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March 23, 2014

Sara Hammond

Shoni Schimmel

Asia Taylor

Jeff Walz


Louisville テや 88
Idaho テや 42

THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Louisville.テつ Coach, we'll start with an opening comment.
COACH WALZ:テつ I'd like to congratulate Idaho on a fantastic season.テつ We did some very good things defensively that threw them out of rhythm.テつ But the way they shot the ball from the three‑point line tonight was not indicative of how they've been shooting the ball the entire year.
We're very fortunate to be able to do some things defensively to disrupt what they like to do offensively.テつ I was very proud of our kids.テつ I thought we fought through the first four or five minutes of the game that we did not play extremely well, but we played hard, and finally got things under control, relaxed, and thought we did some really good things offensively and defensively.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Shoni, can you talk about the play of your sister.
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ She did a great job of coming in for us.テつ They were leaving her open.テつ She's been working on shooting the open shot.テつ For her to kind of do what she needs to do, play her role, she did a great job of coming in and taking care of business.

Q.テつ Sara, I felt like you were very efficient in this game.テつ Sometimes we've seen that teams in their first game after a long layoff haven't been.テつ Talk about how sharp you were.
SARA HAMMOND:テつ I think the time off we had preparing for the tournament really helped us.テつ The coaches told us to get in the gym, get up as many shots as possible.
We have great shooters on our team, not just Shoni, Tia, Antonita from the outside.テつ I think we are pretty confident going into this tournament hitting 15 to 18‑foot jump shots.テつ The coaches are confident in us hitting those, too.
Once we get everybody moving, that opens up things.テつ I think it's hard for defenses to narrow down who they're going to pick to shoot because you can't leave any of us open.
I'm proud the way we shot the ball and didn't turn it over as much tonight.

Q.テつ Asia, was that as sharp and efficient as you felt like you have played in a while?
ASIA TAYLOR:テつ I definitely think it's been a while since we played.テつ I think the biggest thing was coming out with a lot of energy.テつ Like coach said, in the first couple minutes, things were a little rough out there.テつ But we were playing hard.テつ We knew if we kept doing that, defending, it all starts with defense.テつ That energy we played with on defense carried over to offense.
We looked for each other, got the ball reversed, we all got good looks.

Q.テつ Shoni, 11 rebounds.テつ Must be proud of that.
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ Yeah, Coach Walz always tells us you have to rebound, especially in post‑season play.テつ That's how you survive, rebounding, defending, taking care of the ball.テつ We did a great job of doing that tonight.
I took it kind of personal because I want to win.テつ To go out and rebound, I'm going to continue doing that.テつ If it's going to help our team, I'm going to do it.

Q.テつ Sara, could you comment on what you thought of Jude's play, the intensity she brought out there.
SARA HAMMOND:テつ Well, Jude is our spark coming off the bench.テつ I think everybody on our team knows that.テつ At the beginning we were kind of a little flustered.テつ We were a little too excited to get out there and play.テつ Jude came in and set the tone on defense.テつ I think that's what started our run.テつ She got her hand on deflections, stealing the ball.テつ I think we trust Jude with hitting open shots.テつ Like Shoni said, she's been practicing in the gym, getting her confidence up, knocking down shots.
We like to keep Jude's confidence up because she's the spark and energy we need off the bench.テつ I'm glad she's stepping up in the right time, in the post‑season tournament.テつ She's a big key in us moving forward down the road.

Q.テつ Shoni, any thoughts on Tuesday night?
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ We're looking forward to it.テつ We're excited to play every game.テつ Regardless of who we get, we're going to be prepared mentally and physically.テつ Today's game, we got it under our belt.テつ We got the flow of everything.テつ We're ready to continue and keep playing.
Whoever it is, we'll be ready.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, ladies.
We'll continue with questions for coach.

Q.テつ What do you think was the turning point?テつ Bringing Jude in?
COACH WALZ:テつ I thought defensively, we defended to start the game.テつ I thought we did a really good job of switching on ball screens up top.テつ Then at times we went and doubled the ball screen.
I thought our kids did a really good job of putting ball pressure.テつ A lot of that led to turnovers.テつ When you're able to get 32 points off of 18 turnovers, that's normally going to lead to a good night for you.

