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March 23, 2014

Casey Dulin

Brian Giorgis

Emma O'Connor

Leanne Ockenden


Iowa – 87
Marist – 65

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Marist.  Coach, if you could make an opening statement.
COACH GIORGIS:  Thought we played well early.  They were just relentless.  It's the nightmare that you are afraid of when they have all five people that can score, and four of them shoot the three and one of them is a stud inside.  What do you take away?
Early we did a decent job, they didn't shoot the three well.  In the second half they showed us how they can shoot.
When we cut it to five, we were feeling pretty good.  I don't remember what play happened after that, but we didn't get stops at that end and we started settling for threes at our end.  We were tired.  I didn't sub enough.
That's why they're a six seed.  They're obviously pretty good on their home court.  No complaints, we lost to a better team.  I thought we gave great effort.  Tough way for my seniors to go out.  But they're still one of the most decorated group of seniors we've ever had at Marist.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  Emma, coach said about the stud in the middle, Doolittle.  What kind of defensive matchup was she?
EMMA O'CONNOR:  She was way bigger than me, kind of the same size as Tori.  Once I started guarding her, I thought we did better guarding her.  Then she started to play a lot better.  The guards started to help.  That's when they started to kick out and get open looks.

Q.  Emma, the defensive rebounding that Iowa did really seemed to limit you to one shot on many possessions.  What was it like battling down on the glass?
EMMA O'CONNOR:  They were strong.  I don't think I did well personally rebounding this game.  I mean, they battled and we tried to battle.  They were just bigger and stronger in certain positions.

Q.  Is there a memory or an accomplishment that stands out for you during your four fantastic years at Marist?
LEANNE OCKENDEN:  I think getting four rings for the MAC is nice.  Other teams in different conferences can't say they have four rings.  To be able to come to the NCAA tournament and play big BCS schools, incredible teams.

Q.  The way they were rebounding the ball defensively, did it really put a premium on your offensive possessions, making it important to get the best shot possible?
CASEY DULIN:  I think they scouted our motion pretty well.  It was hard for us.  We started going to our sets because of that.
Once we dribble penetrated, we started getting open looks.
LEANNE OCKENDEN:  Yeah, I mean, it was hard because we couldn't really crash the boards offensively because they kept pushing in transition.  I think a lot of their points, like 22, she kept pushing the ball up the court, kicked out to the shooters.  I think that's what we struggled on.

Q.  For the players who are returning next year, what do you want them to remember to this run up into the NCAA tournament?
CASEY DULIN:  That they definitely have to bring everything to the table the first game because if you lose, you're out, just like the MAC tournament, which I think we do every year for that.  They have to know teams are bigger and stronger and you have to play as capable as you can.
EMMA O'CONNOR:  I think I would kind of want them to remember this game because we lost by 20, even though it wasn't a 20‑point loss, but just to keep this in the back of their minds, keep it like a motivational‑type thing.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, ladies.
We'll entertain questions for coach at this time.

Q.  You won an awful lot of games with those three players.  How will you specifically remember them?
COACH GIORGIS:  As one of the greatest senior classes I've ever had, both from a competitive standpoint and a personal standpoint.  They were kids who were extremely competitive, got the most out of their abilities.  They weren't highly recruited by a lot of people.
If you knew their determination and fight, I mean, we were down 17 a couple weeks ago, really could have packed it in, and they just refused to allow anybody to pack it in.  They took it on their shoulders, the three of them, did a great job.
I could go through different games throughout their four years, where even at sophomores, Casey and Leanne were captains as juniors.  You don't pick junior captains unless you know that they're leaders that others will listen to.  They were just tremendous leaders.  They weren't afraid to speak their piece both to the players and to the coaching staff.
I think that's what I'll miss about them most of all.
I don't know what their four‑year record is, but it's got to be about as good as anybody.  I think they only lost three MAC games in their career, and two undefeated seasons.  That's not bad.

Q.  The first half seemed like contrasting styles.  You were methodical, looking for a shot.
COACH GIORGIS:  I mean, people forget they're a little bit more athletic than we are.  Again, the frustrating part is they've got three excellent three‑point shooters and a first‑team all Big Ten stud in the middle.
I think our kids got frustrated.  Our real big kids just couldn't guard Doolittle inside.  I think that was the frustrating part because sometimes when you get in those situations, you forget that she likes to go right a lot.  We kept getting beat right.  She'd fake left and go right.
Again, some of our bigs, especially Tori, has hardly played for four years.  She just doesn't have a lot of experience.  People say, What about the defensive rebounding?  I think I've been last in the MAC for umpteen teen years for offensive rebounding.  We sacrifice offensive rebounding for the sake of not getting beat in transition.  We got beat in transition way too much.
In the end when it started to fall apart, the eight or ten‑minute mark, when the lead went up to 10 or 11, we started settling for threes instead of attacking.  When we started to attack, we got stuff.
But hats off to Iowa because they shot the hell out of the ball, especially in the second half.  You could tell our kids are pretty frustrated.  What do we do?  You tip your hat to them.  That's one thing that stinks about playing on a home court.  One of the biggest differences in the tournament in the women's game and the men's game.  In the men's game, you don't have that.  We still haven't beaten anybody on their home court.  This is the first time it was a first‑round game.  I don't think it's going to change any time soon.
It's what you play with.  It's what you live with.  But I think if we played on Mars, I think Iowa would have beaten us the way they shot the ball.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, coach.
COACH GIORGIS:  Thank you, guys.  Appreciate it all year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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