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March 4, 2011

Alex Bentley

Julia Trogele

Coquese Washington


Penn State - 73
Purdue - 61

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Penn State. Coach Washington, please start with an opening statement.
COACH WASHINGTON: I'll just take questions.
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions for the student-athletes first.

Q. Alex, that run there at the end of the first half in the last minute, I think you cut it from six or seven to one. Just how important did you think that was maybe headed into the second half?
ALEX BENTLEY: That was really important, because Purdue, both times we played them, they got a bit of a run on us. So I just looked up at the scoreboard and said that couldn't happen again going into the half.

Q. Julia, can you talk about your mindset when you went into halftime and you made the second half with 12 points?
JULIA TROGELE: Mindset, we were down one. But I don't think we kind of saw it as us being down. I think that at the end of the half we really came together and pushed it again. I think we were down seven with like a couple -- like a minute left or something like that, and we closed the lead.
And I think that for us going in we knew that we were playing our game. We knew they might be more tired than us because they had played the day before, so we came out and pushed the ball even more.

Q. Alex, anything special beating a team close to home?
ALEX BENTLEY: Definitely. I hadn't beat them other than at Penn State. It's sweet. It's sweeter than beating them in the regular season. I think not beating them in the regular season it was supposed to happen because we're here now.

Q. Julia, just talk about your on-ball pressure today, and do you feel like maybe that forced them into some bad shots, especially with the shot clock running down?
JULIA TROGELE: Definitely. I mean, preparing for this game today we said that what we pretty much needed to do was make them take contested shots. I think we did a good job with that. We had good help rotation. And it showed.
They missed a couple of shots, and we came down. We got the rebound. We came down and were able to run transition which led to our offensive game, is what we like to do. We like to run.

Q. Julia, there's a sequence there in the second half where two or three of you hit 3s, and it seemed like you got away from them a little bit. Did you feel it right there like, okay, we've got a little momentum here, maybe this is it right here?
JULIA TROGELE: I mean, this is kind of what's dangerous about us, I think, is that a lot of people can hit 3s on our team. I think that they came down and hit a 3 and we came right back and hit the 3 as well.
So just making sure that we stay on the attack. And that really hurts, you know, when you have a couple of 3s like that. That's nine points in a row from the 3-point line. It's a dagger.
So I think it definitely hurt them in the end.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. The second after the game ends, your point guard Alex comes over and you said something to her. You pointed at her as if you wanted to make a point or something. And I'm just dying to know if it's something you could share with us.
COACH WASHINGTON: You know what, Alex Bentley is a kid that gives me a lot of heartburn and a lot of gray hairs, but I wouldn't trade her for anything in the world.
And one of the things that I know from her growth as a point guard is understanding context. And so anytime I have an opportunity to do that for her and make a point for the next time we're in that situation, then I'm going to do that.
And at the end of the game that's one of the things I was talking to her about is not being emotional, but -- not being overly emotional during the game so that you can't focus and execute.
And I could have said that five hours from now. But it won't have the impact and the immediacy that telling her right after the game does. So I just want her to continue to grow. I think she's a fantastic talent. I think she has the ability to be one of the best point guards in the country, and I'm just going to work tirelessly to get her there.
If that means having a conversation right before she has to go to media and before she can enjoy this win, then we'll do that.

Q. How happy are you today, Coach, with the defensive effort?
COACH WASHINGTON: I'm thrilled with the defensive effort. The media has talked all season long about our offense and our offensive capabilities. But believe it or not, the coaching staff, we've talked to our team all along, that if we're going to be successful at the end of the season, we've got to be better defensively, because there's going to be nights where the ball doesn't fall.
We're not clicking on all cylinders offensively, so we have to be able to get stops. And I think for us, the last time we played Purdue, even though we didn't win the game, I think maybe it was a light bulb moment for our team, especially closing out the first half and the second half of the game, that we can impact the game from the defensive end first.
I felt like that carried over into the Northwestern game. It certainly carried over into tonight's defensive effort and our defensive intensity.

Q. We know that there's a cliche about beating a team three times and all that. But I'm wondering if you can speak to the psychology or maybe philosophically about you just played them, you just lost to them, you know them, there's something else other than just playing better that goes into when you play them again, isn't there?
COACH WASHINGTON: You know what I think, I think being that we just played them last week, that loss still was fresh in our minds and it was still fresh in our mouths, especially the kids'. They didn't like the way that we played. Felt like we could have played better.
So I think it definitely was much easier for us to get them mentally ready to go out and execute today, because the game was so fresh.

Q. What was Julia able to do in the second half that she wasn't able to do in the first half?
COACH WASHINGTON: She was just aggressive and attacked. And I thought she did a fairly good job of taking her spots. And she got a chance the first half to kind of see the game, see what her openings would be, and then in the second half she was a lot more aggressive and assertive in picking her spots to impact the game.
And, again, we felt like if we could keep it close the first half, then the second half, hopefully, having that bye would kick in and give us the advantage.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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