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March 24, 2014

Roshunda Johnson

Jim Littell

Brittney Martin



COACH LITTELL:  Just very, very proud of this team.  I thought their unit and chemistry on the floor tonight was just unbelievable.  Everybody stepped up and played.  We said that we couldn't go into this game and have one or two people play, and we just had great contributions out of everybody.
The two young ladies here, my farthest left, Roshunda Johnson, a freshman, to come into this environment and get 16 and hit big shot after big shot, is just pretty remarkable.  She shouldered the load when Tiffany Bias went down, and I think that's a sign of an outstanding team when somebody else can step up and make plays when you've lost your leader.
The young lady closest to me here, Brittney Martin, 20 and 20, that's a career.  That is a career.  Those are huge, huge numbers.  She had 15 rebounds the other night.  She had 15 in the semifinals, the Big12 tournament, and 11 against Iowa State.  Just been a rebounding machine, and she was a scorer tonight.  Kind of put us on her back and just carried us.
But four people in double figures, very proud, a very tough environment to play in and we beat a very good basketball team tonight.

Q.  For Brittney, when Coach Versyp came in just a few minutes ago, she started talking about you and she said you appeared to be on what she called a mission.  Having heard that now, can you just kind of respond, and is that a pretty accurate assessment from the other coach?
BRITTNEY MARTIN:  I think that's pretty accurate.  We want to go to the next level.  We have things to get done.  I was just‑‑ I just came in here with the mind‑set of, we wanted to win, and so I was just trying to do everything I could to get that win and help my team in any way possible.

Q.  If I would have told you this afternoon that you and Jones would have combined for 36 points and 32 rebounds, would you have told me, our chances will be pretty good?
BRITTNEY MARTIN:  I think so.  That sounds nice to me.

Q.  When you guys obviously buy as went down with about 14:03 to play and you had a nice lead, I think it's easier to protect than it is to play from behind when the star goes out, but what was the mind‑set that you had, was it to protect?
ROSHUNDA JOHNSON:  My mindset was, you know, I'm the point guard now, and for my team to get to the Sweet16, I had to step up and make big plays for my team.

Q.  And you were shooting well, too.  Sometimes it's difficult when you're playing the point, to shoot well and direct the offense; sometimes one will go well and one won't but both worked well.  What were you doing correctly that allowed you to score and run the team?
ROSHUNDA JOHNSON:  I was just doing everything I did in practice and just so happened came good to me, so I helped my team out a lot and I'm thankful for it.

Q.  Brittney, you guys are a good rebounding team, but 20 rebounds, Coach said that's kind of a career night, 20 and 20.  You know, Purdue said you were great; they could have done a better job boxing out and you were take advantage of that.  Would you agree, you slid into some holes?
BRITTNEY MARTIN:  I think so.  I was going as hard as I could tonight, just running after everything.  So I mean, they could have blocked me out, but I was determined to get the ball.  So I was going to get it‑‑ you can't say either way, but I was going to get it any way I could, let's just say that.

Q.  How confident were you, when a star player like Bias goes out, it can be an emotional roller coaster.  What allowed you guys to hold on and especially on a visitor's court?
BRITTNEY MARTIN:  I knew she was going to be okay.  She's tough.  She's tough‑minded and she was going to be back.  We have really good people off the bench.  I  can't say I wasn't worried, but I mean, Ro stepped up and I knew she could.  She leads this team as well as tiff does, even being a freshman.  I was all right with that. I was glad Ro came in and stepped up.

Q.  Did it help‑‑ this is a stupid question.  Did it help that you were ten, 12, 13 points up when that happened, as opposed to, say, maybe the game being tied?
BRITTNEY MARTIN:  Maybe.  That would have been a little different situation.  But Ro, we really practiced just as much with Ro being the point guard, so I wasn't really too concerned, but I think if I was in the situation, I'd have been worried if she would have been out for the rest of the year and things like that, but I wasn't too worried about it.

Q.  Did you talk about, first of all, what happened as you were told, because it was at the other end but what happened to Tiffany and were you shocked that she was able to come back?  It was kind of like, you know, Bob or whoever‑‑ walking out of the tunnel‑‑ what happened and were you shocked she was able to come back?
COACH LITTELL:  Well, I know she was in a lot of pain, and I think she popped a couple ligaments in her ankle.  I don't know which one it was.  But she popped‑‑ I think she popped a couple, and she just was bugging me to death at the end of the bench; "Coach, I can go, I can go."  
I worked with the trainer and I don't want to do anything to hurt our kids and jeopardize our future.  She was like, "Coach, I think we can go, we have her taped real tight."  She came back in and was very helpful in breaking the press and making some free throws.  It was just nice to have your leader on the board, but what a job Ro did while she was off.
LaShawn Jones, to get 16 points and 12 rebounds tonight was pretty remarkable, Liz Donohoe hit some big baskets for us.  It took every one of our kids to play well, and it was one of our better games of the year and we needed that to escape from a very good team on their home court.

Q.  If someone said you were going to get 36 and 32 from those two, would you have liked your chances of winning?
COACH LITTELL:  Oh, yeah, I would have.  I was concerned about rebounding coming into it.  I told our kids that I didn't think that they would beat us off the first shot but I knew she had the capabilities to give us put backs and second and third shots.
I think our coaches schemed very well.  We changed defenses all night long.  We played man, we played a 20‑zone.  We rolled into a 1‑3‑1, and we played a triangle‑in‑two for a lot of minutes on Moses and April Wilson, and I thought we did a great job of keeping them under control and I thought the triangle in two was a big difference in the ballgame.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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