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NCAA WOMEN'S 1ST & 2ND ROUNDS: IOWA CITY


March 25, 2014


Tia Gibbs

Shoni Schimmel

Antonita Slaughter

Jeff Walz


IOWA CITY, IOWA

Louisville テや 83
Iowa テや 53


THE MODERATOR:テつ We're joined by Louisville.テつ We'll start with an opening statement from coach.
COACH WALZ:テつ First, again, we'd just like to congratulate Iowa on a great season.テつ We definitely did not come into this game and expect this score to be what it was.テつ They're a very, very good offensive team.テつ We knew we were going to have to play extremely well at the defensive end.テつ That's something that we did tonight.
I'm really proud of every single one of our players.テつ Defensively that's one of the best performances we've had this entire season.テつ We followed a scouting report.テつ We did not help off of shooters.テつ We forced them to finish shots.テつ Just really, really pleased with how we defended tonight.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.テつ Shoni, it's kind of ironic you were up by 30 points, laughing and smiling on the court.テつ What went right early in the second half that allowed you to make that big push?
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ We went into the halftime feeling good because we hit that shot.テつ All the momentum was in our favor.テつ For us to continue that, keep going with it, we did a great job of it.
They had a turnover at the first possession they got.テつ So we just took advantage, you know, of what we could do.

Q.テつ Shoni, you guys hit some tough shots in the first half.テつ It seemed like you broke down their defense a little bit.テつ Talk about how well you did that.
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ Our coaches do a great job of getting us what we need‑‑ prepared for what we need to do on the court.テつ We just took advantage of it.
There's a couple shots were contested and whatnot.テつ At the same time we're focused on shooting those shots.テつ We do them every day in practice.
For us to have that flow, it helped us out there on the court.

Q.テつ Shoni, do you feel like you played better than that at any time this season?
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ I think this was a great game for us.テつ For us to come together at the right time, for us to peak, keep peaking, especially in the NCAA tournament, I think this is a great group of people that understand what our coaches want us to do.
This was a great game for us.テつ Hopefully it only goes up from here.

Q.テつ What did coach say to you when you came off the court?テつ A little chest pump.
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ He just said, Good job.テつ We all did a great job.テつ He just said, Good job.

Q.テつ Antonita, you've been through a lot this year.テつ Tough things you've been through physically, emotionally.テつ Put into perspective, here you are, headed back to the Sweet 16 and able to play.
ANTONITA SLAUGHTER:テつ It's a blessing to be here, just to be able to be on the court with my teammates.テつ Our goal is to get to Nashville.テつ We never lost sight of that.
Kudos to my teammates, the staff, my family for never letting me get down on myself, fighting adversity and making the best of it.

Q.テつ Tia, can you talk about the intensity and focus that you seemed to have.テつ Didn't seem to ever let up at any time in the game.テつ What do you think led to that?
TIA GIBBS:テつ I think, like Shoni said, we're trying to peak at the right times.テつ We take every possession seriously.テつ We don't really try to pay attention to the score.テつ It's the game.テつ We're trying to prepare for Nashville, not necessarily just this game.
We stay focused no matter what.テつ We've had a good weekend of preparation, a lot of film.テつ The team was focused, dialed in 100%.テつ I think we're all just excited to be playing right now, excited to get back home to our fans, do our job.
We taught them to do theirs and get tickets early, so we had to do ours.

Q.テつ Tia, talk about what it was like to play so well on the road.テつ Was that a surprise at all?
TIA GIBBS:テつ We actually like big crowds, no matter if it's for us or against us.テつ The excitement, it kind of trickles over to us.テつ The intensity was there.テつ We knew we had to not only play well on offense but defense we had to lock up.テつ I think that was our main focus.テつ That's what we did.

Q.テつ Shoni, coach talked about playing with a chip on your shoulder, earning respect.テつ How much has that played into your intensity these past two games?
SHONI SCHIMMEL:テつ We're just excited to be here.テつ For us to go each gameone at a time, take it one at a time, that's what works for us.テつ Whoever it may be, we'll dial in and focus on whoever it is.
We're excited to be here and keep playing.テつ We're definitely excited to get back and go home and play in front of our fans.

Q.テつ Antonita, talk about the two threes you hit back‑to‑back putting you up 36 at that point.テつ Did you feel like that was a culmination of everything?テつ Talk about that moment a little bit.
ANTONITA SLAUGHTER:テつ My teammates were definitely looking for me, hitting shots.テつ We're not a selfish team.テつ We were making extra passes out there, getting the ball to the open person.

Q.テつ Shoni, last year you were considered an underdog.テつ You knocked off the overall No.1 seed.テつ West Virginia is upset.テつ You're going to be facing LSU.テつ Do you consider yourselves an underdog?
ANTONITA SLAUGHTER:テつ We are a three seed.

Q.テつ You're playing a six seed.テつ Is that energy you use as an underdog?
ANTONITA SLAUGHTER:テつ To some degree, yes.テつ But at the same time we're excited to be here and we're excited to play.テつ We're ready to get back on our home court and take on whoever it may be.
I think we're just ready and we're excited.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, ladies.
We'll continue with questions for coach.

