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March 19, 2012

KK Houser

Brittany Rayburn

Sharon Versyp


South Carolina – 72
Purdue – 61

COACH VERSYP:  South Carolina played a great basketball game tonight.  Their guards collectively had 60 points, which obviously really hurt us.  So hats off to them.  We wish them the best of luck.  Our kids played exceptionally hard.  We did a lot of good things, but they were just a little better.

Q.  KK, how much did their defense disrupt what you guys were trying to do offensively?
KK HOUSER:  They had good defense, but I think for the most part, at times we took ourselves out of the game.

Q.  Brittany, did you feel like you guys ever got comfortable offensively?
BRITTANY RAYBURN:  No, I don't think so.  Like KK said, the amount of turnovers we had, we took ourselves out of the game, and on each possession it was us grounding ourselves for the most part, but they were aggressive on defense, and they got it done.

Q.  Was this game as physical as you expected?  Was this one of the more physical games you've played this year?
KK HOUSER:  Yes, I definitely think it was one of the most physical games we played this year, from post players and the guards.
BRITTANY RAYBURN:  Yes, I have to agree, it was a very physical game, but it was something that we expected going into it.

Q.  Brittany, when you got good shots, it seemed like‑‑ not just you personally but the team had some inside and missed.  Just those opportunities in a game like this, you can't let those go, right?
BRITTANY RAYBURN:  Yeah, definitely.  I think those are the shots that are emotion turning.  I think that really got them going on the offensive end, and we missed a shot and they got a rebound and started running.  But those are times where you've got to convert.

Q.  KK, where do you think they hurt you with their offense?
KK HOUSER:  I think their guards had a lot of open threes, uncontested shots, and just taking us off the dribble, and they were pinning our post players and getting wide‑open shots.
BRITTANY RAYBURN:  Yeah, I agree really.  I feel like they were getting a lot of uncontested shots that got their momentum going and they started knocking down a lot of shots.

Q.  It seemed like in the second half the ball just wasn't going in for you guys.  Were they doing anything different to stifle your shooting?
KK HOUSER:  I just think our shots just weren't falling the first half.
BRITTANY RAYBURN:  Yeah, I agree.  I don't think they changed up anything.  I think it was just ourselves, shooting ourselves in the foot.

Q.  I know it was the same temperature out there for both teams, but how hot was it out on the court?
BRITTANY RAYBURN:  Same as it was all week.  We've practiced in a it for a while and we were pretty used to it, but it was definitely pretty warm.

Q.  When they get that combination going on offense with their defense, very dangerous to stop, and you just couldn't come up with that one or two stops that you needed in the second half?
COACH VERSYP:  Yeah, when we got close they kept running the play where they pinned the player and we always got called on a foul, and we did it all year and they did it about seven times and they only called it one time.  They were able to score a lay‑up, driving pinning our post, just moving them totally across the lane.  So obviously we tried to adjust, but that's when they would come down and score.

Q.  Was this as physical a game as you were expecting, and also, do you think this was one of the more physical games you've had all year?
COACH VERSYP:  Yeah, I mean, we played Duke which was extremely physical, Texas A&M was very physical.  Our Big Ten is physical, and you just have to adjust as you're playing with a physical game.  But I think we were just as physical as they were.

Q.  Did you think that it was their defense?  You had 20 turnovers, 13 of those in the first half.  A lot of them you were throwing the ball away and trying to get into the post.
COACH VERSYP:  Yeah, our guards weren't settled down.  Our guards were making passes that we don't normally make, just playing kind of a little bit more spastic.  We needed to run the plays through, and we didn't run those through, so that's where we struggled.  We didn't execute in the half court.

Q.  Can you take a minute and reflect on the careers of the seniors and what they've meant to the Purdue program?
COACH VERSYP:  Yeah, we just discussed it.  We're losing nine people, two managers as well as a trainer and then our six seniors.  You know, they left their legacy in so many different ways.  They're probably the best group of young women I've ever been around in my coaching career because of what we have gone through, how they handled almost the death of a teammate, how they persevered, how their personality and leadership helped our younger players, how much they taught each and every one of us every day.  On and off the court they're one of the most amazing academic students we've had as a senior class, as well.  They won a Big Ten championship.  So we said that we have to keep getting better every time our seniors graduate, we try to promise that class that we'll keep winning championships and keep moving on to get a little bit better.

Q.  When you did get some looks you missed them.  I think you missed 17 shots in the paint, some of those pretty routine.  Do you feel like you had some looks when you weren't turning it over and that could have been a little bit different in the outcome?
COACH VERSYP:  Oh, yeah, when you make shots your defense gets better, you have more energy.  You're not always trying to play catch‑up or behind, and we have made those shots before.  First half we were shooting 55 percent but we had 13 turnovers.  Second half we had obviously only seven turnovers but we weren't making the shots that we normally make.

Q.  What kind of impact when Poston got the technical on Sutton and also got the flagrant, what that did for the game and also what that did for your team?
COACH VERSYP:  It didn't do anything to the flow, it just got our kids fired up.  There was a lot of things going on out there, and when those things are called and then you just feel it's an us against the world mentality, our kids usually respond pretty well.

Q.  Can you talk about the season and the ups and downs until this point?
COACH VERSYP:  The only down we had was Drey Mingo blowing her ACL out.  That's the only down we've had.  This season was an exceptional season.  No one expected us to finish second in the Big Ten or be Big Ten champs or be rated in the top 20, so my hat goes off to this group.  If you're talking about some of the losses in February, grandfathers lost, it affects the entire team and you have injuries and you have the flu.  I think the last couple weeks has been amazing for our group.

Q.  What advice would you give to Stanford about how best to challenge South Carolina?
COACH VERSYP:  I don't really have any advice.

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