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March 10, 2013

Briana Brown

Shenneika Smith

Joe Tartamella


Louisville: 62
St. John's: 55

THE MODERATOR:  Joining us is head coach, Coach Tartamella, with Briana Brown and Shenneika Smith, Coach?
COACH TARTAMELLA:  Obviously a tough loss but I thought we did a great job of fighting back after a slow start and proud of the way we were able to get back into the game.
A stretch that hurt us, I thought, the free‑throw block‑out that they got put‑back in, I thought that was an area that we struggled and to be able to survive I was proud of how we were able to fight back and get back into the game.
Obviously we looked to get ready hopefully for the postseason.

Q.  Coach, do you have an update on Nadirah McKenith and what happened?
COACH TARTAMELLA:  I don't have an update and she turned and got hit, I haven't heard anything from the trainer.  They're still checking her out and hopefully she'll be okay.  I think she turned and ran into somebody and I think it kind of jarred her a little bit.  I think she checked her nose, her nose was fine as far as I know.

Q.  Shenneika, after that start, was it a strategy change that got you back into it or some composure that kicked in for you?
SHENNEIKA SMITH:  We just took one possession at a time, in practice we go through stop scores and score shots, and you know my team was all up on me, I had some big shots, some tough shots, we took one possession at a time.  We kept our composure, we have been down like this before and we kept each possession and tried to be successful and play defense.

Q.  Coach, you addressed it a little bit, but can you talk about where you think you stand in the NCAA Tournament?  Do you think you've done enough?
COACH TARTAMELLA:  I think we had a great year, especially in the finish, I hope that will be taken into account, finishing 11‑5 in our conference we always feel is tough to do, so I think that speaks for itself.
I think we have challenged ourselves in the nonconference to give us a strong strength of schedule and I'm proud of the young ladies that we have, the two to my left and the young ladies in the locker room as well and the way they fought toward the end of the year.
I think if you look at the big picture we feel good where we are but you never know and that's why I thought this was important for us to try to get as far as we could in the conference tournament.

Q.  Briana, could you talk about the defensive effort against a Louisville team that puts up points?
BRIANA BROWN:  They are a tough team.  We have to go out there and defend.  We are a tough team and we are physical and that's just what we are.  We keep goin' hard, even when we're down points like we were before we still try to defend and keep going and be tough.
I think that's just who we are.

Q.  Coach, when you got down 15‑2 you put in the second post and was it the inside game that helped you out there?
COACH TARTAMELLA:  Yeah, Sara Hammond hurt us and they were exploiting us in that area and I felt we needed to play bigger and our staff felt if we were hurt going into the game we would do that, and I also think we picked up our energy level and took away easy baskets.
I thought we started to get them to rush a little bit with some pressure, which I thought helped us get back into the game.
We had to play probably bigger than we have played all year for an extended period of time, so it helped us, we had to, Sara Hammond was hurtin' us.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, Coach. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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