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March 8, 2013

Brittany Chambers

Deb Patterson

Haley Texada


TEXAS - 49

THE MODERATOR:  Your thoughts and we'll take questions.
COACH PATTERSON:  Thank you.  Exciting victory for our basketball team and program.
It was so fitting that the last play came down to tremendous execution from Mariah White and Brittany Chambers, on just a tremendous senior‑to‑senior and make a play at the buzzer.¬†¬† That was a second half in which I felt like we were really, really struggling to find our step.¬† And Texas found theirs a bit.¬† So it felt like just a war of attrition, you know, who was going to have the ball at the last possession.
I was extremely proud of how we continued to work as hard as we could to match them on the defensive boards.  We thought that was really critical tonight.  I'm very, very proud of every one that has had the opportunity to take the floor tonight and who competed so hard.
Imani McGee‑Stafford is just such a tremendous talent, and she puts so much pressure on your defense every trip up the floor.¬† And she took a great young player, a great freshman, she's going to be a star in this league.
So we're proud of Bri and Chantay and Mariah, in particular, who had the assignment with Heidi Brown of working as hard as they could to deal with those mismatches inside and I thought they did a great job.

Q.¬† The last play, did you see it coming‑‑
BRITTANY CHAMBERS:¬† We had it designed for ‑‑ coming in, we knew they were going to double them if we came off.¬† That was pretty much‑‑ (audio noise) ‑‑ so different option and we wanted ‑‑ so it was a broke down play but Mariah drove to the baseline, our best driver by far and made a basket.¬† Just I guess playing basketball together.¬†

Q.  The last play of the game, you shoot 3s, basically the entire game, probably 80 percent.  Is it ironic that you would win the game on a play like that, and you just said broken down; broken down sometimes means that you know what the other person is going to do in a situation.  Was that the case?
BRITTANY CHAMBERS:  Yeah, I think it is kind of crazy, we scored in the lane, but, they were expecting us to shoot a three, so we didn't back cut all game, which I mean, now that we look at it, maybe it wasn't a good option.
But you know, they played great defense, and we were looking to shoot 3s all night.  So that back cut that Chantay had before the last play that I had were wide open; for 39 minutes of the game, all we were doing was popping for 3s.
Broken down, I meant more of like the play that we drew up didn't work.  And so it didn't work; they guarded it well.  Mariah is just an amazing player and that play was completely her.
COACH PATTERSON:  I think the thing about that play that was extraordinary was we had Brit sent to that side.  We wanted Haley back to the side where the ball had been inbounded.  Brittany had to remind Haley to get over there, and she did, and Haley motored over there where we wanted her.
But by broken play, what you saw was just two great seniors make the play, because the play was for Chantay to back‑screen Brittany, and for Mariah to have an option with Haley and to have an option with Brit; but when Mariah's drive had to go middle instead of baseline down at the very end of the dribble, Brittany just made an absolutely fantastic read on the back cut.
So it's not just a finish of the play, it was the read to make the cut and then the ability of Mariah to find her in that connection the two of them have that's so extraordinary.  And Haley being over on that other side, and then having to chase her, because she had such a tremendous game on the floor, you couldn't not guard her.  She was outstanding.

Q.¬† First, can you guys talk about‑‑ were you breathing when the ball was bouncing around on the rim there?¬† And if you can talk about all the minutes that you've been flag because of the injury, just go into a little bit about how difficult it is to get through these games.
BRITTANY CHAMBERS:  The last play of the game, I for sure thought I missed it.  It would have haunted me for the rest of my life.  It felt like it was on that rim for ten minutes, it was terrible.  But seven players, we're used to it.  There's no complaining, no feeling sorry for ourselves anymore.
We would love to have the rest of our people out there just because we love them but coach d and the staff has been absolutely amazing this year, watching more film than usual, running a lot more plays, not so much up‑and‑down.¬† You have to change a little bit when things are thrown at you, and they have done that to help us succeed at the best way that we can.
We are in the best shape that we have been in because of it, and sometimes, you know, when you play with five players, it can be an advantage.  When you're subbing people in and out, sometimes people get out of rhythm and we have five players that have played every minute together this year, and we can get in a rhythm quick.
So we are using, instead of looking at it as a negative, we are taking advantage of what we can do, and getting a win against a great Texas team is just that.
HALEY TEXADA:¬† Like what she said, not having some players‑‑ but at the end of the day we realize that we do have to play together and fight for each other.¬† We are not fighting for ourselves.¬† At the end of the day, we are a pretty good group off the court and on the court, so it shows.¬† We just have that connection.¬† And as far as that last shot, it felt like five minutes in that one second.¬† Just glad it rolled in.¬† It looked scary for a minute there, though.

