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NCAA WOMEN'S REGIONALS SEMIFINALS & FINALS: OKLAHOMA CITY


March 31, 2013


Shoni Schimmel

Antonita Slaughter

Jeff Walz


OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

Louisville テや 82
Baylor テや 81


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're now joined by the Louisville Cardinals.テつ Coach, your opening thoughts?
COACH WALZ:テつ I'm not sure exactly where to start.
THE MODERATOR:テつ You've got two minutes.
COACH WALZ:テつ That's it?テつ I stutter, I should get four (laughter).
It's just a remarkable night by a remarkable group of young women.テつ We put a game plan together as a coaching staff, which we always do every night we go out and play.テつ I've been telling them the entire year, if we can just get 40 minutes out of everybody, not playing great, just playing good, we could be special.
We have not had that the entire season.テつ I thought our Purdue game, I thought we played pretty close, but not where it needed to be.テつ We came out here tonight and we executed a plan defensively, offensively, and did everything we needed to do.
I'm just so proud of 'em.テつ Antonita Slaughter defensively is where she stepped up tonight.テつ She played 40 minutes for us and just did a great job on Brittney Griner.テつ I told our kids in the locker room before the game, We got to turn this thing into a street ballgame.テつ You got to drive, kick for threes, try to make it fun.テつ There was no pressure on us.
We came out and did that.テつ I'm honored to coach this group of young ladies.テつ As I told 'em from day one, I'm going to demand them to be great, I'm going to demand that I get the most out of 'em.
With the injuries we've had, I'll say it over and over, I'm as proud of this basketball team as I was of our team that played for a national championship in '09, and we're still playing.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Coach, thank you.テつ We'll now take questions for our student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Shoni, there were two key plays late in the game that led to your fouling out.テつ One was the double technical foul, then it looked like you'd been tripped and the foul was called on you.テつ Can you talk about, from your perspective, what happened on those two plays and what did you say to your teammates to keep the spirit up?
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ Well, what I told them was just continue to play and go out there and believe because that's what we've been talking about this whole trip, is just go out there and believe.
I believe in them.テつ I knew they could do it.テつ I kept saying it all day, We're going to win.テつ For them to actually believe in me made me believe in them.テつ We actually went out there and just did what we needed to do, and that was win.

Q.テつ Antonita, Brittney only had 10 shots in the game.テつ How in the world did you limit her to 10 shots?
ANTONITA SLAUGHTER:テつ Well, I think I could smell what toothpaste she used.テつ I was in her face all the time with my hands up.テつ That was the game plan the whole time.テつ I think that was a big impact for it.

Q.テつ Antonita, Baylor coach didn't know what kind of defense you had.テつ Was it box‑and‑one?
ANTONITA SLAUGHTER:テつ Right, that's what we were going for.テつ Most of the time we just scrambled.テつ It worked out for us, so...

Q.テつ Jude, can you talk about the defense that Baylor put on you guys.
JUDE SCHIMMEL:テつ Yeah, we can give credit to our coaches for that.テつ They set up a great scout for us, got us prepared.テつ We knew coming into this game they were going to pressure the point guard a lot.
I think me and Bria Smith knew that coming into the game.テつ We knew we needed to protect the ball and I think we did that pretty well.

Q.テつ Were you surprised until really the last 10 minutes of the game they didn't really come out at you on those three‑point plays?
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ We knew coming into the game we were going to have to shoot a lot of threes.テつ Our guards, our posts can all shoot threes.
For Nita to knock down her first couple threes, then Jude had a couple, even Sara had one.テつ Anything at that point was possible.テつ The goal was as big as it could be.テつ We just kept shooting threes.テつ That was our game plan, to go out and shoot threes, and it worked for us.

