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March 11, 2011

Janita Badon

Anthony Levrets

Michelle Plouffe


Utah – 50
BYU - 49

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Utah. Coach, if we could start with your comments on tonight's game.
COACH LEVRETS: Really, really proud of our team. BYU is an excellent basketball team with very, very good players. They're very well-coached. But our team is just resilient. We've been through a lot of stuff this year. I told them afterwards, when we get down 9 or 10, we lose a player, we have something happen internally, that's when we become our best.
We just can't quit. It's because of these kids next to me. Down the stretch, we were down 9. Janita just willed us to a win. I'm just really, really proud to be associated with these kids.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Michelle, can you take us through what happened before you got the ball? Looked like it was deflected.
MICHELLE PLOUFFE: I don't really remember a lot of that play. But I just remember the ball was coming towards me, it was in a spot I knew I could make a shot from. I didn't really have a choice. I put it up and it went in. So that's how it happened.

Q. You've been living out of your suitcase for a week here in Vegas. You didn't look very tired during that game. How were you able to keep rejuvenated this week every time you come out?
MICHELLE PLOUFFE: There is no tired when you're in the semifinals, when you're against a good opponent. You're playing the game. You just got to keep going. If you get tired, it's all mental so you just got to push through. That's what we did in the first half and continuing into the second half.
COACH LEVRETS: The cigarette smoke in the casino helps a lot to keep you rejuvenated (smiling).

Q. Michelle, that last pass, was that designed in any way to come to you? Were you surprised by it at all?
MICHELLE PLOUFFE: Yeah, that was not designed. But I think it just got tipped off someone's hands and rolled my way.

Q. Janita, could you talk about the closing stretch of the game, what you did to make it happen. Did you throw that inbounds pass on the last play?
JANITA BADON: I would first like to thank Plouffe for saving me. I just threw it in because I saw Michelle stood there and then I think it was Riley tipped it and the ball went rolling to Plouffe. I was like, Yeah, I meant to do that. I'll take the credit.
But, no, I did not mean to pass to it Plouffe.
Down the stretch, it wasn't nothing that I did. It was everything that we did. We knew what we came here before. Like you said, we've been living out of our suitcase for a week and I don't like doing that for no reason.
THE MODERATOR: At this time we'll dismiss our student-athletes and continue with continue with questions for Coach Levrets.

Q. As your interim year continues, how would you put this game into the context of this season?
COACH LEVRETS: It's not an interim win. It's going to be permanent. I'm pretty excited about that.
I don't know. I don't think about that stuff unless I get asked. We have a group of kids and a group of coaches that have come together at the very beginning. When we started this with a common goal, you know, Utah, we talked about winning championships. We got derailed along the way with some injuries. We had a major injury, but then we also had one after another nagging injuries that cost us games and practices.
But these kids are really, really resilient. They don't know how to quit. We talked about playing our best basketball at the end of the year, and that would have to be good enough. Right now we're playing our best basketball.

Q. Can you describe what the best option would have been on the last pass.
COACH LEVRETS: The whole thing is my fault. They bailed me out. They said they bailed Janita out. I thought with eight seconds left when we called a timeout, it was on the sideline. I thought we called the timeout above the free-throw line. I didn't check before because I was certain it was there. We come out of the timeout with the sideline out-of-bounds play drawn up. It's underneath out of bounds. We had to scramble to get to it. We got fortunate they tipped it.
This time of year, you got to play well, but you also have to be lucky. We got lucky tonight that the ball at the end bounced our way. If that thing goes three feet one direction or the other, there's no way she's going to get it. You have to play well, compete, give yourself a chance. But you got to get a little lucky. We'll take it.

Q. I know you don't know who you're going to play yet, but getting to the championship game, the prospect of being able to play in the NCAA tournament at home the next week, talk about that.
COACH LEVRETS: One game at a time for us. Now it's the last one. We're just excited to still be playing. I like coaching them. They're fun to coach. They're a blast to be around. I don't want it to end and they don't want it to end. Next year will be a new year. What does that bring? Let's keep this one going as long as we possibly can.
They've bought into everything that we've wanted them to do. It sure would be nice to play at home in the NCAA tournament. But whoever we're playing will be good. So we'll see what happens.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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