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March 9, 2012

Chiney Ogwumike

Nnemkadi Ogwumike

Tara VanDerveer


Stanford – 52
Arizona State – 43

THE MODERATOR:  Coach, an opening statement, please?
COACH VANDERVEER:  I'm glad we're playing tomorrow.  We really had to work hard.  We had to battle.  I'm really proud of our whole team for staying with things when it was very tough.  When you shoot the way we shot, it makes it very challenging. But I'm especially proud of Nnemkadi and Chiney because they wouldn't let it slip through their fingers in anyway.  They rebounded, both have a double‑double.  They scored.  Their leadership was outstanding.
Arizona State is an experienced, physical, and big team.  They gave us all we can handle, and I was really proud of how our team stepped up.  We did a really nice job from the free‑throw line.

Q.  Tara, you shot 4 for 26 in the second half.
COACH VANDERVEER:  I didn't take a shot.  Yeah, our team.

Q.  Your players shot 4 for 26.  The non‑sisters shot 4 for 29 in the game.  Was it their defense?  Entirely their defense, or what did you think?  A bad shooting night?
COACH VANDERVEER:  I think it was just chalk it up to a bad shooting game.  You could look at any number of different reasons.  Sometimes you're not used to playing in maybe an arena like this, and this is why it's great for us to have a tournament here, being in an arena like this.
I can't tell you if it was something in the waffles this morning or whatever it could be.
But some days you have games like that.  And thankfully we were able to overcome that with great rebounding.  I thought excellent defense,  kind of just not getting discouraged.  That is the leadership that we have next to me.

Q.  Are you concerned about the fact that you had to play three of the players virtually then entire game and how that sets you up for the championship tomorrow?
COACH VANDERVEER:  Maybe it's not ideal, but we have to do whatever it takes, and that's what it took today.  So you could have more people rested tomorrow and you might not be playing tomorrow if that had happened.
I feel that maybe we have to go to the bench a little earlier tomorrow.  Give Nnemkadi and Chiney a little more of a blow, get Sarah Boothe in there.  I thought she did really well in our first game.  But when people come in, we need them to contribute more.
But I don't think Nnemkadi's not ever saying to me I need a rest.  Chiney doesn't say I need a rest.  I try to give it to them.  But they're big‑time players and they can go.  They're young.  I can't do it, but they can do it.
CHINEY OGWUMIKE:  This is the fun time of the year.

Q.  It always sort of looks this way.  Can you sort of talk about what it was like out there today?  They cut the lead and you guys being in a spot you haven't been in in a few weeks, at least?
CHINEY OGWUMIKE:  I think ASU always plays aggressively.  I'm really excited to come out of this game with a W, because it taught us a lot of things.  Being able to communicate today was key, us being on the same page from the start to the end.  They're a very talented team.  They're very athletic.  Us being able to handle that pressure is something that I don't think we could have done as well last year, and we're just learning how to develop that this year too.
I think it was a gritty game, but I'm proud of how Nnemkadi especially stepped up with us and kept her poise.  And how Amber and Toni really maintained the leadership in the point guard position.
Yeah, not too many turnovers, so that's great when you're playing against an aggressive team.  It was a good experience for us, especially this time in March.

Q.  Nnemkadi, just talk about what led to the shooting woes.  Obviously you guys were 0 for 10 from three as well?
NNEMKADI OGWUMIKE:  I think kind of the frenetic defense that ASU has might kind of create a shoot it, shoot it, shoot it atmosphere when you do get the ball.  But we know what we're capable of from beyond the arc.  This isn't a typical day.  But their defense definitely caused us to really figure out what we needed to do on offense.
I think taking it to the hole today was more effective than shooting on the outside.  However, when we do get those open shots, we've got to knock them down.  I have complete and total faith in all our guards.
Lindy had a couple shots that both rolled out.  I'm pretty sure Bonnie had shots that rolled out too.  So we're not concerned about that.  We know what we can do.

Q.  The year you were gone doing the Olympic team, you had to turn your team over to other people, and that's a difficult thing to do.  Can you comment a little bit about how they were able to win 20 wins in this situation?  Because you've been through this before.
COACH VANDERVEER:  Well, you mean, as far as‑‑ I think Joseph and their staff has done an excellent job.  It's probably been hard for Charli to watch sometimes.  But I think she'll be refreshed and ready to come back.
ASU has an excellent program.  Just to have a head coach that has the experience and the success that Charli's had, I think it's great their administration gave her that leave of absence.  I think she'll come back doing it double time.
We've always had a great rivalry with ASU, and this is no exception.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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