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March 7, 2010

Mike Carey

Sarah Miles

Liz Repella


West Virginia – 47
DePaul - 41

COACH MIKE CAREY: I thought both teams struggled to score to be honest with you. I thought when Sarah Miles got in foul trouble the first half, Akeema Richards came in and got us going a little bit really, distributed the ball, and we started scoring a little bit and that type of stuff. I thought that was important.
I thought the second half when we did struggle to score and they were cutting into the lead, we picked our defense up and made them take some tough shots and was just able to score enough. They do a great job. Doug does a great job, and we were able to score enough.
And then I thought the last three minutes we put a little pressure on them, and they turned it over in big situations. That really gave us other opportunities to go to the foul line. If we hit our foul shots at the end, it wouldn't have been as close as it was, but we didn't. We like to make it interesting.

Q. Liz, you were 4 of 8 from three-point range in the first half, and I think you missed your first five in the second half. Were you just getting tired or what was the difference there?
LIZ REPELLA: I wasn't noticing getting tired. It was just maybe a matter of squaring up and maybe getting lower and taking my shots. I knew I was going to miss some, so I just --
COACH CAREY: You just hoped not all of them.
LIZ REPELLA: Exactly, just tried to stay in my shot.
COACH CAREY: You know, I'll answer that. I tell Liz all the time, if she don't take that shot, I'll take her out. I don't care if she goes 0 for 8. She's our three-point shooter and she needs to shoot. If she has the green light, and if she doesn't shoot, that's when I get mad at her. If she misses eight in a row, I may say, let's try to hit one once in a while. Let's mix one in, but other than that, I want her shooting.

Q. Sarah, you were defensive player of the year in the conference, and it seems like you guys are comfortable playing in these games where it's mostly all on defense. Can you just talk about what you guys do at practice and how you've become such a good defensive team?
SARAH MILES: We work on staying up the lane, and a lot of unballed defense which we still need a lot of work on. We just work on trying to guard the ball and staying up the lane, the passing lanes and snapping our head in the back door?

Q. Are you comfortable playing in these kind of games?
SARAH MILES: That's what we practice for, for all situations. So I can say we're pretty comfortable. We try to stay focused.
COACH CAREY: I can say I'm not.

Q. Liz, whether you get -- end up getting Rutgers or Georgetown, what are your thoughts on the next game and playing in the semifinals?
LIZ REPELLA: We're both good teams, and it's tournament time, so they're going to bring all they got. So we know whoever we play, we're going to have to be focused and be ready to play tomorrow.

Q. Asya, and maybe this goes for the whole team, did you feel any rust? You didn't play for almost a week. Do you think that factored into some of the struggles the team had offensively and defensively?
ASYA BUSSIE: No, I don't think it was rust. We just came out a little slow, but it was probably being off for these couple days. We just basically had to pick it up towards the middle.
COACH CAREY: My past experience really, I told the team after the game, that you normally play better the second game. I hope that holds true for the next one.

Q. Asya, can you guys talk about what you did, especially in the first half on Quigley? It looked like the idea was just to make someone else bring the ball up the court. She didn't hit a shot until a minute left in the game?
SARAH MILES: Definitely. We try to keep the ball out of Quigley's hands because she is a good point guard. So the idea was to try to get someone else to bring it up, so we tried to face guard her as much as possible to keep the ball out of her hands?

Q. Liz, do you guys think you're playing a dangerous game of, you know, you're not scoring offensively and you're hanging your hat on defense. Do you think sooner or later it might catch up with you guys?
LIZ REPELLA: Well, we always say that we're going to bring it every night on defense. A great offensive team can't control their offense, but you can control your defense. So we always emphasize if we're not scoring, then we need to stop the other team from scoring. I mean, we're going to have to pick up our offensive efforts, yes, I agree, but we're going to -- I mean, we've really got to play good defense.

Q. Liz, could you comment a little bit on the play of Madina Ali, particularly in the second half, not just with a few key baskets but there in the last two minutes, kept the ball alive when you guys had a four-point lead and you ended up getting a couple foul shots out of that? She made some real key plays in the second half.
LIZ REPELLA: Yeah. Madina is always full of hustle. You always know what you're going to get from her because she's going to hustle. She definitely did have some key plays at the end of the game. It's just her hustle, and when she hustles, great things come from it.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach?

Q. Mike, could you address Madina's play there in the second half as well, particularly down the stretch?
COACH CAREY: Yeah, you know, we felt we had to get some other people scoring, too, and Madina can score some. She's very aggressive defensively and offensively. She can hit that set shot right there, which she was able to do, and then made some hustle plays and got us the ball back and got us a couple more possessions. So that's what we expect of her, and she usually gives us 100 percent.

Q. Mike, how much pride do you guys take in your defense, and the players? How much pride do you take in that?
COACH CAREY: Well, you know, I'll just give you an example. Out of a three-hour practice, we'll probably practice two hours and 15 minutes on defense. I mean, it probably shows on offense, though. I probably shouldn't say that. But my philosophy has always been you win with defense, shot selection and rebounding. And this team particularly has really bought into our defense concept and really likes to play defense.
You know, defense is just a matter of heart and wanting to play it and wanting to play it a little bit more than the other team, and this team has really bought into that.

Q. On the flipside of it, Mike, what are you guys going to have to do in order to get a little better offensively because as you go forward, you're probably going to need more than 42 points to win some games?
COACH CAREY: Absolutely. You know, it just seems like we can't get people clicking at the same time. It really does -- we had opportunities with Sarah Miles today, and she got inside the paint, and we just weren't able to score at that time.
You know, how many lay-ups we missed and how many foul shots we missed and that type of stuff. At times our ball movement is not really good and our spacing is not good. So we work on it every day, and we need to continue to do that.
Exactly what I told them there, we're not going to win this next game tomorrow on 47 points. We're going to have to be up in the -- for us defensively we need to be up around 65 to 70 and then we have a good chance of winning the ballgame.

Q. Mike, do you think some of the struggles offensively you guys had came because of the offensive press there or defensive press that they had and you guys were starting your offense with 15 seconds left on the shot clock?
COACH CAREY: Yeah, we tried to run some set plays, too, out of that, and we just didn't get into that quick enough. Because of that, we took a couple bad shots or we had to have Sarah penetrate the gap, and we didn't score.
So, yeah, we've got to do a better job. We got lackadaisical against their press a little bit. But again, I told the team after the game I'm very proud of them. It was ugly, but if that's the way we've got to win at tournament time, that's the way we want to win. We'll play better tomorrow, and we've just got to get prepared.

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