Q.テつ Shoni, that layup you made over Griner, first of all, how did you do that?テつ Second of all, there were some words expressed between the two of you.テつ Were you surprised you didn't get called for a technical at that point?
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ I was just showing emotion.テつ I was just excited.テつ I just hopped up and was screaming, Yeah!テつ Nothing personal or anything.
I mean, I just put the ball in the hoop is how I made it.テつ Nothing too special.テつ I saw her going one way, caught her off guard, went the other way.テつ She was off balance for a second, so I just went up on the left side.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Ladies, congratulations on the win.テつ We'll continue with questions for Coach Walz.

Q.テつ Coach Mulkey said the officials allowed more stuff to go on, more physical play, than any game since she's had Brittney Griner.テつ Did you feel it was an unusually physical game?テつ If so, did you think it benefited your team as opposed to Baylor?
COACH WALZ:テつ I mean, understand, our goal was to stand in front of her, have one behind her.テつ It's just really hard to comment on that.テつ I really didn't think it was really all that exciting to watch as an official.テつ I'm not sure what sometimes they were watching.
The fifth foul on Shoni, I'm still trying to figure out what took place there.
You know, we turned and boxed her out.テつ We stood in front of her.テつ We did a really nice job.テつ I told Antonita, Go under her elbows, go under her elbows.テつ We tried to stay as vertical as we could without putting bodies on her.
I mean, you know, it's a game where if you let Brittney catch you wherever she wants to, she's going to score.テつ She's the best player I've coached against and tried to game plan against.
When shots went up, we turned and boxed her out.テつ When she got the ball, I told them straight up, do not ever bat down on the ball because I didn't want her to get to the free‑throw line.
At one point in time, I mean, we're up 20, and it's 8‑0 on fouls.テつ We were driving at times and kicking, we still couldn't get one called.テつ I promise you, we were trying to box out every time.
There's no question, there were a lot of fouls called against us.テつ I was just thankful on that last drive when Monique Reid went in for the layup, it was a late whistle, but I was glad he caught it because she got clobbered.

Q.テつ There was a team technical called.
COACH WALZ:テつ That was on me.テつ I was outside the coaching box.テつ I've learned, I'm better off if I wear a sport coat because I can step out and rip that off and go halfway on the floor and you won't get a technical.テつ If you sit on the scorer's table three feet outside the box, you're going to get one.
Even though my kid fouled out.テつ My whole thing was, Damn, she fouled out.テつ I sat on the score table thinking, Who are they going to put in?テつ They run across the floor and give me a T. テつI haven't worn a sport coat all season, so I think I might wear three of them on Tuesday night.テつ It's like that commercial, when you travel, I can run out, take one off, run back out, take a second one off, it's okay (laughter).
I don't know.テつ I mean, our kids still found a way to persevere.テつ Despite me getting a T, they found a way to grind it out at the end.

Q.テつ Without giving away too many secrets, what exactly was it?テつ Was it a box‑and‑one?
COACH WALZ:テつ We came out in what we call (indiscernible) one.テつ It's like a 1‑3 zone.テつ I didn't want to get too set up in the box where we gave the wings anything they wanted.テつ We had Antonita stay in the front if the ball was on the one side of the floor.テつ The whole goal was to jab out, come back, jab out, come back.
I just didn't believe, deep down I kept telling my players every timeout, if they make 10 to 15 threes, they're going to beat us.テつ I don't think they can make enough threes to beat us, but I know Brittney can make three‑ and four‑footers all night long.
Odyssey does a good job she went 3‑9 and hit some big ones.テつ Jordan Madden goes 2‑3.テつ At the end of the night they're 6‑17.テつ And then we only allowed Brittney 10 shots, she goes 4‑10.
Defensively we did everything we wanted to do.テつ It got to a point when Sara is hitting a step‑back three in the corner, I don't know what to do.テつ I mean, from my side, it's not like I drew that up, all right?テつ We start to make some shots.テつ I told our kids, The pressure is on them.テつ I didn't want to try to slow the ball up.テつ You can drive and kick.テつ If you're open, shoot it.テつ If there's any question, bring the ball back out.
So defensively that's what we did.テつ We switched a few possessions of going man to zone for a few passes, then jumped into man, trying to get them a little bit confused.
Overall I have to give all the credit to our players.テつ I tell everybody all year long, I've not made a shot or gotten a rebound all year.テつ So we can put the game plan together, but it's all about the kids.

