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March 7, 2013

Michael Cooper

Ariya Crook

Cassie Harberts


USC - 64

MICHAEL COOPER:テつ Opening statement, we want to tip our hats to Oregon State.テつ That was a very well‑coached basketball team.テつ We knew we were going to have to come play one of our better games.テつ I didn't know we were going to have to shoot that many free throws, but they were a team that made us work for everything.テつ I thought our defense was very good because we took away Gibson and Weisner for them.テつ That was one of our focuses, limit the three‑point attempts and we were able to do that, and we were successful to win.

Q.テつ Kind of a contrasting style, they were getting most of their points from the perimeter.テつ Did you feel as the game went on that that would win out, wearing them down in the paint?
MICHAEL COOPER:テつ Well, we felt that we had the advantage down there, and we didn't want to force it so much because we've got some pretty good perimeter shooters, one sitting to my right here.テつ We did want to get the ball inside and create offense for ourselves, whether it was scoring in the paint or getting it down there and then kicking it back out.

Q.テつ Ariya, you really came out, 11 points in the first half, averaging 15 per game.テつ How do you feel about your performance today?
ARIYA CROOK:テつ I think I did pretty well.テつ I saw that Cassie was struggling the first half, and I just thought that with my energy and my speed that I feel like I could get the momentum for her to start going, but it didn't happen, and she started getting her run in the second half, and that's my role is to do.
MICHAEL COOPER:テつ These two young ladies have carried us all season long.テつ We've asked a lot of them and it's been grueling, but it's nice to see that our teammates stepped up. テつBut these two here are really the main thing we are looking for.テつ Cassie inside, Crook outside and we ask the other players just for them two to make other players better.
Although they're doing all the scoring, it's really their teammates that are helping them get their shot.

Q.テつ Cassie, you've been a stand‑out player all year.テつ How have you enjoyed it so far?テつ Obviously this one helps.テつ How has the experience been when you step out on the floor?テつ Is it, oh, shoot, I'm in the Pac‑12 tournament or just another game?
CASSIE HARBERTS:テつ For me it's another game, but this game counts a lot more than the others.テつ You know, one‑and‑done, so I just decided to come out and do the same thing I do every night, and like Ariya said, I didn't have the best first half of the year, and I think my teammates were phenomenal in stepping up and carrying the load for me.

Q.テつ Was it just a matter of them being physical with you?
CASSIE HARBERTS:テつ Right, I think I've dealt with physicality all year, so that wasn't really a surprise.テつ But I've had a tendency to fadeaway jump shot all year, and I think I really tried to take it into them, and I think we fouled out three or four of their players.テつ I tend to get to the line a lot, and I try to step up and knock them down.

Q.テつ You obviously have a very hot opponent coming into tomorrow's game, Cal.テつ What are your thoughts on them?テつ What are you guys going to do to take them down?
ARIYA CROOK:テつ Well, first of all, we want to try to give Gennifer Brandon as least offensive rebounds as we can because, she's their number one rebounder and we need to box her out, and if we need all five of us to box her out, that's what we're going to do.
CASSIE HARBERTS:テつ Personally I'm looking for redemption.テつ Both the games we've had this year were close, whether it was at home or at their place.テつ We just need to step up and finish off the game instead of giving it right back to them.
MICHAEL COOPER:テつ From a coach's standpoint I think the team could be a signature win for us, but the important thing is we've got to come out and compete for 40 minutes.テつ The first time we played them, we competed for half a game and then the second time I thought they came into our place and really imposed their will on us.テつ So this will be on a neutral court.テつ It's going to be a very exciting game, and I'm looking forward to it.
We want to thank all the throngs of people for coming out here this evening.テつ It's always a joy to see everyone.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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