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March 3, 2011

Drey Mingo

Brittany Rayburn

Sharon Versyp


Purdue – 66
Indiana - 62

THE MODERATOR: We'll begin with an opening statement from Coach Versyp, and we'll follow that with questions from the student-athletes and do the question and answer segment.
COACH VERSYP: Everybody knows that it's survive and advance or you do go home, and we know playing our arch rival Indiana, with them having four seniors, they obviously didn't want their season to end, and it's always tough to beat a team three times. But I thought at the very end our defense is what prevailed. We were able to hit some key shots down low by Drey and free throws by Brittany to obviously clinch the win.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Brittany, did you feel a sense of urgency down the stretch when the lead was kind of big for there, 13?
BRITTANY RAYBURN: Most definitely. I think we all knew that we were not playing Purdue basketball. We weren't playing very good defense. They were scoring it well and we weren't scoring. That's what built the lead. I think we knew we had to step it up or we were going home early.

Q. During that stretch you're down 8 and then got it to 1, that steal and then the layup you made where you just kind of fought for the ball. Does that define maybe the last ten minutes of the game for you guys?
BRITTANY RAYBURN: Most definitely. Like I said, we had to step it up on defense. They kept running the same play. And I just decided you're not going to keep running it.
It's a matter of fighting for the ball. We can't let the ball fly out of bounds. If I would have let it go, it could have been out on me, could have been out on her. Can't let the ref make the decision. As long as I kept fighting for it, it stayed in bounds.

Q. Drey, that play that Brittany made, in a game where you were not getting the loose balls, just for that play, maybe, was that kind of a spark for you guys a little bit?
DREY MINGO: Definitely. Whenever someone gets a 50/50 ball like that, that's a really good energy spark for our team.

Q. Brittany, obviously you know Indiana did not want to get the ball in your hands at the end of the game to shoot free throws, but, sure enough, you were able to get free off the inbounds. Talk to me about what you did to get the ball in your hands in that situation?
BRITTANY RAYBURN: Coach set up a play where we had a double screen for me to go get the ball, and our screeners did an amazing job. They switched off on the first screen, and so Alex nailed the second person that switched off, and they switched off again, and it was just a matter of getting open. They did an awesome job of getting me open.

Q. Brittany, you had a chance to seal the Penn State game a week ago with free throws and missed. You turned out to win that game, but was that going through your mind a little bit before you shot these ones?
BRITTANY RAYBURN: Yes. I believe I turned to turn Coach and said, That's not going to happen again. This game I knew it was going in. Coach got me the break with the time-out, and that was really helpful. And I just couldn't do that again.

Q. Drey, I know the nerves, we're not supposed to ask the players about nerves because when you're out there playing you don't think, but is there any point in the second half where you look up and you go this is getting a little curious, getting a little scary?
DREY MINGO: No, I have complete confidence and faith in my teammates. I could see it in their eyes. They wanted it just as bad as I did. So, no, never nervous.

Q. Both of you, just your thoughts of facing Penn State again. I know that was a meaningful, important road win last time. But you've beaten them twice now this year, and I'm sure they know you just as well as you know them.
DREY MINGO: Definitely playing Penn State again for a third time, just gotta come out and play Purdue basketball.
BRITTANY RAYBURN: Yeah, it's hard to beat a good team three times, but it's doable. And I think just us playing them soon is really good for us because you turn around so quick. We had them scouted already. We're very aware of what they have and what they can do. And I think that's going to be helpful for us.

Q. Drey, was it a little unusual to play on the first day of the tournament, first time you guys have ever done it here?
DREY MINGO: No. Not really. I mean, we play, we play. Every time we step on the floor we have to play Purdue basketball. Doesn't matter what time or what day.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach Versyp.

Q. Sharon, the steal that Brittany made there mid court, was that kind of the toughness you wanted to see out of your team in the second half? Because they were beating you up on the boards pretty bad. But did that play kind of give you the toughness that you needed to finish down the stretch?
COACH VERSYP: Yeah, if you would have asked what would be the key play to the game, that was it. Because it was that extra getting after a ball, getting that hustle playing and being able to score a layup, and that definitely is what pretty much turned the tide.