Q.テつ Did you feel like the kids were going to play as sharp as they did?
COACH WALZ:テつ Yeah, I did, to be honest with you.テつ We figured out a way in the past six or seven years to play well at the right time.テつ Some coaches complain about the two‑week layoff you have between your conference tournament and the NCAA tournament.
But we embrace it.テつ It gives us time to get rested.テつ We work on us for the entire first week, trying to clean things up offensively, get our timing down.
You have to be efficient this time of the year.テつ There is no tomorrow if you don't take care of business today. We take pride in that.テつ So it did not surprise me.
Now, the first four minutes I thought offensively we just rushed.テつ We never got the ball reversed.テつ We were just trying so hard to make things happen.テつ Then we finally slowed down, we worked the ball around.テつ When you do that, you're going to get the opportunity to get some open shots.
As our kids said, anybody on our team taking an open shot I feel pretty comfortable with 'cause they're all really good shooters.

Q.テつ How much is that a strength of your team, that you do have as many weapons as you have?
COACH WALZ:テつ Well, it's really important.テつ You have to figure out a way to defend, there's no question about it.テつ But you also have to figure out a way to score points.
When we go 6‑14 from the three‑point line, and Shoni is 0 for 1, I think it speaks volumes for our players.テつ I don't think anybody would have thought we'd go 6‑14 and Shoni isn't making one of them.
It adds another element of who do you defend, who you guard.テつ I thought Bria Smith did a really nice job as she got into the flow of things and relaxed.
If Bria can make that eight to ten‑foot jump shot, it changes everything for her.テつ She's so explosive off the dribble that teams are going to make her make that.テつ She looked really comfortable shooting it.テつ Hopefully that will continue for us.

Q.テつ How important was Shoni's rebounding and kind of starting the break, her being able to push it?
COACH WALZ:テつ Well, it's really important 'cause a lot of times Shoni will be guarding the point guard or someone who's getting back when the opposing team shoots.テつ You're on your own to try to get in there and clean things up.テつ I thought she did a great job of that.
That's one thing that we have talked about, our guards have to rebound the ball for us to be successful.テつ We don't have 6'4", 6'5", but we do have good size all the way across the line.
Shoni is going to have to continue to rebound the ball for us.テつ Bria is going to have to.テつ Antonita is.テつ If we can get that from our guards, good things can happen.

Q.テつ If Iowa wins, it's obviously playing on their home court.テつ You have played in so many tough environments, do you feel that isn't going to be much of a factor because of the experience you've had?
COACH WALZ:テつ You know what, we've had it in our favor, too.テつ We played at home last year in the first two rounds.テつ We're going to have to show up and play, there's no question about it.
If it is Iowa on Tuesday night, they're going to have great fans, a loud environment.テつ But that's what you want.テつ The last thing you want is to play in front of nobody.
I hope before I'm finished coaching that our game can grow to the point to where they can all be on neutral sites.テつ That's what's best for the game. テつBut unfortunately right now we can't do that.テつ I mean, you can even look at some of the games that have been played on home courts in our tournament, and the attendance has not been great.テつ When I'm looking at it on TV, it's sad that we can't get more fans to come out and watch these young ladies play basketball.
Anybody that's in this tournament is a talented team.テつ Until we can get our game to where hopefully we can get to neutral sites to start off and play throughout, you're going to have games like this.
If Iowa is fortunate enough to win tonight, we're going to have to play them here Tuesday night on their home court.テつ Same thing with us.テつ If we're fortunate enough to win, we're going back home to play in a regional, which blows me away.テつ I'm glad it's one year and we're only doing it for one year because that's not what should happen.

Q.テつ On Monday you said with the seeds you would expect them to have a chip on their shoulder because of having a three.テつ Did you sense that tonight?
COACH WALZ: テつWhat we're trying to do right now is prove that we belong.テつ I think a lot of that, with our seed, has to do with respect.テつ We have to do our job to earn respect, get our program to where year in and year out we're competing for a one, two or three seed in the NCAA tournament.
I think if we're a program that had been around for 20 years, we may have gotten a better seed.テつ Who knows.テつ Our kids are playing for respect right now.テつ We understand that.テつ No matter who we face on Tuesday night, it's going to be a really good ballclub.テつ So we're going to have to come out prepared to play.テつ We know we're not going to win by 46 on Tuesday night.テつ I'd like to, but I don't expect that to happen.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.
COACH WALZ:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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