March 24, 2009

SAN DIEGO STATE QUOTES - SECOND ROUND GAME

San Diego State University Head Coach Beth Burns:

Opening Statement:

"Congratulations to Stanford, they're a great team. They're great champions. They almost seem machine-like at times. They're expressionless and exquisite in their precision. I thought we did as well as we could in a lot of aspects of the game of trying to keep them off the three-point line and trying not to let them get the kind of offensive rebounding that the second rebounding team usually does, but we really had no answer for (Nnemkadi Ogwumike). I think that's usually your challenge when you can't guard any of their bigs one-on-one and we've certainly exposed ourselves. She is such a fabulous athlete and it's just remarkable she's just a freshman. I said a couple of days ago, I thought Jeanette Pohlen was the difference in their team, but I think she really makes them go and makes them play at a great tempo.

"We really struggled to generate any kind of offensive flow. We had (Quenese Davis) handle the ball too long and they're lanes bothered us. I think we rushed and we tried to get everything quickly. Obviously, the foul trouble with both (Jennifer Layton-Bailes) and Paris (Johnson) put us in a tough spot. I think that (Kalena) Tutt and (Candace) Chambers did a fine job coming off the bench when you look at the numbers. They haven't given us offense all year long and that hurt us there. (Stanford) didn't have to guard anybody down low with a double and they were able to bring that much more pressure on us, but they're a great team. We wish them much success and I think they have a great chance to continue to advance all the way through this thing."

On where the program is headed:

"Our first goal is to just assemble a team and get respect, and I think we have done that. When you say San Diego State, we don't want someone to say `they had a good year last year.' We want people to hear San Diego State and know that we are perennial Mountain West Conference contenders and always in the hunt. Our goal is to springboard from what we got against DePaul and learn from Stanford and take this dance further next year. The gap is closing because there are so many good players. There's lots of good players that hopefully have seen this beautiful arena and liked the way we competed and that will help us get better."

San Diego State University Junior Guard Quenese Davis:

On Stanford guarding the lay-ups:

"I think that made the ball stay in my hand a little bit longer. I couldn't pass the ball like I usually do. We couldn't get into an offensive flow. If I would have thrown it up, we probably still wouldn't be able to do anything because of their length and size. It kind of slowed down the tempo that we usually play at."

On the physicality of the game:

"I think we matched their physicality for most of the game. At times we got a little bit tired. Coming out of the second half wasn't as promising because we came out a little slow. We didn't hold that tempo but we played well."

San Diego State University Sophomore Center Paris Johnson:

On Stanford's size:

"They are a great team. Their size was the main thing that slowed our tempo down on offense. Our defense was up against two posts, (going) down on their huge bodies. We did what we could. At times it wasn't enough, but we fought to the end."

On the physicality of the game:

"It was a very physical game. Being in foul trouble early was frustrating because I felt like I couldn't play my physical game against them. It brought me out of my game, but I knew I couldn't let that get me down because every time I came in I picked it up a little bit more. I tried to be physical every time. If I didn't get the call then it was fine, I just kept going at them. We tip our hats to those two post players. (Jayne Appel) is a great player and it was good experience for me to go up against her. She's a big body. It's been an experience for me to continue on with for next year to get better and stronger."

San Diego State University Junior Guard Jené Morris:

On Stanford's size being a factor in the game:

"We really haven't had to play a team that big. (Positions) 1 through 5, every player was bigger than us. Going into the game we knew this, and we were going to try to rely on our speed and quickness to out play their length. They did a very good job of getting back. I think we played defense pretty well. We got a couple of turnovers, but we weren't able to convert on those shots because they had two players running back with us."

On the physicality of the game:

"We tried to rely on our speed and when it came down to it, it got really physical on the inside. We haven't really had to play that this whole season and I think that we weren't used to it. It slowed us down and we didn't have the size to compete with them. It was a very physical game as far as coming off of our screens and they were bumping us on our cuts. It was hard to compete inside with both of our big players in foul trouble. We had to get a different chemistry going as far as our defensive and offensive personnel. It was a different type of game than what we've been used to."

STANFORD QUOTES

Stanford University Head Coach Tara VanDerveer:

Opening statement:

"I thought we had a spectacular game from these two young ladies next to me, Nnemkadi (Ogwumike), scoring and rebounding and (Jillian Harmon) scoring and playing terrific defense. San Diego State came out and they're very aggressive. They worked really hard and I thought our size bothered them, but their pressure defense forced too many turnovers for me. I am really proud of our team, coming in here battling and rebounding and am especially proud of Nnemkadi and Jill for just super games."

On being in the Sweet 16 without Tennessee and North Carolina:

"I knew about Tennessee but I didn't know that North Carolina lost. I think it points towards the parity in women's basketball with so many different teams like Ball State and South Dakota doing so well. I think it's a good sign in some ways for basketball. Not necessarily good that Tennessee or North Caroline aren't in the Sweet 16, but that there's more talent. There's more spread around talent. I think it's exciting. You're looking at the future of women's basketball. As long as Stanford's in there I like it."

On getting Nnemkadi Ogwumike the ball:

"Jayne or (Nnemkadi) got the ball. We weren't trying to go to one versus the other. It's real exciting to see Nekka have a breakout game like this. It was good in a way. She played so poised and she was so effective, especially good because Jayne was not that effective. (She) struggled with the foul trouble and missed a lot of easy shots that she usually makes. They play really well together. Nekka really stood out and just had a fabulous game, but we weren't consciously trying to go to her. Maybe we should have been."

On Beth Burn's program:

"I think they have some very talented young players that are extremely athletic. I thought they played well. I think everything is baby steps, getting to the NCAA tournament, winning the first game. Then you have players understanding what it takes to make it to the next level. You can only do it one step at a time and this is obviously a very good first step. You play in the tournament and you have people come out (to support the team). Hopefully there will be some spill over of more fans coming next year to watch them play. I think they're some very talented players. Obviously there's Jene Morris. We know about her from playing at Cal. She's very talented. Jillian (Harmon) and (Rosalyn Gold-Onwude) worked very hard to defend her."

Stanford University Senior Forward Jillian Harmon:

On Nnemkadi Ogwumike being the go to option:

"I thought (Nnemkadi) was phenomenal. To have Jayne (Appel) have a bit of an off night and have someone else step in and have 27 points and 13 rebounds, she really helped us out finishing, rebounding and playing great defense. It was nice to have her playing so well right now."

On handling pressure:

"I think we have (handled the pressure). I think we've still got room for improvement. San Diego State is a really athletic team and forced quite a bit of turnovers, but I think we stayed poised and handled their pressure in the second half and I think we'll be able to handle it in the future."

Stanford University Freshman Forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike:

On getting off to a quick start and how she felt the game went:

"At this point everyone is going to be good and I tried to come out with as much aggressiveness as I could. I was just playing for the team and I wasn't going to give up and that was pretty much my goal. I think we did pretty good and I'm really excited for our team."