully in this same position next year, to advance to yet another game.
But I'm very proud of our team. We played three games in three days, and we battled, and we left it on the court. And I think our identity is the way we play basketball at Wisconsin I think everybody knows. And, again, I'm very proud of this team.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Alyssa, what was different about Purdue's defense in the second half?
ALYSSA KAREL: You know, it's hard to say. I think on the offensive side we were kind of -- we weren't moving as much. They kind of got us kind of packed in, so we weren't spread out as much. And I think that was ultimately what kind of hurt us, was the fact we really couldn't get a lot of motion going on offense.
We couldn't get ball movement. We couldn't reverse the ball. They were fortunate to take quick shots, which was hurting us.

Q. Rae Lin, you got up 6 at the end of the first half. How much did the 7-0 spurt by them maybe take some momentum away from you?
RAE LIN D'ALIE: Credit to them. They did a great job closing out the second half. They just went on a run and took the lead going into halftime, and we really stressed coming out strong the second half.
And we got a stop right away. And Teah Gant went down and tried to go for the layup and they came down and started scoring. I think they just knocked down some really tough shots. We were contesting, and they were just hitting buckets.

Q. Tara, how much of a handful were Danielle Campbell and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton tonight inside?
TARA STEINBAUER: Absolutely we give all the credit to Purdue. They fought a very good match against us, but definitely they found some success down low as far as their posts were concerned.
It was a physical battle all game, and I think that myself, Lin Zastrow, Ashley Thomas, Anya Covington, we all did a good job being physical with them. And it fell where it did. But I think we did a very good job overall.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you. Questions for Coach Stone.

Q. This is your third game in three days. Did you feel like your team kind of started to wear down a little bit in the second half?
COACH STONE: There's three right outside that door figuring you were going to ask me that question. She said, "Coach, we ran out of gas."
You don't want to admit that. But it is our third game in three days. We went through a physical battle with Michigan State yesterday. But we're a team that doesn't make excuses. And we don't take anything away from Purdue.
They're very, very good. And you mentioned the lead. Three minutes to go I think in the first half and they got out in transition. We turned it over. And they out transitioned and made some big plays to end the half. The pendulum started switching their way.
We come out in the second half to start the second half, only down 1. Feeling pretty good about it. Made some adjustments. Tried to figure out how to keep the ball out of Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton's hands. She's amazing.
She's a first round draft pick in my opinion. She's a very good player. We wanted to be more physical, keep the ball out of her hands.
Then we made the adjustment to stay off 15 a little more and try to clog the lane more. Ended up being transition basketball.
We came out in the second half, got a stop right away. Teah mentioned, got out on a break. She makes or gets a fouled, gets a free throw, breaks the ice early; but instead it may have been a seven-minute somewhere in there, a field goal. And we were struggling. And they were scoring. At one point the stat sheet that came by the sideline, they were shooting 74% in the second half. It was transition defense, one-on-one containment in that second half that we pride ourselves in and we got back on our heels in that second half.
But, again, we have nothing to hang our heads about, because we fought tooth and nail right to the very end against a very good team.

Q. Wisdom-Hylton and Campbell really didn't score a lot in the first two games against you. Coming into tonight, were you more concentrated on maybe the perimeter, because Howell did a lot of damage against you in the first two games?
COACH STONE: Howell, Rayburn and Malone, all three of them, and that was one of our keys, was transition defense, to get into 25 and 00, make sure you're on all three of them.
For the most part in the first half we did. Actually at one time we had three people on Rayburn. As soon as she came into the game, it came down to the floor in the first half. Lindsay was wide open. That wasn't the game plan, but the players had in their mind to make sure we didn't give Brittany an open look.
I can't say enough about this young team. With one senior on the team, they're locking and focussed and their heart and intensity is going to benefit us yet this year and in the future.

Q. Coach, can you talk a little bit about how FahKara Malone hurt you in the second half, scoreless in the first half, double 13, pushed it up a little bit?
COACH STONE: She's the quarterback of that team. She's a special player. And you've got two 5'3" point guards out there defying all doubters that little people can't play.
Both of them can. Both Rae Lin and FahKara are great point guards. They're fun to watch, a good match-up. But when she gets rolling, when she's moving, she's hard to stop. She's hard to contain, frankly.
She handles the ball both right and left. She got loose on a couple of 3-point shots. But we were digging in. Their posts were beating us inside, and so we started to choke in a little more, they'd pass that ball right out and got FahKara going a little bit. Her best game is when they're in transition. And that's when Purdue is at their best, they can run you wide. They have Wisdom-Hylton and Campbell coming down the middle and do some damage on the inside. Their outside game is very good. They're a very good team.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the depth this year in the Big Ten? It seems to matter, the record of the teams seems to matter, the venues, seems like for the most part the games are not that out of reach. So can you expand on that a little bit?
COACH STONE: What's happened is from top to bottom our league has gotten better. From top to bottom our league has done a great job in out-of-conference scheduling. Our RPI and strength of schedule has improved.
The teams are better. It's exciting for the future because the league is pretty young for the most part. I mean, I know that there's five seniors I mentioned from Purdue but their recruiting class is pretty special.
When you look at Iowa that's going to be playing, they've got some seniors. But they've got some nice players. But the bottom line, overall I think the conference is young. It's exciting. And we want as many teams playing post-season as possible to keep that recognized.
And I think there's a lot of teams deserving, and I think the better we do in out-of-conference puts us in a position to have more teams in the NCAA tournament.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Coach.

End of FastScripts

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