Q.テつ You shot 54% from the field, forced 19 turnovers, beat a team that almost won the Big Ten tournament at home by 30.テつ Is this exactly how you want to be playing heading home?
COACH WALZ:テつ Yeah.テつ We're really excited about things.テつ Offensively, you know, we felt that we could get shots that we wanted to get, it was just a matter of being able to make them.
I thought we passed the ball extremely well.テつ We only ended up with 14 assists, but we made the extra pass a lot tonight which led to some pull‑up jump shots by Shoni that don't count as an assist because it's not directly off the pass.
I thought our kids did a fantastic job on the offensive end.テつ And defensively our whole game plan was to try to keep the ball out of Logic's hands as much as we possibly could.テつ She ends up going 6‑11 from the field.テつ I thought she shot it well, but I thought we made her work the entire night.テつ I'm not sure there's been a game all year where she's had nine turnovers.
We always had somebody there.テつ I thought Jude Schimmel and Bria Smith did a fantastic job of trying to harass her.テつ I thought our four players did a great job of not allowing her to get to the basket.テつ She's as good as I've seen.テつ I was fortunate enough to coach Lindsay Whalen for one year, and that's exactly who she reminds me of.テつ I hope she'll take it as a compliment.
Samantha I thought was the key to their team and I thought we did a great job of making things hard for her.

Q.テつ What did you think about the 40 minutes of intensity that you had, focus?テつ Was that as happy as you've been?
COACH WALZ:テつ We competed.テつ We played hard.テつ That's exactly what we have to do.テつ I kept challenging them.テつ I knew they weren't going to quit.テつ Iowa's too well of a coached team to think that they were just going to quit.
Those kids play hard.テつ So we could not let up.テつ I told them that at halftime.テつ I said, We have to come out and execute perfect what we're trying to do at the start of the second half, and we did.テつ We executed back‑to‑back plays to perfection, a 10‑2 run to start the second half.テつ I think that was a dagger.
I know they're coming out going, Hey, we have to chip it away, get it down to 15, to 10, then go from there.テつ We didn't allow that to happen.テつ I was really, really pleased with our mental and physical effort the entire ballgame.

Q.テつ What did you think about Shoni setting the tone with her focus, whipping passes around?
COACH WALZ:テつ She played well.テつ She played exactly what we expect.テつ In my opinion the kid's an All‑American.テつ She's performed that well all season long.テつ I'd be shocked if she's not.
She made some big shots today.テつ She made some tough shots.テつ Then she made some big‑time passes.テつ The pass she makes to Tia when she draws two there at the end of the half was a big‑time pass.テつ You're up 15.テつ We got a lot of momentum.テつ Then all of a sudden she makes that, Tia hits it, and now we're going into the half with all of it.テつ We're excited, plus it's our ball to start the second half.
I thought she played extremely well.
Bria and Jude played well.テつ Bria and Jude defensively were fantastic for us.テつ I'm not sure Jude called bank on that 1‑3 in the second half, which was a big shot, too.テつ Shot clock is running out, you bank it in, that's when you know things are going well for you.

Q.テつ What did you think about how well they responded, on the road, in front of a pretty good crowd?
COACH WALZ:テつ We played well.テつ Is there some room for improvement?テつ Of course.テつ Honestly, if you were to tell me that we'd at one point be up 38, and Sara Hammond does not score, she plays 16 minutes with four fouls, Asia Taylor plays 12 minutes with four fouls, I never thought that would be possible.
I still am a big believer that Sara and Asia are the two for us, that we're going to go as far as they take us because that's our mismatch.テつ That is our big mismatch that we have 'cause we've got two four players.テつ Sara goes to the five at times.テつ They can step out and shoot the basketball from 15 to 18 feet.テつ All of a sudden, how do you guard it?
Asia started the game with a nice shot fake.テつ They got Doolittle up in the air, drives, finishes.テつ She's knocking down the free‑throw line jump shot.テつ When she's doing things like that, it's really, really hard for teams to defend us.
Sara got called for some early fouls that I'm looking forward to having the chance to watch the film.テつ She was just trying to post up on the one, setting the screen on the other, which I'm not sure they're actually good fouls.
Those are things that we'll talk with her about 'cause we're going to need her from here on out.

Q.テつ You mentioned on Sunday how it blows your mind that you get to play at home.テつ What is it going to be like for your fans to be able to play on your home floor in the regionals?
COACH WALZ:テつ It's a big advantage.テつ Is it going to guarantee you a win?テつ No.テつ But we're going to get the chance to go home.テつ We'll get back tomorrow around 10:00, 11:00 or so.テつ Our kids will be back in class on Thursday and Friday.
It's going to be normal days.テつ They'll sit there, they'll sleep in their own beds.テつ The familiarity that you get from being able to play at home, it's great.テつ Your fans are there.テつ Your locker room.テつ All of that.
I hope we can take advantage of it and use it to our advantage.テつ But you've got four great teams that are going to be playing, and we know that we're going to have to come prepared to play.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you, coach.
COACH WALZ:テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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