Q.テつ So much about the defense on Brittney Griner.テつ What about the offense?テつ You took her out of the lane.テつ Even on the last play she was out so far, was not able to get back.テつ Talk about your offense.
COACH WALZ:テつ Well, that's kind of what we talked about, to be honest with you.テつ This is what we have to do to guard 'em.テつ I told our kids, If we don't score 70 points, we don't have a chance to win.テつ Our whole goal was to try to get to 70.
I don't think anybody had scored over 70 on 'em this entire year.テつ I'm 90% sure nobody has scored 80 on 'em.テつ I told our kids, We got to keep scoring.テつ If they score, fine, we're going to come down and score.
I mean, I was all excited because we started the game.テつ I'm sure y'all saw.テつ I put Bria Smith on the offensive end.テつ With the first possession of the game, it was five on four them.テつ If we don't foul, they're going to score.テつ We're taking the ball and throwing it the length of the floor for a layup.
Bria was wide open, standing back on the three‑point line.テつ It took me two days of practice to get her to stand.テつ She wanted to come down and guard.テつ Unfortunately, we got called for a foul so we weren't able to execute it.
Our goal was to score, score and score.テつ I told our kids, If we have to take 40 to 50 threes, we will.テつ I don't know if we could go out there right now 5‑0 and go 16 of 25.テつ But we did it in the biggest game of the year for us.テつ Now we're going to hopefully keep our momentum going and see what we can do on Tuesday.

Q.テつ Did you keep your composure in this game?
COACH WALZ:テつ I was mild compared to what I usually am.テつ Oh, yeah, my kids know how I am.テつ I'm fighting for them.テつ So if I think some calls aren't going our way, I'm not just going to sit there and take it.
I stood up for our players.テつ I mean, I'll have to watch Bria Smith's charge there for her fifth foul.テつ With all the contact going on on both hands, how do you make that call?テつ Shoni Schimmel's fifth foul on the drive, I'm dumbfounded.テつ Kids are getting knocked down and bringing it across with body contact, it's not called.テつ That's fine, but I'm not just going to sit there and take it.
They warned me a few times.テつ Because I was three feet out of my box, sitting on the scorer's table, they gave me a technical foul.
That's how I coach, my kids know it.

Q.テつ Outside of this arena, what your men's team did today was the biggest story in sports.テつ Did you guys know about everything that happened there?
COACH WALZ:テつ You know what, we were all sitting in our locker room cheering on our men, and we saw it.テつ It's probably the most devastating injury in sports that I've seen.テつ I was watching I'm not sure what it is when Joe Theismann got his leg broken.テつ I don't think I've ever seen anything like that.
I told our kids before the game, I said, You know what, it's a basketball game.テつ Even for us tonight, I mean, I'm not sure where this stands on victories in women's college basketball, but I'll have to say it's kind of high up there.
At the end of the day, it's a basketball game.テつ Both teams come out here and compete and give it everything you have.テつ We're watching our men play, and Kevin has an injury that obviously he's out for the year.テつ Who knows how bad it is.テつ I just told them, I said, Go out there and give it everything you've got.テつ But at the end of the day it's a basketball game.
We all said a prayer for him before we went out.テつ I just have to give a lot of credit to Coach Pitino, the players, because to be there and see something like that happen, 'cause I saw the expression of the players on the floor and the players on the bench, where it was right in front of them, to be able to bounce back from that and get your mind refocused and win an elite game to go to the Final Four against Duke, not like they're playing a bad team, I think it says a lot about what Coach Pitino has done with his team, the type of players they have.
I know we were really, really excited to hear that they had won and moved on.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Coach, thank you very much.
COACH WALZ:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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