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PACIFIC-12 CONFERENCE WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT


March 8, 2014


Cynthia Cooper-Dyke

Cassie Harberts

Alexyz Vaioletama


SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

USC テや 71
Stanford テや 68


COACH COOPER‑DYKE:テつ I'm very proud of my team.テつ All season long even through the ups and downs and the bumps in the road, they fought, and they persevered.テつ Through 40‑minute games and tired muscles, and tired minds, and tired of coach, they still worked hard and they deserve this win tonight.テつ I'm really proud of how they rebounded, how we battled, and how we finished this game.テつ That's really all I have and good night.テつ No, I'm just kidding.

Q.テつ Cassie, how does it feel right now?
CASSIE HARBERTS:テつ I don't know if you guys saw, but I was an emotional wreck out there.テつ I'm just so proud of my team.テつ I've been working towards this for four years, and I've just never seen a team that's given so much heart and never gave up.テつ Even when they made a run, we knew we were going to come back and win the game.

Q.テつ There was a point in 1:20 where you scored ten points.テつ As a senior and not beating Stanford in your career, does that take on an added importance for you?
CASSIE HARBERTS:テつ I wasn't having a great game, and I've kind of been struggling lately.テつ But without my team I wouldn't have even been in that situation.テつ They kept believing in me, and I just did what is in my nature.テつ I just kept working hard and waiting for something to happen and it did.

Q.テつ Can you talk a little bit about your team's defense on Chiney?テつ She had 30, but you made it obviously tough for her and made it tough for their whole team.テつ Could you talk a little bit about your defense?
COACH COOPER‑DYKE:テつ Well, we talked about, especially at the beginning of the game and really during shootarounds, we talked about being physical with Ogwumike and really all of their post players before they receive the ball.テつ Not allowing them to get deep position, and then making them make offensive moves as opposed to grabbing that ball, turn around and away they go.テつ And I thought Alexyz did a fantastic job.テつ So Ogwumike had 30 and 21, and I guarantee you, she hasn't worked that hard all year long to get those numbers.
She's just a phenomenal player.テつ You can't shut her down, but you can make her life tough.テつ I just thought Alexyz gave that for 40 minutes tonight.テつ For every rebound Ogwumike got tonight, I just thought X responded either with a three‑point shot, going to the basket, a great rebound.テつ I mean, she ended up with 19 and 15, and this is what we expect out of her day‑in and day‑out.
But this is a heck of a time for her to actually give it to us.テつ You know, it was just tough.テつ We wanted to be physical with Ogwumike.テつ We wanted to get her off of her sweet spot on that block and make her into a player that had to wheel and deal and make offensive moves to the basket.テつ I thought we did a pretty good job.テつ When we went to our zone in the first half, we started double teaming her with the middle of the zone and the back of it.テつ But we were leaving three‑point shooters open, so we kind of got out of that quickly.

Q.テつ Cassie, as you said, you weren't having a great game, three points in the first half.テつ We talked yesterday about Kate Oliver being the X‑factor.テつ Today, X, the X‑factor.テつ What's it mean to you to have that kind of support from your team?
CASSIE HARBERTS:テつ Just seeing how much my team has grown over the course of the season.テつ X had a phenomenal game.テつ Who knows who could be it tomorrow night.テつ But we just relied on a lot of people, and a lot of people stepped up tonight even when I wasn't doing well.

Q.テつ Now you have a winning record again against Tara VanDerveer.テつ Can you remember your senior season playing against Stanford?
COACH COOPER‑DYKE:テつ That was a long time ago.テつ I don't remember my senior season.テつ What I do remember is the look on my players' face, on each one of my players' faces as they took on the challenge of playing the number four team in the country in a power house like Stanford tonight.テつ I remember the fire in their eyes that they wanted to achieve something that they hadn't done before, and they put forth that effort, that drive and that passion to achieve that goal.
Every rebound, even if we made a mistake, they were up off the bench, cheering each other on and picking each other back up and fighting to the very end.テつ That is the only way as a team that you can beat an awesome team like Stanford, and we were a team tonight.

Q.テつ Alexyz, you guys are one win away from guaranteeing your spot in the NCAA Tournament.テつ So as big as this is, as huge as this is, you have to switch gears quickly and win a game tomorrow night.テつ How do you do that with a team being so high today and having to turn around and get ready to play tomorrow?
ALEXYZ VAIOLETAMA:テつ Right now we're seizing the moment, but we know when we get back we have to focus on what's coming up next.テつ But I think that we have to come together as a team and refocus and really focus on what's ahead of us as well.

Q.テつ Cynthia, sorry to cut into your celebration of this great victory.テつ But since we're not going to get to talk to you after this coming game, could you just tell us how you feel your team matches up with Washington State and Oregon State?
COACH COOPER‑DYKE:テつ Well, we've played Washington State at home and we didn't play extremely well.テつ We'd probably like to have that game back.テつ So I think we match up well.テつ We match up well with both teams.テつ Oregon State, we won at our place, we split with them.テつ We lost at their place.テつ Once again, not necessarily playing our best basketball, but they're two great teams.テつ They get up for games and they'll be ready to play whichever team we play.
Right now, we really want to enjoy this for this moment and make a distinct line when it's time to quit celebrating and start focusing on the next opponent.テつ We'll watch a little bit of this game right now and then we'll shift gears into preparing our legs, our minds, our bodies for tomorrow.

Q.テつ We talked a little bit about this last night, but what do you hope that the people who are paying attention make of this tournament with three of the top 5 seeds at home now?
COACH COOPER‑DYKE:テつ Well, I hope that‑‑ I'm not really sure what you're asking, but I'll try to answer.テつ I hope the NCAA and all watching understand that the Pac‑12 is a powerful conference, and every game‑‑ there is such parity in the conference, and every game is a battle.テつ We just beat a very good Stanford team, and it just demonstrates our growth.テつ It doesn't demonstrate a weakness in Stanford.テつ And the strength of our conference, it demonstrates the strength of the Pac‑12.テつ So for me personally, I hope they say USC is in the tournament, regardless of what happens tomorrow, but we're going to try to take care of business tomorrow and just take it one game, one step at a time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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