Q.  Tonight we saw two halves, you led by ten and then they came back and tied it.  How important is it to keep your players in check in a game like this against Texas?
COACH PATTERSON:¬† It was huge.¬† We had talked this season about games where we only really competed tough‑minded for 20 minutes.¬† And in this league, you know people are going to come back at you and I feel like the last four games we have played, we have really bought into that 40‑minute mentality, that teams are going to come at you, you have to stay tough‑minded.
And today, we were really struggling offensively in the second half.  It was everything was just a struggle but we didn't check out.  The kid just kept competing.  And against a team like Texas, you're expecting things to come down to the wire at this stage of the game.
Credit them with just the mentality of the fight that you have to have, really right to that last second.  That's also a reflection of great leaders, in Brittany and Mariah, who just kept pushing and fighting their way through some dry spots in that second half.

Q.  I noticed during the huddle that you talked more about the composure.  Going to a lot of games, I never saw that from any coaches, more about X's and O's, hey, you should have been here.  You talk about composure.  My question is:  Is that something that you knew would be the final obstacle to get this game and win, because it seemed like it was just more about composure, once they calmed down, especially in the last 12 seconds of that game and that play, the team was very calm and relaxed when they left the huddle and that's very rare.
COACH PATTERSON:  Again, that just speaks to the mentality that we feel we have to compete with to be successful.
We know what we want every trip up the floor.¬† We knew defensively what we wanted.¬† We might make a point when we fell short on a box‑out, but by and large, our screen defensively didn't change much.
Had a couple of little adjustments and on the offensive end, most of our play came down to keep your wits about you, stay confident, play together and just the simple things of the mind and the chemistry that you have to have out there on the floor until the last part of the game.
But these players really do have a good feel and the way we are playing this year, it's not so much, A go here, B go here, C go here.  We constantly do that but not the majority of the game.  That is a great credit to them and their competitive maturity.
And I was really impressed with Heidi Brown stepping up and taking a lot of heat.  You know, she had to play a lot of minutes in a role that was a little unfamiliar to her, and Haley Texada's first half, basically give us a chance to be in the game.  So all of them found a way mentally to be extremely tough I thought.

Q.¬† I wanted to talk about the time of possession‑‑ was that something they were doing defensively‑‑
COACH PATTERSON:  It varied during segments of the game.  We went into the game really comfortable with that philosophy.  Now, you're only comfortable with it if you score enough to keep yourself in the game, and as you can see, this was not an offensive juggernaut performance tonight.
At times I felt like we overdid that, you know and I think it was a function of us not necessarily being good on some of those possessions.  But by and large, yes, we were looking to limit possessions, because I don't know about you, but every time Texas went up the floor, I was expecting Imani or Nneka to score the ball.  I was thinking, oh, please.  They are just two really, really great targets, and the second half, they really found their step.

Q.¬† To be specific, on the very last play, did you want a three‑pointer, and did you want someone specifically to shoot it, or were you looking for best shot underneath?
COACH PATTERSON:  Well, we had three options:  The first was Mariah just off of a drive.  That was our first option.
Our second option was we were trying to get the ball in our kickback to Haley, a screen for Haley, and Haley, if Mariah couldn't get to the rim for a basket.
And the third shot was a back screen on the weak side for Brittany.¬† And we didn't care if it was a three.¬† I assumed it would be a three or a two, based on spacing, because Brittany had inbounded it, and we ran it to the weak side of the floor, hoping we would get not a true back screen like evolved, but kind of a back screen that would get her more of a flare‑three off the penetration, more like an in and out; you know how we drive it and a lot of times get shots on the corners.
So we were looking for that kind of play.  But you never know when that screen is being set on the back side if they will come flat or if your read is to come tight.  And once Mariah  started her drive to the middle, Brittany knew to make that cut tight and to keep it tight and to go just with interest timing.
I definitely did not expect Brittany would get an at‑the‑rim shot.¬† We had no expectation of that.¬† We thought it would be a jumpshot, kind of a mid‑range shot, or a three on the back side; if Haley didn't get a jumpshot and if Mariah didn't get a layup.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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