Q. Having faced Jori Davis for four years, can you put it into some perspective what kind of player she's been down in Bloomington? You've had some great seniors come through your place, and she's done the same thing in Bloomington.
COACH VERSYP: Jori is a great basketball player. She'll be able to play obviously overseas, and, you know, playing in the professional ranks. But she's a top scorer in the Big Ten. She's very tough to defend because she's so physical. She can shoot the three. Comes off screens well. She's had an amazing career at Indiana. And you always have to put two or three people on her.

Q. Over the years, Coach, knowing maybe you're a little ticked off and I kept waiting to be something in the second half, but you seemed to keep your cool with them most times. Were you just stressing better defense, better defense, and not overreacting and panicking? Because the score, the margin got pretty wide.
COACH VERSYP: You weren't in my huddle.

Q. No, I wasn't.
COACH VERSYP: Oh, I had my moments, there's no question. But, no, on the sideline, you know, I'm their leader. I gotta be calm, cool, collected, be confident because they turn and look at me. If I'm feeling sorry for myself or complaining and doing all that, we're not going to be successful.
And that's what they've seen all year. I'm steady, they're steady. We're very confident. And we knew that we were going to pull this game out at the end. We've been in these games. And we knew that we were going to be successful at the end.

Q. It seems like every time all the time-outs toward the end of the stretch there it was a mini battle going on, who wanted it more. Talk to me about what the difference was down the stretch, especially in those last two minutes, that ultimately saw your team become victorious.
COACH VERSYP: Well, we've continued to talk about that nothing that we have gone through this year in a game should faze us because of what we went through with Drey.
And we talk about you don't fear anything. We feared death and now there's nothing to fear. And that when we step on that court we are one, and that we can get through anything and handle that toughness.
So that's why we believe that we were going to be successful. They looked at each other. Great character. Great strength and great mental toughness is what's been able to get us through at Penn State and obviously to win the game today.

Q. I guess the same type of question I had for Drey. Does it change at all playing on the first day, or is that kind of a non-factor?
COACH VERSYP: It's a non-factor. You want to win a Big Ten championship so you have to play obviously one of those extra games. But it's survive in advance. It doesn't matter what day you play. I think that's the biggest thing.
And like we talked about before, just bodes well of -- four teams could have been 10 and 6, they were 10 and 6, and you never know what's going to happen and we have a tough conference.

Q. Did you feel like you had to win this game in order to become an NCAA Tournament eligible?
COACH VERSYP: I'm sure it helped. You know, everybody asked me that question. You know, I think our win at Penn State, that was kind of the statement game because they're a top 30 RPI. We've beaten two or three teams in the top 30, so that really helped us.
You know, we have not had a bad loss. And I know IU's RPI was like 155, so absolutely this helped us springboard to get into the tournament.
But I'm not an expert at it. Mike Carmin is, so ask him.

Q. How concerned did you get in the second half? And with the deficit where it was, those were the moments where you expect maybe a leader like Brittany to step up and take the reins?
COACH VERSYP: I expected Drey and Brittany. Those two have been playing great basketball. I told Brittany these are your time to shine. You played the most as a Purdue Boilermaker on this court. And she's capable of really damaging another team.
And I thought Drey's first half was amazing and the second half they double- and triple-teamed her, and we were able to get Brittany the ball a little more.
I think collectively Brittany did it by action. Drey was doing it verbally, which we missed for a while, and now the last three weeks she's been that -- I guess that spirit and that character and she's getting in people's faces.
And I think both of them together really forged -- it was a team effort -- but those two really helped us.

Q. You were even on rebounds at the half. But I think they outrebounded to start the second half like something crazy, 17 to 2 or something. Did you feel down the stretch you were able to step back up again on the glass a little bit and sort of helped you get back in the game?
COACH VERSYP: Definitely. That was a big key. We were double-teaming Jori Davis off of screens. So obviously when you're shifting your defense, you're not always in the correct position. And, yes, our rebounding was not very stellar today.
But getting to the foul line was. And then at the end playing defense we secured the rebounds at the end where we really needed them. And it's not always -- it's always the timely rebound, and we were fortunate with that.

Q. Getting back to Jori Davis, what sorts of things do you feel like you have to do to keep her under control?
COACH VERSYP: Well, it's very difficult when she comes off screens, if you're not double-teaming her, she has a very quick first step. She can take you again to the hole. She can post you up. She can shoot the 3. She can shoot behind the 3.
You just have to disrupt her and put a lot of different bodies on her. So Dee Dee had different length on her, Chantel is built a little bit different, we just tried to rotate people, and then our post players are trying to get out and disrupt her turning the corner.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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